HOW WE BECAME RANCHERS
"What began as a desire to grow food for our family, has turned into a passion to grow food for our community"
It all started with a cabin in the woods. Jason and I were both raised in small towns, but Jason’s heart has always been in the country — his grandparents were farmers and he loved spending time on their land. I was more of a city girl, but my passion for cost-effective, self-sufficient living made moving to an off-grid, tiny home in the middle of nowhere quite easy.
At first our property served just that – embracing the homestead life and learning more about living off the land. At some point, however, Jay began dreaming about adding some cows to our homestead and this passion continued to grow as time went on. Initially, I was hesitant to get cows (to be completely honest, I was worried about losing my ski trails!), but the more research Jay did, the more it made sense for our family. Getting a few cows would help us work towards our goal of becoming more self-sufficient and we could raise high quality meat for our family, using methods we valued. We’d be able to raise our beef humanely, responsibly, and as naturally as possible and know exactly what was in our beef (and what was not). When the dream of getting cows progressed to specifically getting Highlands, I was finally sold. Highland cattle seemed to be the perfect fit for our homestead. They were docile yet hardy and known to perform well on grass-fed and finished diets while producing nutrient dense beef. And so, in 2019 we got our first nine cows and one Bull.
Little did we know that getting these cows would transform our lives. We were hooked the minute we got them. We dove into research and it quickly became clear that we could use our cows to have a positive impact on the land. If grazed properly, they could regenerate soil, increase biodiversity, and turn much of the local scrub brush into productive, healthy pasture. We began dreaming bigger and decided that if we were going to raise cows, we were going to do it in a way that was not only beneficial for our family and our cows, but also beneficial for our land. As we dove into a business plan to help us apply for loans and grants to further develop our land which would help us implement rotational grazing methods properly, we became increasingly aware of the gaps in the industry and a fire began burning in our souls. Our desire to to provide our family with high quality meat, slowly turned into a passion and excitement to provide others with nutrient-dense food they could trust and know exactly where it came from too.
We now have a large fold of Highland cows, with more on the way. It’s a long process, but it’s exciting to see the land slowly transform as the cows bring more life back to the soil. We have since added some woolly pigs and chickens to our mix of sled dogs and cows and Jason is currently working hard to convince me to get horses! It’s a lot of work and there’s still a lot to learn, but the rewards — healthy food, healthy land and healthy families — will keep us going for years to come.
Thank you for being here and for being part of our journey into ranching!