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I will get to Craft Beef Co. in a moment but I do want to take a minute to address the state of the world right now. There is no doubt that things are changing rapidly. Greg and I did not plan to launch The Craft Beef Company in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic and in the midst of all this uncertainty. Your safety and the safety of your loved ones is of the utmost importance right now. We truly feel for all Canadians who are currently out of work and for those who have contracted this virus. We also want to send our condolences out to those who have lost loved ones as a result of this. Our hearts and prayers truly go out to all of you. I would also like to send a huge THANK YOU to all of our nurses, doctors, first responders and anyone employed as an Essential Service. You are truly making the world go round right now and we are eternally grateful.
Thank you for subscribing to The Craft Beef Company and signing up to be notified when we launch our brand-new site! We are SO excited to be launching this venture and I wanted to take a few minutes and use my very first (ever) Blog to explain some of the thoughts and reasons behind it.
My husband, Greg, grew up on his family farm, West of Three Hills, AB, and is the 4th generation to live and farm there. It truly is picturesque with its traditional Red Hip-roof barn and its rolling pastures with horses and cattle grazing. A majority of the farm is grain but Greg, like his Grandpa, is really a cow guy. He would not call himself a “Cowboy” in the traditional sense of the word but I would probably tell you that he is at heart. He is also a bit urban and runs a business in graphic design for snowmobiles and motocross. I am a Country Girl – through and through. I am a Banker-By-Day, specializing in Agriculture Finance and in the evenings and on the weekends, I can be found at the farm, coveralls on, with the cows or riding my horse on the currently barren grain fields. We were married on Sept. 1, 2018. Greg and I both have a passion for the farm and for his family’s heritage. (I am also sure that this sentimental heritage is the only reason that old red barn is still standing.)
Greg’s family sold the cow herd back around 2009 and retired from farming on their own and Greg went on to become a Graphic Designer. Early on, we talked about reigniting the farm but the cattle industry brings with it so much risk and uncertainty. We had so many questions! How could we be sure that cows would continue to be financially sustainable for our family? How could we make sure that our beef product was superior to grocery stores? What gives some beef that fantastic marbling and flavour while other beef can be bland or tough? How do we take care of the environment and work in tandem with nature? How could we “go against the grain” and be unique, while still maintaining all of the things previously mentioned? And so, the research began and it didn’t take us long before we settled on Grass-Fed and Finished Beef. We loved that the focus was on the land and soils and that by using certain practices like crop rotation, leaving grass out on the pastures at the end of the season, poly-cropping, and so on, that we could reduce the impacts of drought, increase soil microbes and organic matter and still raise a flavourful, well-marbled beef product. It also brought with it a new set of challenges, like marketing, social media, processing the beef, storing it, physically getting it into the hands of the people who want to buy it, and so on. If we were having these problems, everyone else selling beef off their farms must be having them too. And what about the customer? How can someone who doesn’t know anything about the farms know which product is better? Can they be sure they are supporting the farms with the best practices? Is their farm of choice following all of the food safety guidelines and rules? Are they marketing their beef honestly and with integrity?
The Craft Beef Company Ltd. was designed to connect local farms and ranches to the people of Alberta and offer a convenient delivery service to your door via FedEx. It also celebrates the differences in certain beef products, acknowledging that different people enjoy different things. I, myself, appreciate something a little leaner, while my husband wants all the marbling and fat that he can get packed into a steak. Rather than trying to make every animal the same, we want to bring forward farms and ranches that provide a diversity of flavours and textures. I am proud to say that we are bringing the very best, locally raised beef, pork, lamb and poultry products and making them easily accessible online to nearly everyone in Alberta. Now, more than ever, knowing where your food comes from and how it was produced is so important and it is at the heart of what we do. Want to know the best part? Not only are we able to support local farms by providing them with a stable, predictable income but we are supporting the VERY BEST environmental farming practices and animal handling practices. Our partnering farms support healthy waterways, fish habitats, wildlife and native grasslands and even support carbon sequestration. Many of our chosen partner farms are actively pursuing research projects to scientifically calculate how much carbon is being pulled from the atmosphere by their cattle. Every one of our farms has been hand-picked based on these special criteria so that we can all feel great about the food we are enjoying with our family and friends.
Our launch is just around the corner (May 2020!) and we are so excited to share our whole line-up of products with you. Be sure to check out our online store but also look for the “Shop By Farm” section to see who our incredible producers are. Some of our producers will be bringing products forward right away and some will be coming online over the next few months. Be sure to continually check back as we are adding new products from new producers all the time.
Please feel free to share this Blog, however you like. And thank you for all of your positive comments and feedback as we roll this site forward.
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