Ethically raised beef on offer at Kamloops area farm
Kamloops residents, or vacationers heading to Sun Peaks Resort, can now purchase ethically grown, hand-raised beef at competitive market prices.
Beyond Veganfoods, a 150-acre farm located in Heffley Creek, has added beef to their offerings on top of lamb and chicken.
Owner Yasi Edwards said she is providing customers with her locally produced meats to help promote ethical meat production practices.
Edwards grew up on a ranch in Vernon that managed 85 head of cattle before starting her own smaller farm where she could hand-raise her animals. This is her first year of beef production. The herd came from Little Fort and the bull came from Chase.
She raises a breed called Canadian speckle park cattle that was developed in Canada and are known for their marble pattern of beef.
"They are very unique in their colour and bred to survive Canadian winters, with short legs and large bodies," she said. "They have polka dots on them. They are very nice and calm.”
Edwards said some people think when meat comes from a local farm it should be cheap. She said she pays quite a bit to have her animals fed, inspected and butchered and that people don’t always see the associated costs involved.
“A cow eats up to fifty pounds of feed per day and feed prices have skyrocketed this year because of fires wiping out crops,” she said. “Farmers have had to diversify how they are feeding their herds. I do my own haying which helps and I only have a few cows to feed.”
Edwards said the abattoir fees farmers pay are hefty and access to abattoirs can be quite difficult to access for smaller productions. She said she waits until her cows are between 18 and 24 months before she sends them, while larger cattle producers will have a program where cows will go to harvest in spring or fall.
“I don’t charge that much more for the ethically raised quality of my beef,” she said. “I’m part of a local farmer’s organization and the high cost of beef is a common topic. Last week a friend of mine told me she paid fifty dollars for two feedlot steaks. The farmers don’t see any of that revenue, the price of a cow doesn’t change.”
Edwards said the mark-up on the cost of beef happens further along the chain at cutting houses and processors, another good reason to purchase local meats straight from the farmer.
Edwards said most of her customers are seasonal vacationers going up the mountain to Sun Peaks Resort.
“They stop at the farm and grab small packages because they don’t often have access to deep freezes,” she said. “The lamb and chicken sales have been steady. Some people buy whole lambs with bone in for their family dinners.”
Edwards said she hasn’t eaten feedlot meat for over ten years.
“I am opposed to factory farms where cows are standing in manure and are fed out of a trough,” she said. “I raise my cows so they wander over 100 acres with clover and creeks and have places to get out of the sun. They can choose what they want to eat and live their best life. I love cows, my bull comes to me for chin scratches.”
— This story was updated at 10:47 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021 to add an email address.
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