What is your favourite aspect of farming?
While I do enjoy connecting with our customers and the local community, my favourite is spending with our animals, the bovines. I love the first hour of grazing on a fresh section of pasture, which they get every day in grazing season. The sound of cattle grazing is meditative and calming. Once they had their fill, they “plonk” down, sometimes mid bite, to ruminate in contentment. There’s nothing like it.
What is you least favourite task to do on the farm?
It’s more a least favourite time rather than task – fall and spring are mud season, and cattle are usually on hay at this time in our area.
My most emotionally difficult task is saying goodbye to our animals every time we send a group to the abattoir. We try to make it as stress free as possible, but it is still hard for me.
What is your first farming memory?
I started farming not long ago (7 years) in my late thirties, so my memories are very recent. One of my first memories are going for a daily check of our new arrivals (calve are born on another family farm and come to our farm around 7 months of age). A herd of 95 got curious and came thundering toward me to check me out. Not having a lot of experience with cattle, I was quite frightened, but all was well. I’ve learned a lot since.
What is your current pet peeve around the farm?
A maze of electric fence connections! My goal is to simplify connection points and make it easier to connect/disconnect paddocks as needed.
What do you like to do outside of farming?
Right now farming is all consuming, but I love to travel, and attend a good theatre production from time to time.
Who is the person who has had the biggest impact on your farming journey thus far?
I would have to say that would be Bob Dobson, who extended an invite to visit the farm and gave me the opportunity to learn and farm with him for 5 years; and now to manage all aspects of Dobson’s Grass-Fed Beef on my own (with a little help and advice here and there 🙂 )
What made you want to become a farmer?
I always loved animals, ever since I can remember. And I always wanted to live in the country. In university I studied animal sciences and veterinary medicine (which wasn’t for me…), but I didn’t think about farming at that time.
It was a book we read through my book club which got me interested in food and food production (this book was The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan). The more I read, the more I wanted to be a part of a different food movement and production. I started by changing my purchasing habits, and one thing rolled into another, I ended up on Dobson farm, from which I was already sourcing my beef
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