Farmer Focus: Rex Peak Ranch

Rex Peak Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your family? I was raised on the ranch we currently own and operate.  When I was a kid the ranch was a small homestead.  We had goats, a milk cow, horses, chickens and and a huge garden.  We grew most of our own food and seldom went to town.  We did not have TV or even radio. National Geographic was our window to the world.  My brothers and sister and I were homeschooled until high school.  We had horses and rode everywhere.  In 2002 my husband Phil (who came here from England in 1998) and I started turning it from a homestead into a working ranch.  It is still a work in progress.  We are still off-grid and in the boonies.  We are 75km from Lillooet in the Bridge River Valley.  We raised our two daughters, Megan and Jade (who are an indispensable part of our operation) here and I homeschooled them here until highschool. Can you tell us about your farming practices? We focus on raising hereford/angus beef cattle.  We also have some lamb and pigs for our own use with any excess going to friends and family.  We started out with 4 cows that my mom had owned.  From there we slowly built up our own herd. Buying some cows here and there.  Then we started raising our own replacement heifers and bought good quality bulls.  We started out with very little machinery, so we used a team of horses for years (and still have a team) for a lot of work.  As time went on we cleared more land, got more machinery, built a hayshed, fenced and cross-fenced our ranch, and started growing some of our own hay (the rest we buy from local ranchers).  We have a large cattle range that we carefully manage.  We focus on making sure the biodiversity is maintained, which helps keep predators from becoming a problem.  We use horses and cattle dogs to move our cattle over our range in a circular pattern – they move from our spring range up to the summer range and back around in a circle so that by fall they are back near the ranch and they are easily moved home.  On the ranch we try to maintain and improve our grass and forage crops. IMG_3962 When did you get involved with LAFS and why? I was invited by Jacquie Rassmussen to join LAFS at its inception.  I was part of the AAC at the time.  I felt that it was important for our area to have a stronger agricultural voice. Where are your products sold? We are a cow calf operation. We sell our calves in the fall through the BC Livestock Co-op in Kamloops.  It is a rancher owned and operated market. What are your future plans? We would like to expand our hay production, increase our infrastructure, continue to raise quality beef and become more self-sufficient so that eventually our daughters may be able to take over the operation. 2016-07-13 001 048
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