When consumers reach out.

Last week I had the rare occasion where our farm had a consumer reach out to us looking for beef. We don’t sell beef off the farm and we likely weren’t quite the type of producer she was looking for. Her message and my reply are below. It’s scary to reach out to the unknown public. I had no idea about her motive or how she would reply. I drafted my responses, my husband and I both reviewed in multiple times and then with great trepidation, I hit the send button. So far there has been no response, but I feel I did my best to sell my Ag story and we opened up our farm doors to this person. I’d love to hear what what anyone thinks of the exchange as consumer or farmer.

Consumer looking for Beef

The Inquiry

Hello I’m looking to find local famers that can help me with providing real, wholesome foods for my family. I’m looking for organic GMO free foods of all types (meat, eggs, milk, fruit and veggies). It is also very important to me that the animals used to produce the foods were treated with care and dignity before slaughter and fed a proper diet ( cows were fed grass etc.) If there is anyone that can help me find more information about this kind of thing I would be so greatful! I’m looking to make a drastic change in mine and my family’s diet for our physical/mental health, as well as to support a healthy and moral food system in our world. Please comment or inbox me if you are able to help. 🙂

My Reply 

Hi XXXX;

I’m Julie-Anne from the Howe Family Farm page. We generally do not sell beef directly off the farm. We are a purebred breeder selling our cattle to other ranchers. However, we do manage our cattle in a pretty typical manner for cow calf producers that sell into to the commercial beef supply chain. Our cattle spend May-November on pasture and are fed hay and a bit of grain we produced on our land and a mineral/vitamin supplement. We have the diet specifically formulated by a cattle nutritionist and work closely with our veterinarian on our herd health practices. When an animal is sick, we treat it and do our best to make them better. We see it as the ethical way to treat our animals, if they are sick they need medication. We have our vet prescribe an antibiotic or other medicines. The withdrawal times on the medicines are noted and respected. This means animal that have been treated are not sent for slaughter until they are healthy and all of the medication is cleared from their body. So although we are not organic farmers, we believe our beef absolutely a safe nutritious product.

We also have an Environmental Farm Plan developed through the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, for our farm to manage and reduce our environmental foot print. This is our home and we have every intention to preserve the land and ecosystem. There are many native species that peacefully co-exist with our cattle: deer, owls, badgers, ducks etc.

On our farm, I have a Master’s in Cattle Nutrition and Microbiology, as well, we have an agriculture degree and a vet all in the family. We are passionate about caring for our stock in the best way possible. If you want to learn about our farm operation, I am more than happy to answer more questions. I also am a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition and Wellness Specialist certified by Can Fit Pro. I also run a personal blog about farming and food at www.fit2farm.ca.

My family eats the beef we raise and I am 100% confident in the food production system in Canada. I applaud your commitment to healthy eating, and understand there is a lot fear surrounding food and agricultural technology. We have an amazing regulatory system for food safety through Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Did you know that ALL beef is tested to ensure there are no residues from any medicines that were given to cattle are in our food? I’m a mom and I get the amount of fearful messaging about food that is out in media and online. My kids eat the beef and food products from the grains that produce and I feel very safe about it. If you want specifics, I’d be happy to answer any further questions.
I am sorry that it appears that you don’t feel that farmers are doing the right thing. As with all industries most are doing the best job they can and the few bad apples ruin the whole bunch. Our barn doors are always open and I encourage to reach out ask any questions you may have.

Cheers;
Julie-Anne Howe

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