Grazing Days raises and delivers quality grass-fed Angus beef to households throughout Ottawa. In this section we will explain our On-farm practices – how we go about raising our grass-fed beef, our beef Order Options – how to decide what to order and our Beef Delivery – how we get our beef to you.
Grazing Days is committed to raising quality grass-fed beef for families in Ottawa in a way that is humane and respectful of animal well-being, rejuvenates our soils and aquifers, and builds strong communities. Using a system called intensive rotational grazing we mimic natural herd migration patterns on our farm to provide our cows with nutrient dense grass to help them grow and stay healthy while increasing biodiversity on our farm and building carbon and nutrients in our soil (check out our youtube video on this topic here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75nwvIK2AMs). We have selected Angus as our cattle breed because they are proven to perform well on grass and produce quality marbled beef. All of this results in a thriving farm ecosystem and grass-fed beef that is delicious in taste and well-balanced in nutrients and Omega 3 fatty acids.
We do not feed our beef grain. From the time the animals reach our farm in the early spring until they go to the abattoir in the fall, our animals graze on fresh and lush grass which provides them with all the energy and nutrients they need to live and grow.
We do not use hormones. We do not use artificial hormones to help our animals gain weight more quickly. Since we do not use hormones, our animals mature and grow more slowly leading to a better balance of nutrients in the meat and a delicious taste.
We do not use antibiotics. Like the old saying goes, we believe disease prevention is better than a cure. Through proper management of our herd, we decrease the disease pressure and increase the animal’s natural resistance to disease. Like humans, our animals do get sick sometimes. When this happens, we do our best to treat the animal organically. If the animal health does not improve and a conventional treatment is necessary, we will use antibiotics and will remove the animal from our CSA, grass-fed beef program and sell the animal using conventional channels.
Grazing Days – a word about organic certification
At Grazing Days we are interested in raising organic beef and we do follow on-farm organic protocols. We do not, however, certify our beef organically for a number of reasons:
- A short supply of certified organic stockers in Ottawa. The way we run our farm operation, we purchase 1 year old beef cattle in the spring and graze them all summer to be brought to the abattoir in the fall. There is no supply of certified organic 1 year olds within a reasonable distance of the farm.
- The land on which we are farming is not yet certified organic. There is a 3 year transition period to move from conventional agriculture to certified organic land and the last 15 months happen in conjunction with a certifying body. Although no fertilizers or pesticides have been added to the land in the last 3 years, it will take a minimum of 15 months for the land to become certified. If our land is not certified organic, then the grass on that land is not certified organic, which means that any certified organic animal that eats that grass would lose their organic status.