The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Douglas Lake Cattle Company, Douglas Lake, British Columbia, Canada, the BIF Commercial Producer of the Year Award July 4 during the group’s annual research symposium in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This national award is presented annually to a producer to recognize their dedication to improving the beef industry at the commercial level.
Douglas Lake Cattle Co. was incorporated in 1884 and consists of four ranches: Douglas Lake Ranch, Alkali Lake Ranch, Riske Creek Ranch and Gang Ranch. All divisions are located in south central British Columbia and have a combined cattle operation of 13,000 Angus, with Hereford influence and Charolais for a terminal cross. The operation has spring-calving cows with replacements selected from in herd.
The Douglas Lake division backgrounds around 1,300 steers for grass and sell as yearlings. All other divisions sell calves in the fall and retain only mature cows, replacement heifers and bulls. All divisions are Verified Beef Plus certified and are sold online through Direct Livestock Marketing Systems.
All feed is produced in-house on 9,000 acres of irrigated land growing a variety of crops including grass, alfalfa, barley and silage corn. Feed production and costs are all recorded on an individual field and crop basis. The rations are developed based on feed analysis and gain requirements in consultation with agronomists and nutritionists.
The ranches employ around 120 full-time staff which are divided into various crews. All staff and families live in company provided housing at each of the ranch divisions.
In addition to their cow herd, they also operate a tourism business centered around rainbow trout fishing, RV camping, a hotel and resort accommodations. In the summer months they will see up to 800 guests visit the ranch at the various resort locations with around 7,000 visits annually.
The main goal set at Douglas Lake Cattle Co. is to operate profitable, environmentally sustainable ranching operations that strive for continuous improvement of their land, livestock and people. Douglas Lake Cattle Co. was nominated by the Canadian Beef Breeds Council. The award is presented by BIF and sponsored by Drovers.
More than 300 beef producers, academia and industry representatives attended the organization’s 55th Annual Research Symposium and Convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.
For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of the meeting and tours, visit BIFSymposium.com.