A panel discussion about on-farm innovation at the young producer symposium was moderated by Sandy Russell, Canadian Beef Breeds Council chief executive officer, during the 2023 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Symposium July 3 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Charlotte Wasylik, Chatsworth Farms, discussed how Chatsworth Farms focuses on farm-to-table programs. They have local and city deliveries, on-farm pickup and consignment shops. Besides just selling products they also have farm programs including on-farm events, community partnerships, restaurants, cooking classes, industry articles and virtual and in-person school tours.
“Just bringing people into the farm and getting them to ask questions, understand what we do on a farm and the process we go through with all of the animals to show them birth to plate,” Wasylik says.
Ben Campbell, Tellichewan Ranch, started grazing cattle because he learned that it was good for the environment. Tellichewan Ranch focuses on being environmentally sustainable by raising grass fed beef. They want to reconnect people to their food by explaining how the animals are raised and handled from start to finish. They give farm tours, outreach with different groups and school tours.
“I advocate to farmers because we are the stewards of the land and are making the decisions,” Campbell says.
Rounding out the panel was Jordan Miller, Grandview Farms, a sixth-generation rancher raising the seventh generation. They live on Barrie Island where the closest Walmart is three hours away making their customer base unique. Grandview mainly markets through Instagram and their shopify website. Besides just selling to customers they work with four restaurants on the island and are training chefs to purchase whole animals.
“If they truly want to promote sustainable consumption of beef, then I am teaching them this is what we have to do,” Miller explains.