THE XY RANCH
THE DOUBLE G CATTLE CO.
In 2012 The Double G Cattle Company was started by two long time friends Gary and Graham and their wives Christine and Julie in 150 Mile House/Caribou region British Columbia.
Our mission was to naturally and humanely raise a true grass fed to grass finished cow using ZERO grains, antibiotics, or growth hormones.
What started out as a small herd of local Angus and Herford cows to feed close family and friends, grew to accommodate requests of extended family, friends, work associates, neighbors etc. for our grass fed-grass finished beef!
Aside from raising free range cattle, we vowed to maintain our cattle on our ranch from start to finish - which means our cattle will never go to a "finishing" feed lot or receive in-humane treatment - ever. Since our cattle ranch is quite small we harvest once a year in November - this is when last years steers (19 -20 months) have reached their best weight. They will have had two natural spring and summer cycles of grazing on our ranches lush caribou range lands and have spent the winters eating hay that we cut the previous summer.
What is Natural?
About the Owners
While Gary and Christine are the primary owners and caretakers of The XY Ranch, Graham works and lives on his own farm in Chilliwack out in the Fraser Valley where he has raised and sold beef to family and friends in the lower main land for the past 25 years!
What is grass fed and grass finished
When we switch from grain fed to grass fed meat, then, we are simply returning to the diet of our long-ago ancestors, the diet that is most in harmony with our physiology. Every cell and every system of our bodies will function better when we eat products from animals raised on grass.
- Grass-fed beef is naturally leaner than grain-fed beef.
- Omega 3s in beef that feed on grass is 7% of the total fat content, compared to 1% in grain-only fed beef.
- Grass-fed beef has the recommended ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats (3:1.)
- Grass-fed beef is loaded with other natural minerals and vitamins, plus it's a great source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a fat that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders.
- Beef, in its natural grass-fed state, is a health food of the highest order.
Health benefits of grass fed beef
If you're looking to impress family and friends with the best grilled flank steak or the juiciest burger, the next time you go shopping for meat opt for sustainably raised, grass-fed beef. Despite the mystique surrounding the cooking of grass-fed beef, it only takes a little extra care to dish up amazingly tender and succulent steaks.
But why go through the trouble of seeking out grass-fed and grass-finished while supermarket aisles all over the country are filled with all sorts of cuts of grass fed and grain finished and/or grain-fed/finished beef?
Personal health is one reason. Grass-fed/finished meat is low in both overall fat and artery-clogging saturated fat, and it provides a considerably higher amount of healthy Omega-3 fats than corn-fed meat. The meat from grain-fed feedlot animals typically contains only 15 to 50 percent of the Omega-3's of grass-fed livestock. And even though grain-fed cows develop highly marbled flesh that most consumers are accustomed to, this is unhealthy saturated fat that can't be trimmed off. There’s more meat from pastured cattle has up to four times the amount of vitamin E than meat from feedlots, and is much higher in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a nutrient associated with lowering cancer risks.
Another reason to prefer a pastured, grass-fed cow is that it's had a dramatically better life than its feedlot cousin. Grass-fed and grass-finished animals remain on pasture from birth to market, roaming around in fresh air and sunshine. Grass-fed and grain-finished cows, on the other hand, are raised on pasture only for the first months of their lives. The vast majority of them are then transported to distant feedlots where they are raised in confinement.
The diet of grass-fed and grass-finished cows is what it was always meant to be: fresh pasture, hay, or grass silage. Cows are ruminants. They are endowed with the uncanny ability to convert grass into food that they can digest. (This is done by virtue of a rumen , a 45-gallon “fermentation tank” in which resident bacteria convert cellulose into protein and fats.) In feedlots, cows are switched to a diet based on grains.
To speed their growth and reduce the health problems that come from being fed this unnatural diet and from their stressful living, these animals are given growth hormones, feed additives, and treated often with antibiotics.
Compare this with the happy life of pastured animals, who don't partake in the daily stress of fed-lot life. They don't typically need antibiotics to stay healthy (unless they are in an extremely life or death situation - which then they would be given antibiotics and removed from our XY beef program) and their growth is determined by genetics, not by genetically modified, growth-promoting hormones.
Traditionally, all beef was grass-fed. But what you're likely to find in grocery stores around the country today is almost all grain-fed, feedlot beef. The reason? Economics. Cows grow faster in controlled feedlots and they are more profitable. Growing up in rural Chilliwack, it was very common for individuals to buy beef directly from the farm, which seems to be out of the norm for today's society, but a much healthier option.
Grassfed Beef are actually a byproduct of what is really the most important asset in cattle farming, forages. We ensure our cattle have the best "salad bar" the cattle can choose. We have both warm season and cool season forages. They eat the wild grass that sprouts in the spring Rye grass and then are allowed to forage on the natural bunch grass varieties through the summer months. Our climate actually provides about 4 months of growing in a marginal growing area.
Holistic management describes a systems thinking approach to managing resources that builds biodiversity improves production, generates financial strength, enhances sustainability, and improves the quality of life for those who use it. Developed by Allen Savory, holistic management offers a new decision-making framework that managers in a variety of enterprises, cultures, and countries are using to help ensure that the decisions they take are economically, socially, and environmentally sound, simultaneously—both short and long term.
Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term:
- Satisfy human food and fiber needs
- Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends
- Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls
- Sustain the economic viability of farm operations
- Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole Sustainable agriculture in the. More recently, as consumer and retail demand for sustainable products has risen.
This involves reducing the size of ranges from large to small and limiting the access to these smaller ranges. This system allows the forage to be grazed and then rested for a number of days, allowing the forage to rest and regrow to sufficient heights before being grazed again. This not only provides more nutrients for the cattle, but reduces erosion and creates more organics to the soil through better manure distribution. Since beginning rotational grazing, we have noticed an incredible amount of activity under the soil. The worms and dung beetles compete for the manure as they process the natural fertilizer directly into the ground. This in turn has allowed our ranges to gain organic nutrients, grow more and better grasses, and allow us to produce more and healthier cattle per acre.Humanely Raised
This is not just a coined phrase, but a way of farming. We take incredible pride in our animals and provide the best humane care possible. The cattle live in a very low stress and quiet environment where their needs are successfully met. We make every effort to make the cattle's lives free from stress. They are raised in a natural free grazing environment as they are moved from range to fields within our ranch. We check them regularly, as we live on the ranch where they are raised. Our cattle are tame, not flighty or fearful of human contact, and love to come and say hello and see what we are doing as we are checking on them or while we are working in the field. Comparatively to many big ranch operations that use quads to move cattle, we actually still use our horses when moving cattle to different ranges throughout the seasons.Water Systems
The cattle have access to fresh, natural spring run creeks and ponds on the range.Forage Management
Without the grass, we have no grassfed cattle. We continually sow and over seed various grasses and legumes in our fields that we use for winter feed. The forages include clover, fescue, and ryegrass.