At Triple A Hereford Ranch in the heart of the Missouri Coteau hills south of Moose Jaw, you’ll meet the Andrews family: Murray, Bridget and son Luke. Together with Murray’s parents, Russell and Faye, they raise purebred and commercial Hereford cattle. At any one time they have about 250 cows and beef cattle on their ranch.
The Andrews produce all their own feed for their livestock. They grow oats and barley, as well as alfalfa and grass for hay, and implement rotational grazing systems to ensure there is always plenty of healthy grass to maximize growth and development of their animals. Cattle graze on native grass for the majority of the grazing season. Once the summer is over, the animals are moved to fall native grass fields that are kept only for this use.
“We’re very proud that we’ve been able to grow our herd and keep the land in good, healthy condition, too,” Bridget Andrews commented. “It’s important to us to produce food that is raised as sustainably as possible. Technology helps us do that. We utilize different computer apps to develop grazing management and breeding systems, formulate proper beef rations and record performance data. Our tractors are equipped with GPS so that we can be very precise – there’s no overlap each time we go around the field with our air seeder or sprayer meaning less emissions from our equipment.”
Technology also plays a major role in ensuring the food they produce is safe to eat and their animals are well cared for. Bridget explained:
“All of our cattle have Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) ear tags that are registered with the federal government. For example, if there’s a disease outbreak, the problem can be traced back to a particular location. We also keep detailed farm records, including what the cattle are fed, their history of vaccinations, and so forth, and they’re online so that we can access them from wherever we’re working. It’s very sophisticated.”
“The efforts we make to care for the land and our animals bring us great satisfaction. We’re thinking of our son and future generations, too.”