Les and Chris Yates are the owners of Lemieux Creek Ranch

A Telkwa ranch of happy cows

Telkwa is home to the first farm certified in B.C. for both animal rights and naturally grassfed beef by Animal Welfare Approved (AWA).

Jackie Lieuwen

Interior News

Telkwa is home to the first farm certified in B.C. for both animal rights and naturally grassfed beef by Animal Welfare Approved (AWA).

Owned by Les and Chris Yates, Lemieux Creek Ranch is a 327-acre ranch with 40 cows.

They sold 13 yearlings last year, half locally, five in the Lower Mainland, and one each in Kitimat and Prince Rupert.

Les says they want to grow their market to sell up to 40 calves locally and across B.C.

To get certified, the ranch had to meet rigorous standards regarding animal care and environmental sustainability.

Satisfying 26 pages of regulations, Les says they only changed one thing at their ranch: they wean calves after eight months instead of seven.

Since their cattle are butchered at the Bulkley Valley Custom Slaughter plant in Telkwa, it also had to be certified by the AWA.

Lemieux Creek Ranch was approved for the AWA certification in June after a detailed application, two phone interviews and a day-long visit from a Texas AWA auditor.

“For us it was a validation of what we are already doing,” Les said.

They always wanted to be self-contained and since they love animals, they treat them well.

For Chris, the biggest thing is that the animals have a happy life and are not stressed, she says.

The couple bought the Telkwa ranch in 1993 and not a fence was standing worthy to hold an animal, Les said.

They built nearly everything, coming to the ranch on weekends with their family from Prince Rupert.

In 1998, they moved to the ranch and started off with three Galloway cow-calf pairs.

After growing their herd to 40 — perfect for their 327-acre ranch — they started selling.

Les says they always sold meat locally to those who wanted grassfed beef, but only seven years ago they found out they fit a niche market.

When Les retired three years ago from managing the Telkwa Bulkley Valley Home Centre, they started actively marketing their meat.

Grassfed beef is known to be “lean, clean and nourishing.”

There is no concern about genetically modified organisms (GMO).

It is low in saturated fat and there is a better balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6, which is lower in cholesterol.

It also has conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is believed to fight cancer, prevent diabetes and inhibit obesity.

It also has better texture and “a different flavour, richer taste,” Les said.

But it is more then health and flavour that draw people to the beef from Lemieux Creek Ranch.

As they started marketing, Les says they got calls from people in Vancouver.

“It didn’t take me long to learn that those people were as concerned about the welfare of the animals as they were about the health benefits of grassfed beef.”

Lemieux Creek Ranch got certified last year by Verified Beef Production for food safety and by the Government of Canada for having an environmental farm plan.

Now they have their animal welfare certification as well.

Les says their cows are born on the farm and live out their lives on the grassy range there.

They are transported only the 24 kilometres to the slaughter house, he said.

“My daughter-in-law says we should market our beef as ‘happy cows.’”

 

Just Posted

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

Christian Heritage Party leader reflects on 2019 federal election

Leader Rod Taylor from Telkwa is aiming to run 100 candidates on socially conservative platform.

One in critical condition after train hits grader near Smithers

The collision occurred at the Lawson Road crossing in the rural community of Quick

Peepchuk re-enters guilty pleas

Hazelton assault causing bodily harm and robbery case adjourned to set sentencing date

Gryphons girls dominate in zone win

It’s a bittersweet moment for Smithers basketball team as players graduate and coach moves on.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

B.C. photographer captures otters on ice

A Langley photographer was at the right place at the right time on the Fraser River

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

Most Read