At Sunworks Farm sales venues you will see the phrase “Lifelong diet of 100% grass” on our beef packages. We are one of the few Alberta ranchers that finish our beef on a diet that uses only grass for their whole life.
In the summer months we time control graze our certified organic beef animals on our certified organic pastures. We move our animals up to 2 times a day so we don’t over graze the land and to give the cattle plenty to eat for the day. We mimic how the buffalo would eat all the grass in an area and then move on, yet leaving enough height to encourage regrowth of the plants.
In the winter time, when the grass doesn’t grow in Alberta, we feed our beef animals high quality hay grown on our certified organic land. When the weather conditions get severe we feed certified organic alfalfa pellets in addition to the hay to help with their energy to keep warm. When we purchase our certified organic hay and alfalfa pellets we guarantee that the land that was used for their production is certified organic. We confirm that it hasn’t been sprayed with herbicides and insecticides and that Round Up wasn’t used when pastures were rejuvenated. There are producers that will attempt to feed only grass but will also give their beef cattle variations of grains, such as barley sprouts or distillers grain which have been farmed industrially with the use of pesticides, herbicides and Round Up in their production. Barley sprouts and distillers grain come from very large malt factories (malt is used in making beer) and is an industrial process.
The digestive system of beef cattle is uniquely designed to utilize grass and hay to provide the energy and protein to keep them alive. When animals are put in feed lots and fed a diet very high in grains with very little forages (grass, hay and alfalfa pellets) this upsets this very unique digestive system and leads to digestive tract challenges. E-coli come from a diet consisting of high amounts of grain or grain by products. Feeding beef their traditional diet of grass and hay minimizes the risk of e-coli which is the reason we feed ONLY grass, hay and alfalfa pellets to our animals their whole life.
Sunworks Farm is certified organic, certified humane and certified local/sustainable. This means that our farm is audited by many professional inspectors on an annual basis. Our on farm feed mill is audited and tested by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) on a regular basis and they test for animal by-products, herbicide/pesticide residue and antibiotics in the feed that we give our animals. On our annual farm day this year we had over 400 visitors on the farm, these were customers who, because of their value based purchases are the ultimate inspectors.
The word “Natural” in Canada is not a regulated term which means are no audits or inspections on “Natural” ranches or farms. Remember that “Natural” means nothing and it is only a catchphrase to sell a product. We have a Canadian Government Organic Standard so there is no regulation or standard set for what would be called “Beyond Organic”. Again this phrase “Beyond Organic” is just being used to sell a product and it is never audited, tested or inspected. When we say “Talk is Cheap” and “Consumer Beware” this sums it all up. Thanks – Ron.