We recently added the Van Immerzeel, Colour V Ranch to our Host Ranches. Check out what Cheryl Van Immerzeel had to tell us about her ranch.
15 years ago my husband and I first started this ranching adventure. We started off raising quality paints and quarter horses, and slowly expanded. We have 3 sows and a boar and raise 4 litters of piglets a year, we sell as weaners and also raise to custom finish. Now we have a herd of about 50 pure bred Simmental cows, mainly all originating from my husband’s family breeding program of 35+ years.
We do raise some steers to finish for customers, and sell the remainder. We also raise meat birds and have laying hens. We love being able to offer others the opportunity to have all natural, home grown, hormone and medicated free meat (organic). We also have our own milk cow and a large vegetable garden, and trying to grow some fruit trees for our area. We are almost self-sufficient here, which has been a dream come true.
Our ranch has changed from the beginning of raising and training horses (I used to do all the training too), as we do not raise a lot of horses anymore, still a couple, but our main focus is the meat products.
We also range our beef cows in the summer, and do a large portion of our own hay, so it takes up a lot of our time. Most of our hayfields are meadow, self-flooding in the spring so we do not have to irrigate which is nice, even on the dry years we still have some moisture in there. When we first bought our ranch here, 9 years ago, it was highly over grazed, so we have been in the process of bringing back the pastures and also cross fencing to do more pasture rotation.
We calve out in February-April, because we are lower ground here and it is better to do it while the ground is frozen, rather than soggy and wet. Foals are born in April or May.
We have 3 children, Ellie age 12, Trace age 9, and Zadie-Lynn age 7. They are all very active in the 4H program, as are Pete and I with volunteering our time and leadership. I have been an active 4H leader for over 5 years, it is a great program. Both my husband and I went through agriculture programs back at Olds College. We love to share our farm life with others.