Meet Tristan & Aubyn Banwell From Spray Creek Ranch
Spray Creek Ranch is a small cow-calf operation near Lillooet. They have 50 cows currently on 260 acres and around 100 acres under gravity irrigation, along with a range tenure currently in non-use. Spray Creek practice management-intensive rotational grazing and are working on implementing tools from holistic management for goal-setting with business partners, who own the property. They also raise pigs, laying hens and meat chickens on pasture. They have a Class D slaughter facility on the farm, and are working toward becoming a Class A inspected slaughter facility with cut & wrap.
Spray Creek Ranch has several options for seasonal and year-round housing, including a renovated motorhome, a studio currently under renovation, and three extra bedrooms in the main house.
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/spraycreek
Van Immerzeel Family Ranch @ 150 Mile House, BC
From Cheryl Van Immerzeel, Colour V 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.
Hosts Tyrone and Ingrid Johnston of the Onward Ranch are one of our host families for the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program. Located in the heart of the San José Valley near 150 Mile House, BC this historic ranch has been in operation since 1883, founded by Charles Eagle.
Tyrone and Ingrid are true Cariboo homesteaders who started their first ranch years ago, building their operation without power and water for several years. Their hard work and effort has paid off, and they are now on the Onward Ranch, with a successful ranching operation. Tyron and Ingrid have beautiful family of children and have opened their ranch up to a student in the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program.
The Applied Sustainable Ranching Program has been to Tyron and Ingrid’s several times since the program began, once on our initial farm tours to talk about Tyrone’s finishing operation and once with Bob Drinkwater who instructed us in our Invasive Species Management Plans.
Zirnhelt Ranch, a family owned and operated ranch located in Beaver Valley BC has been a host of one of our students from the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program.
Focusing on sustainable food production, the Zirnhelt Ranch raises grass fed beef, on their own pastures and rangelands. Opportunities on the Zirnhelt ranch include: management, crop production, animal husbandry, economics of ranching, and local horticultural practices.
Students had an opportunity to visit this ranch during their “Watershed and Habitat Restoration” seminar with Lee Hesketh and David Zirnhelt.