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Circle H Farms Host Farm Bio
Short History/Description of your operation
Circle H Farms is a “regenerative”, family run, beef seedstock operation in Brandon, Manitoba focused on soil, plant and animal health. We develop all of our breeding stock in a 100% forage only environment. Some animals culled from the breeding program are forage finished and direct marketed to the consumer. The farm owns approximately 600 acres and run 60 breeding females, and 20 developing bulls, a small operation by most of today’s standards. 2003 was a turning point for Circle H Farms, due to BSE they had two options, increase the size of their operation or differentiate. Circle H Farms decided to differentiate and start to decrease their input costs, eventually becoming an all nature forage only farm. In 1994 the owners were introduction to rotational grazing and were quick to adopt the practice and continued with this management until 2013 feeling we had met our potential but still continually searched for better methods. 2014 to present they have embarked on using High Stock Density Grazing sometimes referred to as Management Intensive Grazing or Adaptive Management Grazing. They have seen phenomenal response from the land under this regime! Plant density and diversity have both increased, now they leave more grass behind than they used to grow! They produce more beef off of the same acres merely by feeding the soil biology! The soil structure has improved and water infiltration has increased! Organic matter has increased over 1% in 3 years! Wildlife is more prevalent from the insects to mice, snakes to white-tailed deer. The environment, with their management, is regenerating!
Basic job design outline
The following jobs are some that students will be able to complete at Circle H Farms:
- Handling and treating cattle.
- Tagging and handling calves.
- Checking cattle during calving season.
- Moving and handling cattle on pasture.
- Permanent fencing.
- Setting up and taking down temporary fencing.
- Maintaining farm yard infrastructure.
- Fixing and maintaining herd water infrastructure.
- Caring and checking on layers and broilers.
- Moving pasture poultry pen.
- Driving quads and farm trucks.
- Helping organize and run annual farm tour.
- Helping with social media, website updating and marketing.
- Cover crop/polycrop seeding and grazing.
Accommodation/Wage: The farm is located approximately 10 minutes from Brandon, Manitoba. Any students are able to live in the farm house with the family or find their own accommodations in Brandon.The wage will be determined based on experience and work ethic.
Future employment opportunity with Circle H
There is future employment opportunities. Mainly for students to run their own enterprise on Circle H Farms land.
Meet Jeannette Hall of Baah’d Plant Management & Reclamation
Jeannette Hall is a modern day shepherd bringing targeted browsing with goats for plant management to Alberta communities. Jeanette combines her strong background in environmental sciences with past work experiences in her successful goat enterprise, Baah’d Plant Management & Reclamation. For more info: OrganicWeedControl.ca
Jeanette is looking for 2-4 students to work in the summer months.
Students should have good speaking skills and a professional appearance as they will be working with the public and instructing people to respect the work space, animals and also control their dogs. Horse skills, weed and soil knowledge and animal husbandry are useful but not necessary. Baah’d Plant Management & Reclamation will train students.
- scouting sites ahead of time
- herding goats
- watering, mineral feeding & animal grooming including trimming hooves
- setting up fences & moving signs
- speaking to the public
- hand picking weeds
- setting up emergency shelters
- photographs, mapping, daily reports
- cooking, cleaning & errands
This job entails a lot of walking, hiking, walking, climbing, lifting, hiking, walking, walking and walking. Students who are inclined to technology can also help with website work, writing, GPS weed locations, daily reports for clients, grant writing and yearly company reports. Students will need to take good notes, be good at monitoring, photographs and mapping skills will be an asset.
- larger trailer that would comfortably host 2 students with a kitchen
- pup trailer with partial kitchen and room for 1 person
- double bed in the living quarters of a horse trailer with a counter and fridge
Students require a drivers abstract to use work trucks. Students will be asked to sign a non-compete with existing contracts.
Meet Aveley Ranch & the Molliets
Aveley Ranch was established in 1906 as an original homestead by Theodore Moilliet, an Englishman with no farming back ground in search of adventure and a dream: to carve a living from the untamed land as a farmer/homesteader, he was only 16 when he began this journey. The Aveley Ranch homestead was pre-empted in the North Thompson Valley near what would be the village of Vavenby and was only the fourth homestead north of Clearwater.
Sheep were introduced in 1913 and have been raised for wool, meat and breeding stock to this day and continue be the primary enterprise of the ranch. Over the 30s the Ranch’s land base was expanded along with additional range licenses the flock was able to grow to 1,000 head of ewes and peeked in the early 2000s to nearly 1,500.
Aveley Ranch is still owned and operated by the Moilliet family and has now entered the fourth generation of operation.
See more about the opportunities at Aveley here: Aveley Ranch Apprentice Profile
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 motor home, a studio currently under renovation, and three extra bedrooms in the main house.
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/spraycreek
Meet Van Immerzeel Family Ranch @ Quesnel, 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.
Meet Onward Ranch
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. Tyrone and Ingrid have beautiful family of children and have opened their ranch up to a student in the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program.
Ty, Ingrid and the Onward Ranch family currently run a 600 cow/calf operation and are pioneers with direct marketing their grass-fed and finished beef anywhere in BC. Ty and Ingrid also both teach Beef Production and consider themselves to be constantly growing and adapting to the best holistic practices available.