Farm News


The Rising cost of Meat

Has anyone noticed that the price of meat is on the rise? With last year’s record supply of cereal crops and the resulting drop in price for feed grain I would have thought that the price of meat would have been going down and not up. We believe there are two reasons for this phenomenon the first is the lack of small farmers with a product they can sell. The poor beef prices  that has plagued farmers for years caused mainly by the BSE scare and the country of origin labelling in the US has forced many small producers to get out of the industry and the resulting lack of product means prices will go up.  Secondly pork producers have suffered through terrible prices for their product and many of the smaller producers have also found other easier ways to find a living. Last year was particularly hard on all meat producers as the cost of feed had risen from droughts the year before. All of these factors have combined into a perfect storm come barbeque season because meat has risen dramatically and does not look like it will come down anytime soon. I have talked to the two independent butchers who do business around Townsend farm and they are both struggling to get their orders filled due to the lack of pigs. The price of pork and beef has gone up approximately 20 – 30 percent in some areas and does not look like it will come down any time soon. In addition the PED virus that has struck Manitoba pig producers in recent months means increased production costs with the resulting increase of prices at the store not to mention the lack of pork due to pigs dying before they can be processed means high prices are probably here to stay. On a happier note spring has finally arrived on the farm and everyone and everything is happy to see the end of the long winter. Our Manitoba grain fed lambs are now eating an oat/corn/barley grain ration as well as grass and an occasional drink from their mother. We are still waiting for the grass on the estates meadow to get a little longer before we turn the belted galloway cattle out until the fall. This spring the farm has purchased four registered horned dorset ewes and a registered horned dorset ram and Sophia will begin breeding horned dorsets.

Townsend Free Ranged ChickenDSC05518

DSC05519Hyrum has had a very successful start to his chicken business and will be processing his first batch of free ranged frying chickens June 6. Hyrum is starting to be able to look after the chickens all by himself this year and we hope that you will enjoy your chickens as much as we enjoy raising them. All our chicken is sustainably raised with no hormones or steroids of any kind. In addition we use no medications in our chicken’s diets and they are free to roam around the yard if they choose. In addition to chickens and turkeys Hyrum is raising geese ducks and guinea fowl and we should have some ring neck pheasant on the farm sooDSC05573n.

Townsend Grass Fed Beef
We have bought another registered belted Galloway cow from Alberta who will be having a calf shortly. Our future bull will be turned out with the cows this September and hopefully in about 5 years we will be able to sell our own beef. Our bull Quark will be on the line come September and Annastasia is getting him prepared for his big moment. He is now knee deep in straw, hand fed, has his own watering bucket, and getting one on one; attention, scratches, and massages from the beef manager. At the end we should probably name him Kobe


Manitoba Grain Fed Lamb

Sophia’s first year of lambing was a learning curve for the whole family. We have lambs for sale as well as for ourselves which is good for our family and yours. We have decided to produce a heritage breed of sheep called the horned dorset mainly because the dorset will breed out of season and we want to have lambs ready for the easter market. The lambs are starting to get their grain ration and are gaining rapidly in size.