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Canadian beef is raised with pride and care in each and every province across the country. Chances are, that just outside of city boundaries, your neighbours are depending on beef to make a living. More than 98% of cattle farms and ranches are family-run and most have been operating for generations. There are 60,000 farms and ranches with beef cattle in Canada – that’s a lot of Canadian communities built on beef! 

Raising cattle is one of the few remaining examples of animal husbandry you can see by just taking a drive in the countryside. Beef cattle grazing out in a field bears witness to the fact that Canadian beef is truly a product of the landscape – raised on the goodness that nature provides. Cattle eat locally, largely living off forage (grass) supplemented with grains or other feedstuffs available in each region of the country – potatoes in the East, corn in central Canada and typically barley and wheat out West for example. Beef is very much a product of terroir, with nuanced differences depending on the region where the cattle are raised.

On pastures and grasslands for most of their lives, cattle play an important role in keeping these wildlife-rich spaces intact. Beef cattle maintain 68% of the wildlife habitat capacity that comes from Canada’s agricultural land. Native Canadian grasslands are unique endangered environments that depend on cattle to maintain healthy soil and stimulate vigorous growth. Without cattle grazing, overgrowth would creep in, changing the habitat forcing native species out. And cattle provide a livelihood for these natural landscapes that enable it to compete with other land uses such as urban development.

Raising beef is a craft spanning a history longer than Confederation, helping to sustain a nation and shape our culture. Especially in the western regions, cattle was and is still core to the culture in the language, fashion and way of life. Beef cattle is the origin of the word ‘brand’ after all.

Get out to the country in your backyard and experience the evidence of beef in our lives, whether it’s a slow-smoked brisket at a local barbecue cook-off, a church roast beef dinner, a rodeo, country fall fair or Korean grill, Canadian beef has made its mark on the culinary scene and is at the heart of Canadian agriculture. Look for the beef that has the leaf at butchers and restaurants in your culinary adventures for assurance that your beef is homegrown and raised right here.

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