Douglas Lake Cattle Company
Douglas Lake, BC
Meet Douglas Lake Ranch of Douglas Lake, BC., in operation since 1884.
The History of Douglas Lake Ranch spans a period of some 140 years dating back to the mid 1880s. In fact, Douglas Lake Ranch itself traces its name back to 1872 when John Douglas Sr. homesteaded his first 320 acres along its shore of its namesake lake.
Since then the Douglas Lake Cattle Company has grown to include 4 historic ranch divisions. Alkali Lake, Riske Creek, Gang Ranch and Douglas Lake divisions. Combined, these divisions sustain around 12,000 cows, 4,000 yearlings and farm over 8,000 acres of irrigated land. With a staff of 120 year round employees the ranch divisions operate on over 1.8 million acres.
Douglas Lake Cattle Company continues to innovate and remains on the cutting edge of the Canadian beef industry. We are continually striving to improve our cow herd through careful performance based genetic selection and sound management practices that set the standard for excellence. Douglas Lake Cattle Company continues to foster a culture of uncompromising quality, sustainability and environmental stewardship while striving to invest in its people and local communities.
At Douglas Lake Cattle Company we define sustainability as an economically viable and socially responsible management approach that focuses on environment, livestock and people in our pursuit of excellence.
Sustainability certification is a great way to validate through a third party many of the things that we as beef producers have already been doing for many years. Building trust among consumers is an important element in not only sustaining our business but growing it.
~ Phil Braig, General Manger, Douglas Lake Cattle Co.
Why we became a certified sustainable ranch
Becoming a certified sustainable operation was not a difficult task for us as many of the requirements and initiatives were already in place. Having operated as a beef cattle operation continuously since 1884, sustainability for us has been a proven focal point that has successfully guided the company over a 138 year operating history. We believe the certification element is an important achievement to attain on behalf of consumers that do not necessarily understand how ranches operate or where their food comes from. As an industry we need to do a better job of communicating with consumers about food production and sustainable practices. We feel like the CRSB is a great step in the right direction!
Our Sustainable Practices
Although there are many important elements to sustainability, we believe that the animal health and well being component is imperative in demonstrating sustainability to consumers. Treating animals humanely and providing grazing and management strategies that are conducive to their natural behavior improves overall herd health and reduces antimicrobial use. Working closely with veterinarians, nutritionists and other experts to optimize beef cattle production is also an important element or us.
What we want you to know...
We encourage all consumers to get out and visit an Ag operation in their area to better understand where their food comes from. Agriculture and cow calf operations in particular have a great story to tell that unlike many industries does not need embellishment. It is a story of sustainable grass management on lands suitable only for grazing. Our productive grassland ranches provide habitat for many species at risk while sustaining an economically viable beef cattle operating that provides employment and a way of life for many people. These lands and the animals that graze it are treated with the utmost respect and care as our entire business depends on the success and long term viability of the three essential elements: environment, livestock and the people.