Southern Cross Livestock
Meet Graeme and Heather Finn and their daughters, Claire and Morgan.
We really needed the CRSB program to make producers look harder at how they run they businesses, to view it from another angle and to look at the ecosystems that we influence in the day-to-day running of the beef industry. We have to be pro-active in agriculture.
We welcome you to come and visit our farm anytime and see how we operate. We are always trying to do a better job at running the farm and every day we try to do something better than we did the day before. By having healthy, happy and content livestock and working with the environment we live in makes us a beyond-sustainable farm business that can move with the times.
Heather and Graeme have operated Southern Cross livestock together for 20 years. Started as a predominantly grass yearly operation, they have shifted slowly to a black baldy breed cow/calf herd.
The ranch now operates on a year-round grazing system that helps to both keep the cattle grazing all year round as well as reduce operational costs. This style of grazing benefits the health of the soil by fertilizing it, and cycling the nutrients back into the soil. We have high legume summer grazing paddocks that are divided up by single electric wires that we rotate to make the best use of the forage that are grazed throughout the summer.
In the winter we use swath grazing to feed the cattle, using a nutrient dense blend of forage rape, turnips, peas, sunflower, triticale (grain) and oats. This blend is a high-protein and high-energy ration that provides excellent nutrition for the the cows and calves over the winter, while adding organic matter nutrients into the soil all winter long. Swaths (or rows) of feed are spread on top of the snow during winter months to allow cattle easy access to feed.
Electric fencing is used to control the daily feed intake of the cattle. This system of using only a single site fencing system also allows the wildlife to move more freely throughout the property.
We work every day to maintain the environment around us where we operate our business. We start with the soil which feeds the grasses, which feeds the animals that graze it, which in turn, all fertilize and graze to maintain a healthy pastoral environment, all the while maintaining a healthy prairie eco-system. We also have to be sustainable in the life we are leading and profitable as a business.
Why we became a Certified Sustainable Farm
I would like to think that we are makers of our own destiny and that by being proactive, we can influence the standards under which the cattle industry operates, which will provide for better understanding for future policy makers. I use the CRSB guidelines to help us make operational decisions on new projects every week.