Meet the Seelhof family of Horsefly, BC
Originally from Saskatchewan, the three-generation ranching family moved to British Columbia in 2005 in search of more water availability, and lush grazing land.
Louis and Ellie Seelhof, Chad's parents, moved from Saskatchewan and bought the Woodjam in 2003.
Our ranch originally started out as a partnership between Chad and Ricky, and Chad's parents. In 2014, we (the "kids") officially took over the ranch from them. Like many farms and ranches across Canada, we are a multi-generational operation with Chads parents who live on the ranch seasonally, and our 3 children - Riata (17), Cooper (14) and Renee (11). We both work full time on the ranch.
We have 500 mother cows-on 2121 deeded (owned) acres and use Crown range where the cows graze in the summer time of about 80,000 acres.
We like to do most of our cow work by horseback and are instilling that in our children. We are able to produce all of our own hay to feed the cows for the winter months.
We are proud recipients of the 2020 BC Cattlemen's Association Ranch Sustainability Award, as well as the Canadian Cattlemen's Environmental Stewardship Award.
To us sustainability means that we are doing our best to take care of something, and hopefully make it better for the next generation(s).
Where we live, we are in the heart of nature. Anything we do, we work with nature.
~ Ricky Seelhof, Woodjam Ranch
Why we became a certified sustainable ranch
We decided to become a certified operation to show that we are doing a good job at raising a quality protein source for consumers. So that consumers can be confident that they are purchasing a product that is taken care of, that we tick all the boxes of what is important, and that we have records to prove it.
And I also like the idea of industry programs that ranchers are rewarded for raising high quality animals.
Our Sustainable Practices
We have many sustainable practices that define how we operate our ranch, raise our animals, and make improvements to support a sustainable environment.
We do lots of work to creating better riparian areas.
What is a riparian area, you ask? Simply put, it is the interface between the water and the land.
There are 16 tributary creeks that flow through our land, and all are fish-bearing. They all flow into the Horsefly River where the Sockeye Salmon come to spawn. It’s super important to us to do a good job fencing those creeks, so the cattle aren’t damaging them.
- we have installed eight off-stream waterers for the cows to drink out of, which pump the water from the streams to an area away from the water's edge.
This obviously is beneficial to the creeks but to the cattle as well. We can control and disperse them with the waters and cows prefer to drink out of them.
We work hard to create healthy pastures that are higher altitude and out of the flood plane as the river does flood in the spring time. This is beneficial from an animal perspective too, and keeps the cattle out of danger in the springtime.
This is also helpful for us as everything is sub-irrigated for the hayfields.
wildlife and biodiversity
Because of the way we manage our land, it supports habitat for many wildlife species, especially birds. We see lots of blue herons, long billed curlews, geese, swans, and sandhill cranes, to name a few.
What we want you to know...
We want consumers to know that they can have 100% confidence in the Canadian Beef industry. That we are all doing our part in raising a quality protein. We encourage you to find a rancher and sit down and have a coffee with them - ask the questions that have been on your mind or just out of curiosity.
We all love talking about our cows, trust me!!!! We love to share with you what we do.