We know that getting to know the farmers who bring food to your table is important, which is why we’re so excited to introduce our new blog series called Know Your Farmer. Each month, we’ll be introducing a new member of the Doerksen family. “It takes a village” to run a family farm, and each member of our family plays an important role in their own way.
Gemstone Grass Fed Beef is family owned and operated, established originally by the Doerksen family in 1932. Today, the 4th generation Doerksens proudly run the day-to-day farming operations, and, as our 5th generation grows up (they grow so fast), it brings us great comfort to know that our family farming legacy will continue on for years to come.
We hope you enjoy getting to know us over these next few months. Today, we’re excited to introduce to you…Daniel Doerksen.
Q: Tell us about your history with farming; what was one of your earliest memories on the farm?
A: My earliest memories on the farm include riding along with my dad and grandfather. Whether we were moving cows or driving the tractors, I was right beside them helping every chance I could! The farming lifestyle is one I truly enjoy.
Q: What is your role on the farm today? What does a day in the life look like?
A: After finishing a college diploma in Animal Science, I came back to the farm full time. In 2008, I married my wife Kim, and have since added 3 kids to the family: Gradey (8), Kyleah (6), and Bowden (4). Farming and ranching is a true family business, and Kim and the kids often help or ride along during the day.
One of the best parts about farming and ranching is that every day is different. As the seasons change, the day-to-day activities also vary; this provides a lot of variety throughout the year. Currently, we are busy with calving. A typical day begins with riding through the cattle on horseback to check the cows and calves. Other daily tasks include moving cows and their calves to fresh grass and fencing.
Q: What does the farm to table movement mean to you? In your own words, why is it important to shop and support local?
A: I think it’s great that people are taking an interest in agriculture and want to know how their food is produced. It’s also exciting that customers are looking to build relationships with local farmers. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people over the next few years, sharing what we do, and continuing to keep families well stocked with great beef!
Q: How is Gemstone Grass Fed Beef unique?
A: Over the last 30 years, well before I started ranching, my Dad was selecting the type of cattle that gain well on a grass/forage based diet. He was also looking for cattle that would produce high quality, tender beef. We continue to focus on perfecting premium meat that is raised on grass. Our family considers this an exciting challenge. The beef we feed our family is the very same product we are proud to produce for our customers’ families as well.
Q: What’s your favourite way to prepare Gemstone Grass Fed Beef?
A: My favourite way to prepare Gemstone Grass Fed Beef is a nice medium rare steak on the BBQ!
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