|Type||Rancher Case Study|
|Organization||Chinook Ranch Ltd.|
|Grass Type||Tall grass|
|# of head of cattle||500|
|Date modified||May 2013|
Located near Longview, Alberta, Chinook Ranch displays a long-term vision of sustainable ranching. During the growing season the cattle graze a maximum of two to five days in one area to prevent overgrazing, and the potential spread of invasive species into native habitats. Portable electric fencing is used to control rotational grazing which helps to protect the ecological integrity of the property’s native plant communities. Power generated from solar panels pumps water from underground springs and aquifers to the surface. The ranch carefully monitors surface water use and implements beneficial practices for riparian management.
Chinook Ranch has moved away from using machinery, instead seeding cultivated land back to permanent grass cover and preserving native grass ranges. These strategies encourage an abundance of wildlife that are often seen on the property including moose, white-tailed deer, mule deer, cougars, and black and grizzly bears. By developing a management strategy that closely mimics natural processes, Chinook Ranch has been able to improve range conditions and increase the number of head of cattle while keeping input costs down.
Additionally, Chinook Ranch is part of the Prairie Heritage Beef Group. This group in concerned with maintaining family values and generating fair returns for agriculture, promoting multi-generational ranches and sustaining a commitment to raising cattle without the use of artificial growth hormones or antibiotics. The ranch was also part of a landmark partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Canada that will see 1,050 hectares of the ranch permanently protected from development. In 2003, Chinook Ranch Ltd. was awarded the Alberta Beef Producers’ Environmental Stewardship Award for their outstanding commitment to sustainability.