Grasslands Beneficial Management Practices > Weedon Ranch Swift Current, Saskatchewan

Weedon Ranch Swift Current, Saskatchewan

The Weedon Family

The Weedon Family

‘Water is your gold. Without it you have nothing. The grass is like an uninsured bank account – you must be cautious in managing it or it will dwindle. The type of stock you utilize is like choosing different businesses to invest in – there must be a fit both with your goals and your principles.’ 5

– Brian Weedon

“The Weedon Ranch encompasses approximately 11,500 acres of native prairie range and 1,920 acres of tame grass in the dry brown soil zone of Saskatchewan. Located in Swift Current, the ranch is mostly in a sandhill ecosystem, making water and grass management a priority.” 6

‘The Weedons were selected [as recipients of the 2011 Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA)] as they exemplify the ability to work successfully within a unique ecosystem,’ said Lynn Grant, Chair of the CCA’s Environment Committee. ‘The Weedons have adapted their management practices to work within a challenging ecosystem to benefit not only their operation but the surrounding habitat, ensuring other species dependent on a functioning grassland landscape continue to thrive,’ he said.” 7

“Black Angus is the breed of choice at the Weedons cow-calf/back grounding operation, as the couple finds them best-suited for their management approach and the ecosystem they operate in. As potable surface water is scarce, the Weedons are reliant on the ranch’s high water table, which is very potable. They have developed and implemented a watering system that is efficient and reliable and allows the ranch to utilize its grazing resources. The surface water situation is remedied through the installation of shallow buried water pipelines, water stations, windmills and dugouts. The water facilities are strategically located for maximum range utilization and the dugouts act as a backup for the other systems.” 8

There are several types of grasslands on the property including those used for hay production, tame forages for grazing and native grass ranges. The property also has woody plant areas where mule deer, white tail deer, pronghorn antelope and sharp-tail grouse can been seen. “Cross fencing to accommodate grazing strategies, including deferred grazing of all native pasture and switchback grazing, along with balanced stocking rates, have resulted in a healthier range…The Weedons have regularly hosted field days and educational tours examining management protocols on Canada’s rangelands, range plant identification, range assessment and biodiversity observations.” 9

The Weedon’s are positive about the direction of the Canadian ranching industry. ‘Over the last 20 or 30 years, driving around our area in Western Canada, I think what we’re doing on our ranch at one time might have been considered the exception but I believe now it is the norm,’ 10 said Brian Weedon, owner and operator of Weedon Ranch.

“In 2003 Weedon Ranch was one of the first operations to meet the criteria to be enrolled in the Quality Starts Here/Verified Beef Production Program.” 11

5 Southwest Booster Website. “Local ranchers win TESA environmental stewardship award”, 24 June 2011. (Accessed 25 June 2013)

6 Prairie Post Website. “The Weedon Ranch TESA recipient for 2011”, 9 September 2011. (Accessed 19 June 2013)

7 8 9 10 11 Idem