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Beef farmers say northern Ontario is the place to be

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For most farmers, cooler temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions are a negative and an obstacle, but for beef farmers, it’s the opposite.

"The climate is perfect for raising beef cattle, it’s great beef country," said Emily Potter from Potter Charolais, a beef farm in Earlton, Ont.

"We’re able to utilize marginal land that isn’t good for raising any other type of crop or food. We’re able to grow forages, we have the perfect amount of moisture, a nice not too hot not too cold climate that beef cattle love."

For more than 45 years, members of the Potter family have been beef farmers in northern Ontario and they said there is nowhere else they’d rather be.

"It’s just a great lifestyle," Barry Potter said. "The grass and the climate is very conducive for cow, calf production and beef farm raising because we get lots of moisture, so the cattle do really well."

He encourages young farmers to come to this region because it’s more affordable to get going.

"The cost of land is a lot less than other parts of Ontario," Potter said. "The land is here, the opportunity is here, it’s not without its challenges, but it’s got opportunity."

This time of year is crucial for beef farmers, including the Potters, as they prepare to sell their product to places across the country the second week of October.

"We are selling six bred females at that sale. We sell to Nova Scotia, to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and across Ontario as well, and to Alberta. So basically across Canada, there’s opportunity for people to select some of the best cattle in North America."

The family said that overall the pandemic has actually benefited the farm. More people want to eat local products and meat prices have stayed the same.

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