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Why a Cow-Operative?

I love being involved in the nuts and bolts of life. Whether its building a canoe, or a webpage, or a house, or fixing the brakes on the truck, I like to do things myself. I’ve always been that way, and food is no exception. As a kid we always had vegetable gardens, and my dad would bring home moose for the freezer in the fall. Later, when I lived in Costa Rica, I bought a bull calf and raised him for meat. Even now I still hunt, but the majority of my food comes from the super market.

That’s fine, but there are a few things about it I don’t like.

First, of course, is the documentary Food Inc.Its tough to watch that show without wondering if there isn’t a better way. Factory production of beef isn’t pretty, and it isn’t natural.

Second, I like the idea of free range, un-medicated, organic (or close to it) meat. Its better tasting and better for you.

Third, I like the economics of the idea. Running a cattle operation is a tough business for most of the people I see doing it in BC’s Interior. There’s a lot of capital and risk involved, and the returns are uncertain. Additionally,most ranchers produce the closest thing they can to a commodity. Quality is one goal, among others, but top quality meat is not the primary goal. As a businessman it seems to me that if the rancher and consumer get together they can reduce the capital demands on the rancher, share the risk, and remove some of the middlemen. The rancher can concentrate on raising top quality beef that can be sold at a higher profit, and the consumer can buy direct, saving money and getting better quality.

There’s also the idea that if I had some sort of a hand in a cattle ranch I’d be able to weasel my way into a cattle round up in the fall, ride a horse, sleep under the stars and see how my dog Scout does herding cattle!

The idea is simple. I plan to find people in the city who want to exercise some control over their food supply, and connect them with people in the Interior that I know can raise cattle. We’ll share the initial cost of buying the calves and pay the rancher to raise them. When the time comes we’ll slaughter the cows, have them butchered and divide the meat.

The nuts and bolts, the actual costs and the time frame have to still be determined, but the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

Do you want to come along? If so, leave a comment or drop me a line for more information.

Don’t forget to check out the blog. This is just the landing page for newcomers. The blog will have much more information and conversation.

2 Responses to “Why a Cow-Operative?”

  1. Alexcanuck says:

    Count me in!!!
    You have my email, forward me info as it proceeds. I’ll pass this on to a few people I know.

  2. Nemesis says:

    Senor, I always suspected you were a cowboy at heart… 😉

    Here are two inaugural Cow-operative clips gauranteed to please cowboys everywhere…

    http://tinyurl.com/339d6gl
    [The relevant ‘YeeHaw’ scene starts at 12sec in…]

    http://tinyurl.com/645zz8
    [A ‘sure-fire’ way to let them town-folk know when you’re back from the range and ready to party…]

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