Aubyn and Tristan may be the friendly ranchers you visit at your local farmers’ market, but we’ve got a mighty team standing behind us that makes everything go.  There’s no way we could leave the farm for days at a time if we didn’t have reliable, responsible folks looking after the livestock and systems.  This year’s staff has some returning superstars and some brand-new ringers, and they helped move the ranch forward more than ever before.  We worked long days (and nights) together, through all kinds of conditions, and we did it with a smile on our faces.  In the spirit of this season of gratitude, we’d like to introduce you to our awesome staff, to whom we are exceedingly grateful.

2019 crewLeft to right: Baby Twain, Tristan, Steve, Jasmine, Jonno

Cedar has been helping in the meat shop since he was 12 years old!  (I think that’s legal in Lillooet…)  This year he turned 17, he has a driver’s licence, and you couldn’t find a more responsible and reliable guy.  In addition to working in the meat shop, Cedar was in charge of the irrigation all summer and assisted with untold other building and maintenance projects.  He’ll be finishing up his high school classes this winter, and who knows what his future will hold?  Thank you Cedar!

Sage is Cedar’s older brother, another long-time standby, and he finished his first year of electrical trades this year.  Nice work!  He is working as an electrician apprentice in Lillooet now, and he made time to help us out with some of our poultry slaughter days again this year.  Thanks and congrats, Sage!cedar&sage

Angela sticks around the place on slaughter days to keep an eye on her boys, Sage and Cedar.  We were lucky to employ her experienced hands in the meat shop for chicken and turkey slaughter again this year.  She is thinking about increasing her homestead production to include meats for sale, including lamb and rabbit, and if she does we will let you know.  Thank you Angela!

Stephen and Jasmine joined us early in the spring, seeking experience on a farm with pastured livestock production.  No strangers to the demands of farm work, though — Steve’s family owns a cherry orchard in Penticton.  Steve was one of our main ranch hands this season.  He brought a lot to the table, and I think he found a lot to take away also.  Steve is now a pro on all aspects of a diversified pastured meats operation, from brooder to slaughter and calving to round-up.  He brought innovative solutions to those little time-wasting problems all over the farm, and he doesn’t complain about crappy jobs, even when I try to make him complain.  I recently discovered that Steve is a wizard at the controls of an excavator, so I’ll be taking advantage of that skill until the ground freezes.  Jasmine worked with us part time over the summer, and also gave a hand at a couple of local vegetable farms.  Her attention to detail kept the meat shop in perfect order and the market trailer well-stocked with over a hundred different products.  I’m sure she gets flustered sometimes, but I never saw it happen!  Jasmine is off to school now studying nutrition, and Steve will be working on the farm for a couple more months while he decides what the next move will be.  Oh yeah — they got married in September!!!  Thank you Jasmine and Steve!

Jonno comes to us from the distant and mysterious land called Oz, aka Down Under aka Australia.  It turns out that Aussies are quite entertaining, and he stepped handily into his role as Staff Comedian.  He introduced numerous exotic slang words into our ranch culture, and I’m looking forward to mashing a sanger thizavo.  Jonno has a solid background in building trades, as well as years of experience on large sheep and cattle operations.  He finally got some horses onto our farm, what he called ‘good free horses’, and the rest of us called ‘only rideable by Jonno’.  If you remember Jim’s downhill ride in The Man from Snowy River, you have a good idea what Jonno’s summer hijincks looked like.  He got things built, got cows moved, and took on any task we threw at him, double-speed at a brisk jog with no complaints and only minor injuries.  He was just the ranch hand we needed, and entertaining to boot.  Thanks Jonno!