Texas Longhorn Cattle aren’t your average Ontario bred bovine. When you are up close and personal with one, it can be a little intimidating due to their impressive upward-curving horns that can grow up to 7 feet on a mature steer. But don’t let these giant horns fool you into think this breed is aggressive, because it’s exactly the opposite. Longhorns are a very subdued, gentle, and intelligent animal. Their traits are genetically fixed, resulting in ecologically adapted bovine with extremely good health, fertility, teeth, disease resistance, and soundness of body and limb. And, they are uniquely beautiful, no two are alike.
Bryan Gilvesy doesn’t farm for the sake of a job, or for the money, he farms for the environment, the philosophy of sustainability and the satisfaction of providing real, healthy and humanely raised food.
Originally born into a successful tobacco business, Bryan took the opportunity in 1992 to transition from tobacco by investing in his first two Texas Longhorn cattle. Now, 25 years later, Bryan and his wife Cathy, daughter Paula, and son Joseph, have built a home, and business, they are proud of. Their business model is reflective of their love for the environment and belief in being completely transparent when it comes to their farming practices, “we believe in being transparent about the way we raise our beef, and that people should have a better understanding of what they are feeding their families.”
The Gilvesy ranch is a quintessential local farm in Norfolk County, operating on 350 acres of grasslands. You may think, ‘wait a minute, I thought this was a beef farm,’ but that’s what makes Bryan and Cathy’s farm so remarkable. “We don’t grow beef here, we grow grass. Our cattle is just the mechanism to harvest the grass, that turns into lean protein. We are driven by the energy of the sun, and are fitting into the native landscape,” says Bryan. The Gilvesys work hard to fit their operation into the natural environment with a goal to ensure that the water that leaves is cleaner than before, and endangered species are preserved.
The Longhorn cattle breed thrive on grasslands with little interference by man, which means they are raised in the healthiest possible environment. “We raise Texas Longhorn Cattle under natural range conditions resulting in all natural beef that reflects our commitment to sustainability,” says Bryan. “Our cows are able to walk and get their own feed, can calve unassisted, and easily handle the changing seasons.”
“Our cattle are happy, and express this everyday through grazing. Mothers get to raise their calves, while they are learning how to be cattle from their mothers,” says Bryan.
This farm is one of a kind, but what makes it “local” you might ask? YU Ranch is Local Food Plus (LFP) Certified by the award-winning Land Food People Foundation — nurturing regional food economies by certifying farmers and processors for local, sustainable food production.
The Gilvesy’s farm is the kind of operation that others should strive to emulate – farming practices that protect the land and promote sustainability should be the norm. When you make the decision to support local farms, such as Bryan’s, you can be the encouraging factor giving others that much needed “push” to follow in his footsteps.
When it comes to grass-fed beef, new research shows that traditional grass-based beef production and finishing actually benefits the environment by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing biodiversity of pasture ecosystems and improving quality of run-off water from well-managed pastures. Overall, grass-fed beef has actually been shown to reduce the carbon footprint and help the environment rather than hurt it.
“More beef, more birds, more bees, cleaner air and water. Purchase 100% grass fed beef for the taste and for your health, while experiencing the ecological harmony at YU Ranch” says Bryan.
YU Ranch is proud to work with the following businesses in Ontario:
Langdon Hall – Cambridge
Nota Bene Restaurant – Toronto
Lago Trattoria – Port Dover
Woolwich Arrow – Guelph
Borealis Grille & Bar – Guelph and Kitchener
Indigo Lounge – Tillsonburg
Pearle Hospitality – Ancaster
Miijidaa Cafe + Bistro – Guelph
Canada Food & Drink Revolution (CFDR)
Le Select Bistro – Toronto
The Stampede Ranch – Guelph
The Combine – Simcoe
Café Belong – Toronto
University of Toronto – Toronto
Whistling Gardens – Wilsonville