Regenerative Practices / Grass-Fed Livestock / Organic Grain
About Green Beach Farm & Food
Green Beach Farm & Food is a small family farm located south of Strathclair, Manitoba. Zack is on the farm full-time, while Kennedy, Karen & Jason and Emma-Jean are on the farm part time. Our family has farmed this land for four generations, Zack has become the fifth generation full time farmer. Two additional land purchases over the course of the farm’s history brought Green Beach up to the current 5 quarters of land that Zack and his family manage.
In 1995, Karen & Jason joined Neil, Val, Roy & Irene on the farm and greatly expanded the herd of Charolais cattle. Under the farm name Salt Lake Charolais, they developed a purebred Charolais herd and began marketing bulls to other cattle producers. Following the BSE crisis of 2003 that saw the collapse of the Canadian cattle industry, Salt Lake Charolais downsized considerably, with Neil & Val transitioning out of farming and Karen & Jason continuing with a small herd of 30 cows. The post BSE world on the farm saw a change in approach to farming at Salt Lake Charolais, with the reduction and eventually elimination of all chemical inputs and increase in direct marketing of beef and pork. Since the mid-2000s, the farm has been growing and diversifying its production in order to create a resilient business model that builds soil health.
Towards the end of his time at the University of Manitoba, Zack realized that farming full time was his dream. With his parents, Zack began looking into ways that he could contribute to farm profitability and productivity. Direct marketing and the Regenerative Agriculture model seemed to hold many of the answers so, in 2017, the farm began using the Regenerative model when making management decisions, while also taking steps to increase direct market sales of beef & pork. Today, Green Beach Farm & Food focuses on building a healthy soil through carbon sequestration and crop diversity, nutrient cycling and crop-livestock integration. With much of our land under perennial forage production, our farm is able to sequester vast amounts of carbon annually.
Our grazing cattle play a very important role in the sustainability of our operation by allowing us to utilize marginal land and preserve native plant species while producing quality, grass-fed beef. The grazing cattle also stimulate perennial plants to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. A healthy agroecosystem also promotes a healthy soil microbiology, including methanotrophic organisms that sequester methane from the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil. In terms of annual crop production, our farm grows feed grain for our pigs and laying hens and we plan to begin marketing certified organic grains using regenerative farming principles in 2020.
As a way to further reduce our carbon footprint, Green Beach Farm & Food chose to embrace renewable energy and added a solar array to service electrical needs on the farm.