Tamara Ranch is located just south and east of Red Deer in the Willowdale Valley on the western side of the Beaverhills Moraine. In the early 1990’s Tom and Margaret Towers realized that the “get big or get out” mantra of the economy-of-scale style of agriculture that was being (and continues to be) promoted was not working for them; their continued profitability was questionable, their quality of life was suffering, and the feedlot model of finishing beef was getting harder and harder to believe in. So, they pulled the pin.
But rather than quit, they sold the machinery that a conventional operation relies on, sowed the entirety of their property to perennial grasses, and they focused on the land and cattle. Over the next 25 years amazing things happened: native plant species began to re-emerge, the diversity of flora and fauna increased on the ranch, deer started fawning on the ranch, water stayed on the ranch longer and left the property cleaner and clearer. The ranch’s topsoil was getting deeper, and now we also know that tremendous amounts of atmospheric carbon was being sequestered in the perennially covered soil. Further still, Tom and Margaret were enjoying themselves more than ever before!
In the fall of 2012 we met Tom and Margaret Towers of Tamara Ranch. At the time we met the Towers, we were living in town and commuting to tend to our cattle on rented pasture near Haynes and our pigs near Joffre. We were looking for stable land access and the opportunity to live on the land we were stewarding. The retirement-age Towers were looking for someone to continue the legacy of land stewardship they had pioneered on their ranch. It seemed like a natural fit.
Along with the Towers, we went through a “courtship” period of about 6 months where we hired outside professionals to help us establish our goals and the communication framework that would ensure a lasting and successful relationship. In August of 2013 we began our transition to Tamara Ranch and within a year all the livestock had made their way to their new home.
Since then, we have assumed full management of this grassland oasis in the middle of a predominantly grain growing area. We have grown our herd of cattle with the Towers to the carrying capacity of the ranch and manage every little detail with the whole of the ranch in mind.
It really is a sublime property and as a shareholder you are welcome to come and visit anytime of the year. We are lucky to be living in the parkland on the northern prairie!