Legge Beef Farms Ltd. (Chesley, Ontario)
Scot Legge owns and operates his ranch with his father. He has the capacity to raise 900 head of cattle at any given time, with over 1000 acres of land, where he also grows most of their feed. His family farm is considered mid-to-large size. He is part of the 5th generation of farmers in his family in this region and is also the president of the Bruce County Cattlemen’s Association.
Why is Bruce County ideal?
Our region is commonly known as Ontario’s beef belt because of our soil conditions and our cooler climate. These two factors make the region ideal for raising beef.
What exactly do you do?
We purchase calves that are about 600lbs and raise them to full market weight. We sell them to Norwich Packers who distributes the beef to restaurants and supermarkets across Ontario.
We start at 7:30 and feed our 900 cattle – which can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours (depending on time of year). When you work hard and do things right, you see your cattle grow. And when they eventually go to market, they’ll produce beef you can be proud of. I enjoy seeing results from the work I put into it.
Is your production a year-round operation?
Calves are born in the spring or fall. Spring-born calves are purchased when they are around 600lbs and are pastured until October/November (depending on the snowfall). They are corn fed through the winter and pasture fed through the spring. When they reach between 1400-1500 lbs, usually around June, I get them ready to go to market. July through October are our busiest market months and then the cycle starts again.
Any advice for a new beef producer?
I’ve learned you need to do things the right way.You are raising a living animal that craves routine. Using quality forage is also an important part of caring for your animals. You need to feed and monitor their growth carefully, and that will make for healthier and happier cattle.
Why Ontario beef?
Anything from Ontario is the healthiest and best produced – in fact, it’s highly prized throughout the world. Calves are born, tagged, and registered with a central database; everything in its lifecycle is recorded and checked rigorously. That’s why it’s also some of the safest food to eat. Ontario ranchers are renowned for doing things properly and taking very special care of their animals. It’s quite simply the best you’re going to get!
Did You Know?Beef is...
- naturally rich in muscle building protein
- a source of potassium, zinc and vitamins B12 and D
What to Remember When Buying:
- don't judge your beef by its colour
- look for "packed on" or "best before" dates
- compare beef cuts based on cost per serving rather than price
Storing and Preparing:
- keep raw and cooked meat separate to prevent cross contamination
- use ground beef within 24 hours or freeze up to 3 months
- your burger’s done at 71°C or 160°F
Ontario’s farmers play an important role in the fabric of our society. They contribute to Ontario’s economy, are good stewards of the land, and help to put fresh local food on our tables. These are some of their stories.