BC Cattle Rancher
Erin Durrell has a long family history of farming and grew up as the 4th generation on a large ranch just west of Williams Lake. In 2015, Erin and her family (Jeremy Kishkan, Trenton and Henri-Rose) purchased a property along the Fraser River in Quesnel, BC and started Narcosli Cattle Co. Ltd. They have Black Angus cattle that they raise on the grass and bush country in the Cariboo region.
Check out this Q&A to learn how the Durrell-Kishkans are committed to ensuring the health and care of their animals, and to managing their land and resources in a sustainable way.
WHL: What does sustainability mean to you?
ED: To us sustainability means continuous improvement of the land and resources we use so that it is here for following generations. We focus on running an operation that is socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sound to ensure the next generation has long term viability as continued caretakers of this ranch, this land, and its resources. My grandfather Jack Durrell always said he was just care-taking the land and the ranch for the next generation. My hope is that we can continue his vision for our children and our grandchildren.
Sustainability also means leadership in our industry and community and working closely with our neighbours, local Indigenous communities, government range and agricultural staff, and elected leaders so that we can sustain a future that is here for everyone.
WHL: What are some examples of actions you take on your ranch to care for the environment?
ED: Our cattle are managed in a way that encourages biodiversity in wildlife and in the landscape, and helps improve the natural grasslands by putting nutrients back into the soil. We also focus on maintaining healthy riparian areas (moisture-loving vegetation growing along a natural water source) and waterways, opening underbrush to maintain a healthy forest, and helping to mitigate wildfire and invasive plant species.
As a rancher, how do you make sure your cattle are well cared-for?
ED: Some of the things we do include only working and moving our cattle on horseback with highly skilled cowboys, cowgirls and cattle dogs to ensure low stress handling. We also try to minimize stress at weaning time using low stress fence-line weaning (the cows and calves can still see, smell and hear each other). As well, we have a strong relationship with our vet to ensure we are providing our cattle with the very best in animal welfare and veterinary care when it is needed.
Do you participate in any certifications or assurance programs?
ED: We are a Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) Certified and Verified Beef Production Plus Certified Operation. We chose to become certified because we know we are already doing a great job of managing our land, resources and our cattle in a responsible manner. We feel that consumers and the public have a keen interest in knowing where their food comes from and knowing that those who produce it are conscientious about how it is produced.
To learn more about the CRSB and see other certified producers, visit: https://www.crsbcertified.ca/consumers/meet-the-players/