Pure Island Beef is all about connecting you as directly as possible with the beef we carefully produce on our family farm. Our mission is to create exceptional dry-aged grass fed and grain fed beef for people who care about the taste, quality and production of their food. So here we are:
I grew up on a dairy farm near Phelpston, Ontario, Canada and I took a liking to beef cattle early on when my Grandpa gave me a Shorthorn heifer. I’ve grown my herd from there. As a boy I worked on potato farms near my home and even spent a spring and summer season on an 800-cow ranch near Buffalo, Wyoming – calving, roping, and driving cattle to summer mountain pasture – the whole nine yards! Birgit and I bought our first farm and moved to Manitoulin Island in 1998. Soon after, I became active as a director on the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association, representing Northern Ontario beef producers. I was the OCA’s representative on the Canada Beef Export Federation, participating in a trade mission to Mexico and hosting international guests as they toured Canada’s beef industry. I also spent a year as the vice-chair of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association research committee and helped create the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program – an audit system that confirms participating producers follow beef industry best management practices, including food safety and traceability. I am very proud to be a beef producer in the district of Manitoulin.
My parents moved to Canada from Germany in 1973 and I grew up on their dairy farm near Powassan, Ontario. My parents’ dairy cows grazed for 100% of their forage intake during the full pasture season from May to October and produced excellent results, with our farm ranking in the top milk production bracket in the region. Grazing like this contradicted conventional wisdom, and the lessons I learned back then help us produce our grass-fed beef differently today. After high school, I attended the University of Guelph and completed a cooperative education, bachelor of science in agriculture degree with honours. I majored in agronomy – a balance of soil and crop science, with a special focus on forage production. I spent a fall and winter semester on a dairy farm in New Zealand, learning that country’s art and science of milk from pasture. After graduating, I worked for 23 years in the agriculture inputs industry as a Certified Crop Adviser. Now I farm full-time with the rest of the family.
Nick and Alex have been helping out on the farm since since they were little boys and both have always wanted to farm.
Nick completed a diploma in agriculture at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus in 2016 and is now back home farming full time.
Alex is currently attending the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus working on his diploma in agriculture.
They both have a particular passion for field crop production and showing cattle.