About Gemstone Grass Fed Beef
As a fourth generation family farm, our approach to raising cattle is rooted in our family values, respect for the land, and respect for our livestock.
Our vision is to supply a trusted source of grass fed beef to hardworking Alberta families like our own. Using the ranching traditions started by our parents and grandparents, we aim to provide nutritious products from healthy, happy animals raised on rich Alberta prairie soil.
To raise and produce healthy, delicious, grass fed beef direct from our family's pasture to your family's table.
Before starting our journey towards grass fed beef, we asked ourselves: How can we create a product that is good for our animals, good for our environment, and good for our customers?
Good for our animals
ethically raised | grain free | no added hormones | raised without antibiotics | grass finished
Animal care is our top priority. We believe in creating a comfortable, natural environment for our cattle, using low-stress handling and herding methods. Gemstone cattle are born and raised on our farm and enjoy a natural, nutrient rich forage based diet using no grains. We have also committed to raising and finishing our cattle without the use of added hormones or antibiotics. If an animal does get sick and requires intervention we will use antibiotics in order to safe its life, however the animal is then removed from the herd and the beef will not be sold to our customers.
In the winter, the cattle remain free to roam in large fields, but are also provided with wind shelter and straw bedding for protection during storms and extreme cold.
In the spring, summer and fall, our cattle graze on a variety of lush, nutrient dense grasses and other forage. We rotate them through our open pastures often, so they can eat the most nutritious parts of the plant, resulting in high-quality beef that our customers desire.
To maintain health and growth, cattle finished in the cold winter months are fed a mix of green hay and silage. Silage is chopped up grass, or other green fodder, that is preserved over the winter by airtight fermentation to prevent spoilage. Just like canning vegetables or fruits! Small quantities of sunflower seeds, rolled flax or malt sprouts may also be added for extra energy and nutrition.
Good for our environment
We are committed to creating a healthy, thriving environment for generations to come through regenerative farming practices. We treat our farm like an ecosystem, and our cows play the most important role.
Grazing animals improve grassland ecosystems by cycling nutrients, building soil and enhancing plant root systems. Properly grazed grasslands can sequester a significant amount of atmospheric carbon in the soil through plant roots.
How do we improve our pastures? In the warm season, we utilize rotational grazing allowing the cattle to consume only half of the plant height before moving them on to fresh pasture. Grazing at 30-50% of the plant height stimulates rapid growth of the plant roots, increasing soil carbon and feeding soil microbes. Soil microbes, in turn, convert soil organic matter into nutrients that the plants require for growth.
We continue to work towards healthier soils and pastures which we believe reflect in the health of our cattle and the quality of our beef.
Good for our Customers
Our family has a long history of raising cattle and eating beef. We know that regardless of what cattle are fed, red meat is nutrient dense. It contains vitamins A, B6, B12, D, E, minerals like iron and zinc, and essential amino acids. However, research has shown that finishing cattle on a grass fed diet has several health benefits for consumers.
Some of the health benefits of grass fed beef include:
Higher in Vitamin A and E: powerful antioxidants that support healthy vision, skin, bones and other tissues in the body.
Two to three times more conjugated linoleic acid: a healthy fat that's been tied to improved immunity and anti-inflammation.
Higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids: essential fatty acids that have been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and other conditions.
More desirable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio: Health professionals suggest that a healthy diet consists of 1 to 4 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. While essential for normal body function, excess amounts of omega-6 can cause inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that grass fed beef repeatedly falls within the healthy 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
from our family's pasture to your family's table
Get to know us, meet The Doerksen family
Gemstone Grass Fed Beef is a family business driven primarily by the 4th generation Doerksens as part of Doerksen Farms.
The Doerksen farm started in 1932 when our great grandparents came to Canada and settled in Gem, AB. We have many great memories growing up and working together on the farm with our parents and grandparents. We are looking forward to giving our own children (the 5th generation) the same experience we had growing up, as we continue the farming/ranching tradition. We appreciate the work that past generations have done to help us be successful on our farm today. We are excited to share our grass fed beef with Alberta families and we appreciate your interest in our farm.