Mike Buis is always thinking creatively about how to do things better. When BSE was discovered in a Canadian cow in 2003, he really got creative by changing the way he ran his beef feedlot operation. Beef farms are few and far between in his part of the province, because the land is so highly valued.
Buis gets the most out of his land by using a double-cropping system that incorporates high-value vegetables and forage crops, and allows for pasturing during part of the year. It's a unique way of doing business that has substantially reduced his feed costs, makes use of otherwise wasted vegetable material, and has helped his farm not only survive but thrive in the post-BSE years.
John and Mike Buis, Pat Hoy
Mike Buis, Joanne Buis, and MPP for Chatham-Kent-Essex Pat Hoy
Farm fresh takes on a whole new dimension at this beef farm. Ultrasound technology is helping Mike and Joanne Buis determine the best marketing dates for their on-farm beef retail business.
The system allows a “best before” date to be assigned to each animal at birth, and this knowledge is helping the producers increase control of their product at all times. Cuts of beef are also individually stamped, so that each piece can be traced back to the animal it came from. The system has enabled the farm to reduce overall feeding costs and inefficiencies and boost retail sales and customer satisfaction.