Unlike many farmers, Sandra Vos is not only a first-generation farmer having purchased a farm that belonged to her uncle’s family in 2001, but as a trained nurse, Sandra is a farmer as her second career. And, although she is married and has three children, Sandra is essentially the sole person working and owning the farm.
Sandra operates a grass-fed beef farm in Brant County and has worked hard to find what works best for her farm while continuing to improve its sustainability. Sandra has demonstrated her commitment to the environment by focusing on pasture management, caring for waterways, and protecting wildlife habitat.
With 80 acres of land to work with, a lot of Sandra’s environmental management begins with her well-maintained rotational grazing system, which sees the cattle moving regularly to maximize the potential of the pasture. The installation of above-ground water lines has also improved Sandra’s grazing system by providing easy access to water for the cattle, while simultaneously enabling her to fence off the creek to keep the cattle out of the waterway. Fencing off the bush area has provided a space for deer and birds, while piling any downed trees and scrub in some of the pastures serves as both a habitat for wildlife and a natural scratching post for the cattle.
Over the years, Sandra has been successful in receiving support for her environmental projects through a number of programs and organizations. One such example is a bridge built to allow the cattle and farm equipment to cross the creek. Recently, two pieces of the farm have also been decreed Provincial Significant Wetlands.
Like many Ontario beef farmers, Sandra is devoted to raising cattle to produce top quality beef for her customers, while also farming sustainably to ensure her cattle and farming practices are not impacting the waterways and wildlife habitats around them.