Duncan Lees likes Hereford cattle. Really, really likes Hereford cattle, in fact.
Duncan and his wife Valerie, who have about 450 head of cattle on their ranch near Arcola, Saskatchewan, have spent a lifetime on the land. Duncan himself is a sixth-generation farmer.
And Hereford has been the family’s breed of choice—going back more than a century, as it turns out.
Back in 2010, Duncan, brother Chris and cousin George were honoured by the Canadian Hereford Association for their 100-year-long association with the Hereford breed.
The Lees family has shown Hereford cattle across Canada, and sold purebred stock around the world—including Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and England.
“It has to be the temperament,” says Duncan, a livestock judge who was named in 2015 to the Canadian Hereford Association’s Honour Roll. “The breed is really even-tempered and comfortable around people. That makes them easy to deal with.
“By the time we get them ready for a show,” he adds, “our animals are very tame.”
Duncan and Valerie, who’ve been married for 45 years, are one of several families across Canada being profiled in Enbridge’s newly produced Homegrown Recipes cookbook, which is being distributed to neighbors along our rights-of-way starting this summer.
The Homegrown Recipes collection includes more than 110 tantalizing kitchen creations—breakfasts, breads, soups, salads, sides, entrees and desserts—submitted by our neighbors near Enbridge’s network of pipelines and facilities.
Because just as land is passed down through the generations, so too are some of the most treasured recipes that connect us to family, friends and communities—including Valerie’s baked potato casserole dish that’s included in our Homegrown Recipes collection.
For the Lees, there’s nothing like homegrown food, whether it’s from your own garden or a local farm: “The produce that you get—for example, fresh cabbage—is so tasty compared to commercially bought produce. It’s picked ripe, instead of green and shipped,” says Valerie.
And the Lees operation is in very good hands, with Duncan and Valerie having passed the family business on to their son Jeff.
“Every father would want his son to enjoy what he did,” says Duncan. “I think if your father enjoyed his work, he’d want his son to enjoy it the same way.
“We are natural cattle people. We’ve done it for a long time.”
Check out previous instalments of the Homegrown Recipes cookbook profiles: