Let me introduce myself. My name is Craig Cameron and I am a beef farmer. I am also an agricultural researcher and businessman. I was born and raised as a fourth generation Alberta farm boy. My grandfather and great grandfather (Reid and John Alex) were dairy and pig farmers on Ten Mile Corner west of Millet. Reid eventually got out of pigs and succeeded in building up a high quality registered Holstein herd that won numerous awards. This was done with the help of my dad. However, when my dad took over the dairy it didn’t take him long to realize that milking cows by himself was not what he wanted to do with his life. Instead he picked up our family and moved the incredible distance of 3 miles to the current site of the farm today. Instead of dairy or pigs, Dad changed to a new type of challenge, raising pedigree seed. His farm Ainslie Acres produces a number of certified seed varieties for a number of different seed companies. Despite this new direction Dad still enjoyed having cows around so he often had a small commercial herd that he took care of on the side. When I was just starting to get into farming, at the ripe old age of 16, Ainslie Acres also boasted a natural beef feedlot. This is where I developed my love of cattle. While my brother Ryan enjoyed driving and working on the machinery, I loved spending time out with the cows feeding and working with them. In all this time that I spent with the cows I began my search for the beef cattle breed that would work best for me. I was looking for a breed of animal that would have good conformation and would also be able to perform well in the feedlot. During this search we recieved a group of of Maine Anjou/Black Angus crossed steers that were fed alongside a number of other breeds in my dad’s feedlot. This group had good conformation and gained significantly more than the other breeds which we were feeding at that time using a similar amount of feed. Other angus crosses never exhibited this performance so I figured that the Maine Anjou breed must be the key. However I did not know any Maine Anjou Breeders at that time and had a hard time finding more information about the breed. The next year my dad bought some Maine Anjou steers and heifers from Gary Graham for the feedlot. Gary noticed my excitement about Maine Anjou cattle and told me all that he could. That year I chose one of those steers (7/8 Maine and 1/8 Simmental) and one of the heifers as my 4H projects. After the Steer won grand champion for the club I was hooked, and ended up keeping a couple more of the heifers. My herd was started. I also went to visit Gary’s herd and ended upbuying a purebred cow/calf pair which won reserve champion Maine Anjou female at the Westerner Days show in 2008; she has had a stong influence on the purebred genetics in my herd. Since then I have expanded my herd genetics by working with Bob Stenberg and Reg Renton as well as using a variety of semen including some very old bulls and a new import named Utile. I also manage my Mom’s commercial herd and sell meat directly to individuals. This includes chefs, friends and neighbours. I am on the board of directors for the Canadian Maine Anjou Association and the Alberta Maine Anjou association and am always open and excited to talk about cattle.
My Dad Passed Away in February 2014 and is greatly missed but we are continuing on the Farming legacy.