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Robson Valley Sheep Company – McBride, British Columbia

Therese and Hani Gasser raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) sheep and beef cattle at Robson Valley Sheep Company in McBride, British Columbia. Their 535-acre farm is located in the beautiful Robson Valley, and is home to a flock of 125 ewes and herd of 25 cows.

In 1988, Hani and Therese moved to British Columbia from Switzerland, after Hani ended his training at a Swiss agricultural college. The couple started out managing a beef operation and then ran their own sheep dairy for a number of years, but then purchased their property in McBride in 2006. The Gassers have been dedicated to raising high quality meat sheep ever since.

The breed of sheep at Robson Valley farm are Texel, since the Gassers have found this breed does very well on pasture and typically the ewes have only one or two lambs (which is their preference). The flock is also able to tolerate the cold winters and thrive in the northern climate. For many of the same reasons, the cattle at Robson Valley farm are primarily Angus.

In addition to being Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, the sheep and cattle at Robson Valley Sheep Company are Certified Grassfed by AGW, the first—and only—food label in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100% grass and forage diet, and raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range. The sheep and cattle have also been Certified Organic since 2010.

The Gassers say they chose to pursue certification because, “animal welfare is of the utmost importance to us. We believe that sheep and cows are born to live on pasture and hay, not grain, and have a right to a decent life outdoors.” Hani says, “It’s our responsibility to give the animals that we depend on for meat, a life as close to nature as possible. Not only is a pasture-based system better for the animals, it’s also better for the environment. It’s the only way that truly works to benefit us all.” The Gassers plan to share information about their certification with their customers. “Being certified gives us credibility,” says Hani. “It’s nice to be acknowledged for the way we’ve been farming for a long time.”

Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef and lamb from Robson Valley Sheep Company is available by seasonal delivery to Prince George. For more information about Robson Valley Sheep Company, visit sheephappens.ca and contact Therese and Hani Gasser at htgasser@hotmail.com.

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