The History of the Ranch

The Kiskatinaw River Ranch (Nimitz Ranch) started taking shape in the late 1970’s. Ernest and Joanne Nimitz had a dream of owning their own property. Like many determined folk before them with a pioneering spirit they purchased the first piece of land that was to become the Nimitz spread. They lived in a small home in the forest with no electricity, no plumbing but plenty of wildlife to keep them company. The ranch has come a long ways from the days of the root cellar and the bears that liked to invade it. 

Over the next 15 years they continued to purchase land that became available during the recession in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Today the ranch covers an area of approximately 1150 hectares or 2800 acres. As of 2016 there are 325 breeding cattle, 170 yearlings and 18 horses to accompany them on their rotational seasonal grazing around the ranch.

The Kiskatinaw River winds through the property like a lazy snake. Its intrinsic value can be seen by standing at the top of some of the 100-150ft cliffs that provide spectacular and beautiful views of the river valley. The River is something that is beneficial both to the beauty and the management of the property as it supplies controlled seasonal watering for the animals.

The Ranch is home to many species of both flora and fauna. Our most regularly seen guests are Deer, Moose, Bears, Coyotes, Foxes, Grouse, Raptors, Song Birds, Garter Snakes, and in the winter Elk tend to make appearances near our hay storage facilities. As well as the land and its beauty we cherish the importance of biodiversity on our land and in our water and we take steps to ensure that it is encouraged to flourish in the future. You can read more about this under the Ranch Values.

Since the 1980’s a major focus of the ranch has been the use of electric fence. The use of electric fence not only decreases the labour needed and the effectiveness of the pasture grid. Electric fence is far more accident friendly to humans, livestock and wildlife than barbwire fencing that can injure and maim all these groups in certain situations.

Horses are one of the major factors that help our ranch operate in a way that is beneficial to the animals. With approximately half of our ranch covered in spruce, pine, poplar and willow forest it would be nearly impossible to manage our animals and our grazing program without the use of horses. It is our belief that horses are the least stressful way to manage our cattle herds as well as one of the most important influences on enjoying our way of life in the outdoors with our animals. 

In 2010 our family (Michael, Joanne and Ernest) decided to examine the possibility of diversifying our income from our cattle. Since Nimitz Beef was officially established in 2012 we have expanded our marketing efforts every year. We hope to continue to expand our direct marketing in the future and explore new avenues of bringing quality products to our customers. 

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