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Where's the beef?


Labrador isn’t known for its local cattle, but one Labrador City resident hopes to change that.

It’s hard to imagine land near Labrador West being anything but forest or lakes, but Labrador City resident Todd Cull envisions 200 acres of cleared farmland to raise cattle for his slaughterhouse 45 kilometres east of town.

Todd Cull sees open farmland in his future; 200 acres of cleared trees for cows to roam before moving to the slaughterhouse, providing meat for the area.

Owner and operator of K&R Farms, Cull was laid off from Wabush Mines last year. It was then he decided he wanted to be his own boss, so he called back to 12 years ago when he and his brother tried to start a similar venture but red tape held them back.

Cull’s quest began with a request to obtain farmland 45 kilometres east of Labrador Wes, and now he’s waiting to hear the Minister’s decision due April 4, after the public comment’s deadline on April 2.

If all goes well Cull will start clearing 25 hectares near Emerillon Lake with 20-45 animals this spring and he hopes to be selling 150 animals within five years, providing fresh meat for the area.

He’ll also work on pasteurizing 200 acres which he’ll cut hay on, and in the meantime he sorted out buying feed from the Farmer’s Co-Op in Mount Pearl.

Some think he’s crazy while others smack their lips at the thought of fresh beef, but pretty well everyone has asked him how he’s going to do it.

“I gets those questions everyday. It’s a legitimate question. I keeps telling them if it can be done in Alaska it can be done in Labrador, right?”

Cull will have a 60 by 100 foot insulated barn for the cattle. He’s quite comfortable with taking care of the animals, he noted.

“I grew up around sheep and pigs, ducks and hens. Back on the Northern Peninsula if you didn’t have sheep and goats you never had no meat for the winter.”

Cull said the slaughtered animals will be ready for purchase within three days, something local residents would never get otherwise.

“Buy a steak here, he originates from Manitoba. Buy a steak from me and he originates from 45 minutes down the highway. It’s not pumped full of artificial colours and dyes or anything.”

He's optimistic his product will be well received.

“I got good feedback from people in Goose Bay and some of the boys on the coast says they’ll come and buy it. But if it goes as good as it sounds I won’t have enough for Goose Bay or the South Coast.”

ty.dunham@tc.tc

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