BC Cattle Rancher
Fossen’s Bar 7 Ranch was started in 1976 by Ed and Louise Fossen. Their son Doug was born on the ranch and now farms with his wife Erika and daughters Adele, Jade and Reine. Doug and Erika love working with their family, and watching their ranch grow and change over the years. Read their profile to learn about the efforts they take to improve their land and care deeply for their animals.
Tell us about your ranch and how you protect the land for future generations.
Our ranch is in Rock Creek, B.C on 2,300 deeded acres. The ranch utilizes a mixture of private, leased and government rangeland of approximately 50,000 acres to supply the herd of 370 cows with their grazing needs. With so much space to roam, we need to be as efficient as possible to round up the cattle when needed. To do this, we use our airplane to check and locate our cattle throughout the grazing season!
We love our land, and we are always striving to make the grass taller, the water clearer and the wildlife and livestock healthier. It is a blessing to work in our own piece of the environment, where we see firsthand the results of every footprint we make. We live and breathe this ranch and care deeply about keeping it and the environment healthy.
How do you make sure your animals are healthy and well cared for?
It’s hard to explain in detail the relationship we have with our livestock. Every decision made is to put our animal’s comfort and well-being first. For example, if a calf gets pink eye, we will use a vet-prescribed antibiotic to help them recover their eyesight and get healthy again. Then we look at how that infection could have been prevented and make management changes so future issues are limited or avoided.
The job is not always easy. Calving season lasts for two months and we must check the cows every two hours, through all kinds of winter weather. Sometimes we would like to take a little break, but it could cost one of our animals lives if something were to go wrong, so we persevere. When we walk into our old barn, built in 1890, on a cold and snowy night and see a mother cow with a newborn calf happily nursing, it gives us great joy. We know we can rest for the moment, until we must go check the cows again!
Why do you choose to farm?
Ranching can be a real struggle. It is not only financially risky but physically demanding as well. While we may feel like giving up sometimes, through it all we will always put our animals and land first. Ranching is the only profession we’ve ever wanted to do and there is a pride in knowing that we will do anything to keep the family ranch going.