Canyon meadows farm reviews

Canyon meadows farm reviews DEFAULT

Canyon Meadows Ranch &#; Grass-Fed Cattle

myrin family correctedAltamont, Utah — Just a few miles from Duchesne, several new derricks are pumping crude oil into silos. Duchesne County is one of the epicenters of the fracking boom. But this year as oil prices have plunged new drilling and hiring are on hold. The boom town hasn’t gone bust, but Vernal is now suffering from air quality problems and unemployment.

The fracking boom in eastern Utah represents one small part of the greater problem of rural Utah residents who are becoming increasingly dependent on mega corporations for their incomes and livelihood.

Rural Utah Dependence on Corporations

Examining the problem in terms of farming, it becomes evident that modern Utah family farms and ranches have increasingly become obligated to corporate-dominated agribusiness. Products are produced within the construct of the large-scale industry paradigm, and farm and ranch operations are influenced by corporate industry standards. Grains are grown using GMO seeds, chemical fertilizers and insecticides. Growth hormones and antibiotics are used in producing beef and poultry.

Most of the products they sell (grains, beef, and poultry) are sold to middle agencies such as Cargill and Monsanto and Tyson Foods. Farmers&#; incomes become subject to the ups and downs of prices and ever shrinking commodity margins. The result: the smallest farms can’t make a living and those who remain must live by the mantra “Grow bigger or die.”

But there’s one innovative family cattle ranch in Altamont, Utah that is bucking the corporate reliance trend.

Canyon Meadows Ranch is a 2 hour plus drive south and east of Salt Lake City. It’s a third-generation operation that sells directly to consumers and uses alternate cattle-raising methods that don’t require artificial growth hormones or pesticides. And, they are one of the largest producers in the area.

“Canyon Meadows Ranch” sounds like an idyllic setting for grass-fed beef operation. Driving the main highway it’s hard to imagine any meadows among the desert and rock I see along the highway in Duchesne County. But approaching the ranch I can see green pastures lined with an almost invisible single strand of white electric fence.


The Myrin family greets me at the door. Alarik and Beth have two sons and five daughters, and three of them are here. Deborah, Nils, Rik, and Rik&#;s wife Staci are accompanied by three of their children. This collective is the family and labor force behind Utah’s largest grass-fed beef operation (about irrigated acres plus pasture and rangeland with cattle). They invite me to join them for a lunch of burgers, potato salad and fresh homemade cherry pie. The beef, pickles and pie cherries are compliments of the farm.

The Myrins are an educated family. Alarik earned a master’s degree in animal production and economics from Utah State University. His sons, Rik and Nils also have also earned business degrees. Daughter Deborah studied range science at Utah State.  And sister-in-law, Staci, earned a degree in Veterinary Technology. Its clear that each person brings a unique skill set to the table.

Are Cows a Solution for Land Preservation?

We discuss land conservation and preservation. Should we leave vast amounts of land undisturbed, as most environmental groups advocate? Or should we allow land use that includes conventional farming and ranching that includes GMOs, fertilizers and massive amounts of wast byproduct? The Myrins share a viable middle option, one that is gaining traction in the West. They say Properly managed cattle can be used to improve rangelands and pasturelands.

Using cattle to improve ecology is a concept that exemplifies the “radical center,” says Alarik. A radical center approach to a problem or issue focuses on realism and pragmatism, not idealism emotion or politics. In the 21st century, land use debates typically are polarized by opposite-spectrum interest groups. Discussions are divisive, and resolutions difficult to achieve. The Myrins adhere to an approach which attempts to rise above politics and special interests.

Courtney White, formerly with the Sierra Club, “dropped out of the conflict industry.” White was tired of environmental conservation politics and fighting. He realized that many ranchers and environmentalists seek the same goal of wanting  what is best for both the environment and the animals. In , he cofounded the Quivira Coalition, whose mission is “to build resilience by fostering ecological, economic and social health on western landscapes through education, innovation, collaboration and progressive public and private land stewardship.” White notes that “having both sides to work together is much more powerful than fighting.”

Alarik’s daughter, Deborah, worked for Quivira for a few years, with the goal of letting the science speak for itself. One claim that she studied is that proper management of cattle grazing can preserve natural springs and improve soil. Rik explains how.

“I think it is more of a soil surface cover issue. If you have grass that is fallow, and if you don’t get enough disturbance or cover, you get bare dirt and nothing will grow. And if you have a rain storm the water will start eroding the soil because you have more surface runoff.” “But,” he continues, “if you have cattle or buffalo, or any animal that will break the stems and trample the dirt but leave seeds and stems in the dirt and stir stuff up, then instead of having bare dirt in between plants, you have some stems and some seeds and it only takes a little bit of litter over the bare dirt to make a drastic difference on how much of the rainfall soaks in.&#;cows

Canyon Meadows Ranch Tour

We climb into Deborah’s Jeep Liberty for a tour of the ranch. Deborah is seven months pregnant, “I can handle the bumpy road as long as I can drive.” Almost right away we see a huge owl fly in front of us. “There is a family living here,” says Alarik. No spraying occurs on this ranch, which promotes  wildlife. We drive to the edge of the plateau: a vast meadow rests in the canyon, much of it is wooded, with Cottonwood trees. I wonder where the cattle are and I learn that the cattle don’t spend more than a few days in any one pasture. Cattle are managed using portable electric fencing. They rotate the cattle, and the previous pasture is allowed at least days “rest.” A portion of the herd also spends the summer and fall in the National forest using their grazing permits.

The cattle are managed so the time spent in each &#;pasture area,&#; an 8 acre area, causes them to be less selective than if they had an entire massive range where they could pick and choose the grasses that taste best. This ensures an even distribution of grasses trampled and eaten. This method also promotes longer root growth.

Long and lush native grasses are mixed with alfalfa and red clover. “The clover actually produces more nitrogen than what it needs, so it provides the nitrogen that the other grasses need,” Rik says. “Healthy soil is one of the best ways to sequester carbon. The healthier we can make our soil, the more carbon it stores away. This idea is supported by the grass-fed movement which has a lot to do with building soil as a process which is best done without tilling the soil, and instead using animals to disturb the soil and add their natural fertilizer.” The goal at Canyon Meadows Ranch is to “allow the cattle to spread the fertilizer,” Alarik says “And have the cows control the weeds and promote the growth of the best grasses.” adds Nils.

Intensive Range Management

As we approach their eight-acre paddock in the jeep, the cows are interested and even excited to see us. Staci, who studied Veterinary Technology, says they practice “handling techniques” with the cattle, which make them more friendly toward humans. “These are red Angus, cows,” she says. Most grass-fed cattle require around two years of growth before they are butchered. But these cows are yearlings and they will all be ready for butchering in the fall. They attribute this to both the breed and the nutritious grasses they feast on each day.

Staci says, “Some people say to us, ‘How can you treat your animals like that.’ I tell them, our cows have a happier life than most of the humans on this earth.” Alarik adds, “We sometimes have vegetarians come to our booth at the farmers market to buy our beef, because they know that we produce our product in a humane manner.”

While the majority of beef sold in the United States spends most of its life in pastures eating grass, the last 90 days of their life they spend in feedlots where they gain 35% of their body mass eating a corn-based silage. Cattle feeds are often supplemented with steroids to promote additional growth, and antibiotics to counteract the effects of possible stomach e-coli—which happens much more frequently in cattle which are fed corn. Cow’s stomachs and rumen are designed to eat and digest grass. Finally, many cattle are give an additional drug which makes the meat more lean.

My last stop of the tour is where Rik has been working with his teenage daughters on collecting grass into rows. “In school they learn all of their subjects, but here they can learn practical applications of what they learn.” The girls are able to operate the machinery on the ranch. They use some of the tractors to mow, rack and bail their hay—then use a bailer attachment to produce bales.  I ride with Rik atop the tractor and watch the bailer suck up grass and spit out massive pound bales nicely knotted and in perfect compact rectangular cubes. It’s the need for expensive equipment like this that makes it so difficult for average families to get into the ranching business.

However, the Myrins&#; use this equipment far less than most farms, Rik says his new tractor will likely last over twenty years,and some grass cattle ranchers in the east are able to get by without using any heavy industrial equipment.

On most ranches hay is usually mowed and harvested three times in one season, and planted by using heavy equipment to till the soil and plant the seeds. At Canyon Meadows much of this heavy equipment work is not required because the cattle take a much greater part in spreading the fertilizer and preparing the soil. This saves a huge amount of diesel fuel and machine hours.

Rather than harvest their hay three times, they let the cows come and harvest in the spring and while doing so “spread the fertilizer” (manure). The second harvest of hay they cut and bail with their machines, for winter supplement. Then for the third harvest in the fall they leave the hay in rows into the winter months. They&#;ve found the cows will forage and find the hay even under deep snow. Rik says, “We have found that rather than penning up the cattle into confined areas, if we instead allow them to stay in the fields and find their feed, they are healthier and happier.” This was a discovery they stumbled upon, and later  found a grass farmer in Canada who was already using this practice.for facebook

Farmers Markets And Direct Marketing

To tell the story of their cattle and the consistent high quality has been a huge benefit to Canyon Meadows since they started selling at the farmers markets along the Wasatch Front.

Myrin’s ranch began experimenting with direct marketing just six years ago. Before returning to Alarik’s father’s ranch the family owned a ranch in Colorado, “We experimented with grass-fed cattle around 20 years ago, and we put an ad in Boulder’s local newspaper and didn’t get a single order,” says Rik.

At farmers markets, where they offer fresh and frozen vacuum sealed products, they continue to note the greater demand for the grass-fed versus grain fed beef. “We had one doctor who bought our beef, and he used to tell us, [pointing to the grass-fed beef] ‘This stuff is as good as wild salmon, and this stuff [grain-fed beef] will kill you,’” Alarik says. Canyon Meadows Ranch currently sells the majority of their beef to customers at the SLC farmers market, and supplies a few Salt Lake City restaurants, including Salt Lake Pizza and Pasta, Provisions and Rye.

Canyon Meadows demonstrates how educated hard-working families can produce green lush pastures that support healthy, contented animals. Thanks to the growth of the farmers markets and consumer awareness, the growing future of rural Utah can be an alternative than the current subservience to corporate America.

Canyon Meadows beef can by purchased at farmers markets and stores. For all the locations  of where their beef can be purchased visit them at


Filed Under: Utah StoriesTagged With: Altamont Utah, Canyon Meadows Ranch, Grass-fed, soil preservation


Canyon Meadows Farm

FROM:Canyon Meadows Farm RE: ? Reply to incident # ? [redacted] ? [redacted] ***Owners, Katrina Kevin S [redacted] TO: ? September 6, Thank you for the opportunity to respond the the above referenced complaint? We take strong exception to the allegations of Ms [redacted] regarding mistreatment by us of [redacted] and ***, the two English Creme Retrievers placed with Ms***.State Law requires anyone owning 5+ dogs to have legally approved and licensed kennel facility and business license? To become and stay licensed, you must apply for license, be inspected and approved, by providing adequate facilities, and pass random yearly state and county inspections? We are in, and have always been in compliance with inspections from state and county kennel officials providing us approved kennel facilities and business licenses? We have attached copies of our business license, our compliance reports inspections from state and county kennel inspections, and kennel licenses for the last years.With respect to [redacted] and ***, attached as well are their veterinarian treatment records (see attached) prior to being placed with Ms***The allegations of Ms [redacted] that [redacted] and [redacted] were abused or neglected by us is false? [redacted] and [redacted] have always been happy and healthy while in our care? The girls were never seriously ill or on any medications for depression nor did they ever need any medication for depression as they are very outgoing while on the farm with us in our care? We are also attaching photos of [redacted] and [redacted] prior to being placed.We have attached letters from our veterinarians in reference to the care we provide our animals, several who also do farm visitsWe maintain close professional relationships with our veterinarians, who are available 24/to us in a moment's notice to treat all of our animals both large and small? We also have horse boarders, trainers and renters, who have full access to every part of our farm and home, interacting with our animals and witnessing their living conditions at any given time on a daily basis.We have also attached letters from our employee's both past and present who assist in the daily care of our animals including [redacted] and ***.Our farm is a very casual, warm and friendly place to visit, a place everyone feels welcome? Over the years we have raised, trained and shown cattle, goats, horses and dogs? Our farm is a very quiet, private facility with 22+ acres for our animals to enjoy including a pond for the dogs to swim? We have numerous daily visitors including dog and horse clients, boarders, trainers & riders, farm help, friends and of course our family, children and grandchildren? ? Our dogs are very much a part of our family and our daily lives? I work from home, so that I can always be available to care for them 24/? Our dogs are raised both inside our home and in our kennel facility per state and county kennel requirements? Our home is located within feet of our Kennel, so we are able to keep close contact with all of our animals day and night tending to their daily needs? Anyone who knows us will strongly agree, we spend our entire lives devoted to working on the farm, providing a good life for our animals? Regarding transition of [redacted] and ***, we expected it to be difficultEnglish Creme Retrievers' fall madly “in love with their families”? They rely on other animal friends, consistency in environment and the strong relationship bond with the humans in their daily life for their sense of security? [redacted] & [redacted] have spent all their lives on our farm with us, 6+ years, along with their siblings sister [redacted] and brother [redacted] .They are very outgoing girls when in comfortable surroundings and with people they know and trust(we have videos)When placing ANY adult dog in a new home there is always a transition? For some dogs, they can be rather quick to “settle in” however for others it can take days, weeks, months and even years to fully settle in? We made it extremely clear in emails (see attached) prior to meeting and in person, that [redacted] and [redacted] would be uncomfortable and very upset being uprooted from the only home they have known, during this transition? We extensively talked about them needing ample time to adjust to all of these changes happening at once? As you consider the's position, please know that in all our 35+ years of raising all animals including dogs, we have never had a complaint against us nor been out of compliance with the AKC, the humane society, or any state or county officials regarding the care our all of our animals are given, including our dogs, or the facilities provided for themIn addition, we have a 33+ A+ Rating with the with no complaints.We also have a great reputation with 95% repeat & referral clients for our dogs and horses? We strive to always ensure we have done right by our clients? We have hundreds of letters from repeat clients and their referrals, who have gotten both puppies and adult dogs from us recently and over the years? (see attached letters from clients)Regarding resolution, we told Ms [redacted] that we will take [redacted] and [redacted] back at anytime, if she can not or does not want to care for them for any reason or if there are health issues we did not know about? She has never provided us with any documentation of any health issues she now complains about? We offered a refund with the return of [redacted] and [redacted] in each email interaction (see attached emails)? Those proposals were rejected.Sincerely,Katrina & Kevin S [redacted] , Owners of Canyon Meadows Farm

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Welcome to Canyon Meadows Farm

Canyon Meadows is our family-run hobby farm.  We have several types of animals, including our Scottish Highlander cattle, Bernese Mountain Dogs, American Golden Retrievers, English Creme' Retrievers, goats, and our Horses.  Our farm is a very casual, warm, and friendly place to visit; a place where everyone feels welcome.  Regardless of your age and interests, you will enjoy a visiting Canyon Meadows farm.  

Our entire family grew up on farms, raising cattle, horses, goats, and dogs. Our love for animals and the farm life has always been a passion of ours, and our 3 children love growing up on the farm.  We take great pride in our family and all of our animals.   

The farm is always busy with a variety of activities, so no one will feel left out here!  Everyone loves coming for a visit, whether it is a love for the puppies, riding the horses, taking a walk through beautiful trails, or feeding bread to the Scottish Highlander Cattle- there is definitely something for everyone. No one can resist playing with our puppies, whether a Retriever or a Bernese puppy, they are all so much fun and full of love-- they truly melt like butter when you hold them.   We also raise and train a small group of horses.  Our objective is to raise quiet, well-mannered, safe, and sane horses. We make sure that they have a great start under saddle with a good mixture of discipline. Our horses feel confident with both English/jumping and western/trail.  In doing so we feel our horses have a great foundation to advance in any direction.  We also offer riding lessons (both English and Western), training, and boarding here on our 22 acre farm.   


We have broken our web site into different areas, where you can get more in depth  information on the area that interests you of our farm from our dogs/kennel, highlander cattle and horses/stable facility.  We love to show off our farm and all the animals and so do all of our clients, so there are always lots of photos.   I am constantly loading more photos & updates to the web pages.  This is a fairy time consuming process, I appreciate everyone's patience while I do my best to get everything updated in a timely manner.  We do have a full farm though, and the farm animals needs and family must come first.  I am constantly working on updates though, as I like to keep things organized and as updated as often as I can, working on the website between my other farm & family duties.  

Please be paitent while it may take a few minutes for your computer to load them.  Enjoy the photos! 


If you are New to our Farm, Please call or E-mail ahead of time to set up an appointment, so that we can make sure we have time to spend with those of you coming to the farm for the first time so thatwe can answer all of your questions.

Note:   Our 15+ year old Website Is Currently Undergoing some Updates and Changes. Thank you for your patience.

Canyon Meadows Farm         ~         Katrina & Kevin Schmidt

[email protected]

[email protected]

Please call, text or email for more information.  We do our best to get back to everyone, but we can not always have hands free to answer the phones while out on the farm.  Please leave  a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. 

If you haven't gotten a message back or reply, with in 24hrs, please try a text message, as I answer it many times per day and it is often the fastest way to catch me.  

We are only using cell phones or email at this time, so please email or leave us a message on the cell phones. 



Our Canyon Meadows Farm Face Book Page is finally back up!       It was accidentally deleted as duplicate by FB last summer, we lost many years of cleints photos and comments.


We would love for all of our family, friends and of course all of our clients to visit us on Face Book.  You can find us by clicking the links. 

If you are already friends with us, be sure to Like our Canyon Meadows Farm Fb Page.  Please feel free to share pictures!  We love to see our babies, watch them grow with their families and to keep in touch with all of our clients!

Canyon Meadows Farm

Face Book ~ Links

Katrina Schmidt

When out on the farm we do not carry the phones with us because I drop them in water muck or lose or break them.  So, IF you get the machine Please leave a detailed message and we promise to get back to you asap. 

If the cell phone has a full voice mail, please forgive me, it fills up quickly and I am often outside working.  You can also shoot me an email or Text too, Thanks =O)          

Update:  We are still getting lots of calls with families wanting a puppy asap, due to being home with covid.  IF you are getting the machine, please send an email, so I can get back to you faster.  


Meadows reviews canyon farm

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