Trail’s End Beef came to be as a collaboration between the third and fourth generations in the early 2000s. After raising her children in the city, Linda Loree inherited her treasured piece of the ranch just as her daughter Rachel returned to her roots to spend the summer in the hills. Shortly after, Rachel met and married Tyler Herbert, then a working cowboy, who was raised on a mixed-farm in Saskatchewan. Ironically, at that time, Linda had been a vegetarian for 38 years and Rachel a vegetarian for 18 years; Tyler had never personally met a vegetarian. Linda had a ranch to run and Tyler and Rachel knew that they wanted to make a life together on the land.
After one year of raising conventional beef and feeling heartsick after a stressful weaning and shipping the calves to market, Linda sought a solution. Raising grassfed, grass-finished cattle and direct-marketing to customers was a natural fit with her sense of ethics and environmental consciousness. Tyler, with his practical skill set and experience in the cattle industry saw grassfed beef as the solution for starting a ranch from scratch. In 2007 he and Rachel, who was completing her MA in Ranching History, purchased their Parkland property, the home-place of the operation. On a unique piece of native prairie they rebuilt the infrastructure necessary for handling the cattle in winter and calving in spring.
As soon as the first home-raised grassfed beef was put on the table, Linda and Rachel began eating beef. The first bite was like a sacrament. There is no better feeling than nourishing our bodies and our families with food raised on the land from the animals that we love.
Sadly, Linda passed away in January, 2014. Forming Trail’s End Beef was a culmination of all of Linda’s deepest convictions: a connection to the land, a commitment to the animals, and a close relationship with family. Her legacy lives on in the land that sustains us and her magic continues to be felt in the hills.