Rob and Maryjo Tait
By Beef Farmers of Ontario
Rob and Maryjo Tait own and operate Celtic Ridge Farms located in Dutton Dunwich, Ontario with their son Alexander. Rob’s mom Annie Isobel still lives in the original homestead built in 1873 and remains active on the farm continuing the family farm tradition. Celtic Ridge Farms is a commercial cow/calf operation, along with a small purebred Limousin herd, and sheep. Rob and Maryjo’s key focuses are on raising cattle without additives or added growth hormones, animal traceability, the welfare and health of their cattle and environmental sustainability. Cattle are finished on the farm and sold through farm gate sales, while heifers are retained to continue growing their herd.
The home farm has been in their family since 1873. Their son Alexander is the fifth generation to live on the farm. Rob’s parents Annie Isobel (McCallum) and Duncan Alexander Tait farmed throughout their lives and instilled many qualities in their children that continue today on the farm, most notably the importance of hard work, being community oriented and of course the importance of respecting and caring for livestock. Rob’s Dad always stressed the importance of being quiet around cattle and that continues today as Rob is nicknamed the “Cow Whisperer” for his ability to keep all of his cows calm and comfortable.
Both Rob and Maryjo graduated from West Elgin Secondary School (WESS) and the University of Guelph. Rob returned to WESS as a History teacher and has been teaching fulltime since 2005. Maryjo grew up on a mixed farming operation that included Purebred Limousin cattle, cash crops, goats & turkeys. Maryjo currently works as a First Nations Liaison with the Ministry of Natural Resources. Juggling parenting, the farm and two full time jobs presents its share of obstacles, but it also provides both with great opportunities and success. Coaching, playing sports, playing music, director with Elgin Beef Farmers and participation on various boards are just some examples of their community involvement.
Celtic Ridge Farm’s philosophy has not changed that much from the early days. Their cattle are raised on a vegetation diet, which means they frequent the pasture grasses and hay. Celtic Ridge Farms offer both grass-fed and naturally raised beef, whose forage-based diet is also complemented by high quality corn and oats. All animals spend their spring, summer, and falls outdoors on pasture, and spend winters with access to the barns. Celtic Ridge Farms has just built a new beef barn that will ensure a stress free environment for cattle and operators and will allow Rob, Maryjo and their family to continue their expansion for their farm and business.
All of their cattle are “Born, Bred & Raised.” on Celtic Ridge Farms, allowing Rob and Maryjo to know where each cow and calf came come, ensuring a unique local product for each customer. They take pride in carrying forward their family’s farming traditions of producing quality beef. To learn more about Celtic Ridge Farms and to see or purchase products, please visit their website, follow them on Twitter @celticridgefarm or like them on Facebook.