Crossgrove Beef Farm – Darryl Austin and Family
Darryl has been farming his entire life. Along with his four children, he ran an efficient and productive Dairy Farm for over 40 years, breeding many excellent purebred Holstein cows. After retiring from the dairy industry seven years ago, Darryl immediately brought this same attitude to his new adventure, Crossgrove Beef Farm.
Darryl thought he would build a barn to raise a couple of beef animals as a hobby. As the years went by, Darryl and his daughter, Kim, and son-in- law, Shane, decided to buy two small Red Angus herds. One thing led to another and in no time the small hobby farm turned into something bigger.
Over the years, the farm purchased a purebred Simmental bull from Nappan. They have retained their best replacement heifers and are starting to produce high-end animals. They currently calve out 40-50 commercial breed cows. Some of their feeder cattle have topped the sales at the Truro market and they couldn’t be happier with how things have grown.
The farm is located in Brook Village, just outside of Mabou, Cape Breton. They produce about 600 round bales that they wrap for haylage. Most of the land they have is theirs but some of it is leased or rented out. The cows are pastured on 100 acres of land, just down the road from the farm. The pasture land is sectioned off and constantly rotated for grazing from field to field.
Darryl is promoting industry development at the grassroots. He lives, eats and breathes farming and has been a consistent supporter and friend of the industry. He participates in meetings, helps his fellow farmers, shares his experiences and explores new ideas.
He is most proud of his family and grandchildren who he involves in his day to day activities on the farm. He is mentoring two generations of future farmers through his son-in-law Shane and six grandchildren Makayla, Hannah, Sawyer, Brier, Brennen and Noah. Darryl says they are unofficial “partners” in the farm with whom he shares his vast knowledge of farming and life in rural Cape Breton. With fewer and fewer young people entering the livestock industry, we can’t underestimate the importance of having young children being mentored by the older generation.