I had hoped to get this interview out on Friday, as a celebration (as you’ll hear) of Earth Day and National Soil Conservation Week in our country. As unfortunate circumstances would have it, work piled up, and eventually the weekend (whatever that is) knocked on the office door. My original intent behind interviewing Jill Clapperton,… Read More

Walking through the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar tradeshow for the first time felt a bit reminiscent of my first day on the job. I was equally overwhelmed and intrigued by all the new faces and unrecognizable products. But, when I spotted Cargill’s booth (a no doubt familiar logo) in conjunction with a CowSignals display, I had to stop… Read More

Last month, I stopped in for the annual Organic Alberta Conference in Olds to hear what’s new in the world of organics. I was a little later than I intended, but happened to sneak into the first concurrent session of the day just in time to hear Blake Hall of Prairie Gold Meats addressing an intrigued… Read More

Despite minimum size requirements and increasing license fees, it seems trophy hunting of bighorn sheep may have some rather alarming, and unintended consequences. David Coltman, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta, alongside his colleagues from the University of Sherbrooke, has been studying data collected on bighorn sheep on Ram Mountain, near Nordegg, Alberta. The… Read More

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently released its report on the 19th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), concluding the likely cause was contamination of feed on-farm. “The carry-over of a small amount of residual contaminated feed associated with an earlier case (17) on the same birth farm is the most plausible explanation for… Read More

I hit the road this week to attend a Planned Grazing Management workshop in Lacombe, organized by the Grey Wooded Forage Association and Organic Alberta. It was the first time I’ve heard Jim Gerrish (co-owner of American Grazinglands Services LLC) speak, though I’ve often heard his name mentioned in circles of self-proclaimed “graziers.” In addition to Gerrish, who… Read More

There’s no doubt that having a vaccination protocol on hand could save booster misses, bring all farm employees to the same page and improve overall confidence in our herd health programs. But, developing that protocol can be more than a little overwhelming. At the 2015 UCVM Beef Cattle Conference, I (finally!) tracked down Cody Creelman, veterinarian… Read More

Note: There are a couple of rather graphic pictures in this post. Audio included at the end. Losing an animal to any sort of predation can be incredibly difficult to stomach, and a lot of times completely unexpected. The scenes we typically imagine in the wild are those of peace, where cattle low, birds sing,… Read More

The 5th annual UCVM Beef Cattle Conference is officially underway today, following a rather insightful day of pre-conference workshops at the University of Calgary’s Spyhill Campus. The pre-conference dealt with proper management of cattle, covering low-stress handling techniques, treatment protocols and humane euthanasia. For now, I’ll report on the middle ground, as I’ve covered cattle… Read More

As the wind and sun beat across the land, there is little we can do but let hope outweigh worry. And that’s what we hear now, as the people on the land dance around the dreaded ‘d’ word — drought — knowing it’s not yet too late. Because, beside the cracks that spread through the soil, there… Read More