An expert in purebred cattle says the four most important economic traits in breeding are fertility, longevity, adaptability and efficiency.  |  Paula Larson photo

Genetics vs. environment: finding balance

DNA results may indicate that cattle have the potential to be productive, but the environment affects the final outcome

LONDON, Ont. — Applying new genomic technology to improve beef cattle is a noble goal, but other factors like environment must be part of the equation. “It is tough to work this out genetically because environment has such a large part in terms of the beef industry,” said P.J. Budler of Global Livestock Solutions and […] Read more

Companies invest in meat alternatives

LONDON, Ont. — Major food companies are starting to invest more of their investment budgets into alternative meat products. “We spent over $900 million in the last couple years and are really investing to get bigger in traditional proteins,” said Sonya Roberts, who lead the growth ventures and strategic pricing for Cargill Proteins in Wichita, […] Read more

Limousin cows and calves owned by Murray and Sandy Shaw are rotation grazed. These are ready to be moved to the next pasture.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Beef farms claim local market

LAMBTON COUNTY, Ont. — The concept of farm to fork is not new to many beef producers but making a long-term success of it is another issue altogether. Murray and Sandy Shaw and friends Ralph and Brenda Eyre of Lambton County, Ont., sell their Limousin beef online and through a local farmers’ market under the […] Read more

The pens at the Van Osch family’s feedlot are designed to give cattle access to the outside and a barn for protection from the weather.  | Barbara Duckworth photo

Family thinks big when expanding feedlot

MOUNT CARMEL, Ont. — Expanding their southern Ontario farm became a case of go big or go home for the Van Osch family. Gerald and Fred Van Osch, who are third generation farmers descended from Dutch immigrants, evaluated their 600 acres of cropland and 900 head of cattle and decided to go big. “We decided […] Read more

Beef trade interest blossoms into packing plant

Ontario woman decided to purchase a federally inspected plant when an opportunity arose to sell beef to China

MOUNT FOREST, Ont. — Nancy Kingsley-Hu likes to think outside the meat box. Once a trader of beer, ice wine and honey to China, she came into the beef business by chance. “Some of my buyers in China were bothering me about pork and beef,” she said from her office at Mount Forest, where her […] Read more

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association questions the emphasis on eating plant-based proteins as opposed to animal-based proteins. | Getty image

Ag groups continue food guide fight

Beef and dairy producers are opposed to Health Canada’s proposed revisions, including front of packaging labelling

LONDON, Ont. — Proposed revisions to the Canada Food Guide continues to rankle some groups. “The Canada Food Guide is not just about revisions and updates to the food guide, which was necessary. It is about Health Canada’s strategy for healthy eating, which also includes other areas of interest like front of packaging labelling,” said […] Read more

Kevin and Amy Leitch say they are trying to make their farm as sustainable as possible. | Barbara Duckworth photo

Alberta family strives to build sustainable farm

On the Farm: Amy and Kevin Leitch take an old-fashioned approach to their venture but also embrace renewable energy

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — Kevin and Amy Leitch take sustainability seriously on their west-central Alberta farm. Some of their practices are the old-fashioned approach of running a mixed farm and producing most of their own food, as well as adopting renewable energy technology. They have made their new house energy efficient and use solar […] Read more

Purple top turnip is a member of the brassica family and can be added to a grazing mixture. Cattle will eat the tops and the bulbs. The bulbs can open compacted ground with good root penetration.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Soil health could present key to yield growth

Clearwater County establishes cover crop trials to see what might work in a region that has an unpredictable climate

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — Taking care of soil health could become the next green revolution. Agriculturalists are cognizant of soil chemistry but know less about the biology, said Ken Ziegler of the Grey Wooded Forage Association. “The reality is soil biology has a very important part to play in the health of the soil […] Read more

Gary Lewis of Clearwater County shows the grizzly bear damage to a spruce tree on Norm and Irene Korth’s farm. Wildlife officers trapped the bear with a snare and this is the damage that ensued as it attempted to escape. The bear was tranquilized and relocated.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Bear encounters on the rise in Alta.

Man-made food sources on farms such as granaries, silage, gardens and livestock are more nutritious than natural feed

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — Everybody has a bear story, but the Korth family encounter with a grizzly this spring was too close for comfort. Norman and Irene Korth lamb their 200 ewes from January to May at their farm near Rocky Mountain House. They knew there was increased bear activity in Clearwater County in […] Read more

Mike Conlin runs a 5,000 head feedlot at Lucan, Ont., with his sons, Peter and Tom, and his parents, Tony and Mary.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Family rooted to farm for more than a century

Three generations feed 5,000 head, mostly Black Angus, in an operation that is Ontario Corn Fed Beef certified

LUCAN, Ont. — When a family has worked the same land for more than 100 years, they develop an appreciation for the past and future generations. The Conlin farm at Lucan, near London, is owned and operated by Mike and Jen Conlin and their children along with parents, Tony and Mary Conlin who are retiring. […] Read more