Antibiotic rules usher in new vet drug era

Livestock producers will be required next year to go through veterinarians to obtain antibiotics for use on their farms


OLDS, Alta. — As of Dec. 1, veterinary prescriptions will be required for antibiotics for Canadian livestock. The new federal legislation means big changes and covers everything from beef to bees. It could mean added costs for producers, who must also develop a working relationship with a veterinarian. “Producers are going to have to work […] Read more


Changes put more diagnostic onus on veterinarians

OLDS, Alta. — Livestock producers and veterinarians must take a more refined approach to animal care when new rules about dispensing antibiotics come into effect in December. Until now, a veterinarian might give a sick animal an antimicrobial but may not do the diagnostic work to understand what made the animal sick. “It not about […] Read more


Grassland restoration a lengthy process

Native species take time to appear and do not easily move into areas that are disturbed by industrial development

LACOMBE, Alta. — Recovery of native grasslands following industrial development is uncertain, says a vegetation ecologist. It is expensive, time consuming and risky because reclaimed areas are vulnerable to weeds and invasive species, Jane Lancaster said at the Alberta Invasive Species Council’s annual meeting held recently in Lacombe. Ideally native plants should be used for […] Read more



Consultant touts benefits of livestock traceability

DENVER, Colo. — Traceability is more than recalls and animal health. Traceability has evolved over the last 15 years and was often implemented when serious food poisoning cases emerged, said Brian Sterling, president of CS Consulting, which specializes in Ontario food industry issues. The science behind the information gathering system should also be considered part […] Read more


How to develop a master grazier

A cattle producer from Alberta helps put together grazing plans specific to soil type, moisture levels and elevation


MADDEN, Alta. — When Graeme Finn started farming in Canada, he knew he did not want to follow the parade. Since moving here from Australia in 1993, he has tested new ideas and experimented on his grazing operation at Madden, west of Calgary. He was well experienced with drought management in Australia and so he […] Read more



Elderly horse care creates tough welfare issue

Longer lifespans mean many horses are starting to outlive their owners’ ability to properly care for them


The average lifespan of horses has increased in the last 25 years thanks to better health care. “With medications, specialty feeds, dental care and preventive medicine, many horses live comfortably well into their 30s,” said equine veterinarian Bettina Bobsien of the Galiano Veterinary Service on Vancouver Island. However, many horses are starting to outlive their […] Read more


Electric fence installation made easier

The Power Grazer fits with Norm and Donna Ward’s emphasis on enhancing the local ecosystem and rebuilding the soil

NANTON, Alta. — Norm and Donna Ward are practical environmentalists whose lifelong careers as Alberta ranchers encompassed a holistic approach to protecting ecosystems, rebuilding soil and producing beef. Ranching on 7,500 acres in the Alberta foothills, Norm was an early adopter of new grazing techniques and became an inventor to make his job easier. He […] Read more


Best of dairy on display at Calgary Stampede Dairy Classic show

Wendon Holsteins of Innisfail, Alta., had a big day at the Stampede Dairy Classic held in Calgary April 28. The Don Chalack family won grand champion Holstein, which was also named best bred and owned. They also won the top breeders herd. The reserve Holstein went to Mosnang Hoslteins of Rimbey, Alta. Lone Pine Jerseys […] Read more



Alta. well site reclamation gets bad grade

Gov’t scientist says follow-up work doesn’t adequately ensure land is returned to equivalent state before development

BANFF, ALTA. — Alberta’s conservation and reclamation program on former energy sites is not working properly, said a government land scientist. Once a former well site is certified as reclaimed, nobody follows up to make sure the land was returned to an equivalent state before development, said Arnold Janz, a land scientist with Alberta Environment […] Read more


U.S. struggles with traceability

DENVER, Colo. — Implementing livestock traceability in the United States has been like a long engagement in which the bride fears she may never make it to the altar. “We have been working on this topic for 14 or maybe even 20 years and it seems the same 14 points that we have settled on […] Read more