Alberta beef plant works its way back into marketplace

Bringing a decommissioned beef plant back into business may have taken longer than owner Rich Vesta expected, but Harmony Beef is making a name for itself in the western Canadian cattle scene. He and his family bought the former Ranchers’ Beef plant near Calgary at Balzac, Alta., in November 2013 and opened it in March […] Read more

Dallas Vert and Natasha Popisil were named Alberta’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2019. They farm at Kirriemuir and have three children: Reese, seven, Tegan, three and Ryker, three months.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Alberta farm family finds a work-life balance

On the Farm: Dallas Vert and Natasha Popisil run three agricultural businesses but also find time for family vacations

KIRRIEMUIR, Alta. — Dallas Vert always knew he wanted to farm and his wife Natasha Popisil was willing to follow the dream. The couple, both 36, farm 11,000 acres at Kirriemuir in east-central Alberta and were named the province’s outstanding young farmers for 2019. Their neighbours, Craig and Jinelle Ference, were national winners last year […] Read more

Lorna Hamming judges the 4-H dairy show at the Chilliwack Fair. A former member, she gives back to the organization by judging and helping at shows.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Dairy farming in the delta proves interesting

Martiann Holsteins manages operations in British Columbia’s densely populated Lower Mainland region

DELTA, B.C. — Running a dairy farm in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia could be like sleeping next to an elephant named Vancouver. Located at Delta, B.C., Martiann Holsteins was started by Martin and Ann Hamming in 1974. Perry and Angela Hamming and their daughter Lorna followed in their footsteps. The property is a […] Read more


Chris and Melissa Souto moved from British Columbia to Airdrie, Alta., to manage Souto Farms, where they grow vegetables for farmers markets. | Barbara Duckworth photo

B.C. farm finds new challenges in Alberta

AIRDRIE, Alta. — When the Souto family set up a new farm on 27 acres near Airdrie, they soon learned they were not in British Columbia anymore. Plenty of wind, new weeds and a different farming style introduced them to foothills cultivation. “It is completely different from B.C. Everything we learned growing up was out […] Read more

The need for people to work in meat processing plants has received much attention, but officials say there is also a great demand in other parts of the beef industry as well.  |  File photo

Feedlot worker retention a challenge

Feedlot owners and ranchers urge the agriculture industry to do a better job of addressing the sector’s labour needs

Finding suitable hired hands on the farm is one thing. Keeping them is another. Alberta feedlot owner Ryan Kasko and Saskatchewan rancher Lynn Grant of Saskatchewan understand the importance of encouraging Canadians to work on farms but their experiences reflect the reality of living in rural areas. Foreign workers from rural regions often fit in […] Read more


The devastating foot-and-mouth disease outbreak that rocked Saskatchewan in 1952 left a lasting legacy in this country.  |  File photo

Co-ordinated animal disease response sought

The National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council is working with government and industry representatives


The catastrophic consequences of a potential foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Canada terrify the livestock industry. Different sectors have already experienced the impact of foreign animal diseases like BSE, avian influenza, porcine epidemic diarrhea and bovine tuberculosis, said veterinarian Megan Bergman, head of the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council. “We are in a situation […] Read more

Wade and Sandra Clifton of Keremeos, B.C., received the national environmental stewardship awarded at the recent Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

B.C. ranch recognized for conservation efforts

The Clifton family of Keremeos, B.C., receive the national environmental stewardship award for their range practices

Long-term improvements to a family ranch in south-central British Columbia were recognized when the Clifton family received the national environmental stewardship award. Clifton Ranch, which is based on arid land near Keremeos in the Similkameen Valley, received the award at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary. The family has been in the area for […] Read more

Producers need disease information

Better information for commodity groups and producers is needed on how to respond when a foreign animal disease emergency occurs. “We want to focus on prevention but the reality is most of this project is geared around response,” said Matt Taylor of the Canadian Animal Health Coalition. The coalition developed a standardized approach for provinces […] Read more


Foot-and-mouth vaccine test studied

If foot-and-mouth disease landed in Canada, there would not be enough vaccine available to protect livestock. “There are seven distinct types of foot-and-mouth virus and they have unique subtypes so a vaccine might not work,” said consultant Robb McNabb, formerly with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. International markets would close automatically and the Canadian Food Inspection […] Read more

Whether dairy or beef, a resolution to the former NAFTA trade agreement will be welcomed by producers on both side of the border. Last week a boy was minding his family’s show cattle at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa.  |  REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Trade deal likely to go through after delay

The fate of the United States-Canada-Mexico free trade agreement is in the hands of politicians, says the past-president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Kevin Kester is confident the U.S. will not ratify the agreement before congress takes its summer recess but it will be signed probably before the Christmas break. “Keep in mind whether […] Read more