Dairy producers look for lameness solutions

The problem, which farmers often underestimate, is persistent around the world and in many cases is not getting better

VANCOUVER — Lameness is the number one problem among dairy cattle affecting a cow’s quality of life and health. “It is such a painful disease and most of the costs are related to the production loss,” said Laura Solano, a Calgary animal care specialist who works with dairy farmers through her company, Farm Animal Care […] Read more

Roger and Lana Groot and their four children — Lily, 8, Corbin, 6, Bryce, 4 and Brody, 1 — are part of a youthful demographic in an area where there are few farmers and even fewer young people.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Couple shows ranching’s younger side

The Groots had limited experience but a willingness to learn when they took over the family ranch in northern B.C.

TOPLEY, B.C. — Roger and Lana Groot became full-time ranchers in 2011 with limited experience but plenty of willingness to take over the family operation at Topley. Located on Highway 16 about 275 kilometres northwest of Prince George, Hatch Creek Ranch is a showplace with a newly renovated house, tidy landscaping and neat corrals. The […] Read more

Supply management divide hard to bridge

Martha Hall Findlay says consumers should not have to pay inflated dairy prices to support wealthy farmers


The chasm may never close between those who believe in supply management and those who don’t. Albert Kamps, vice-chair of Alberta Milk, does not want the uncertainty his counterparts face in other countries when the world price of milk fluctuates. “Price volatility is back and we want the stability of our system. We are content […] Read more


Grandin still focusing on cattle welfare

Good stockmanship is an important and highly skilled job that does not get enough credit. Animal behaviourist Temple Grandin has been advocating kindness and patience with livestock throughout her 40-year career. She said she finds she must continue to stress good stockmanship because improvements for the simplest things are still needed. “When I started my […] Read more

Gemma McNeill at Zaklan Heritage Farm checks lettuce ready for transplanting with a farm employee. The farm works with family members and has three employees for field and greenhouse work.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

B.C. couple keeps heritage farm thriving

Vegetable farm in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland grows produce in fields and greenhouses on eight acres of land

SURREY, B.C. — Hidden among the stylish cul de sacs in suburban Surrey, a thriving vegetable farm sits that has been in the Zaklan family for 90 years. For the last six years, Doug Zaklan and Gemma McNeill have been farming eight acres of land growing a variety of vegetables in fields and greenhouses within […] Read more


Ryan Konynenbelt, 21, of Nobleford, Alta., is the youngest to be named the international livestock auctioneer champion at the Calgary Stampede. | Barbara Duckworth photo

Alberta man wins world livestock auctioneering crown

A southern Albertan who has been selling cattle since he was 16 years old is the international livestock auctioneer champion at the Calgary Stampede. At 21, Ryan Konynenbelt of Nobleford, Alta., is the youngest to win this contest that drew 36 competitors from Canada, United States, South Africa and Australia. The win earned him $10,000 […] Read more

Water with high sulfate levels affects copper absorption rates, and cows younger than 10 years are likely to not get pregnant if they suffer from a copper deficiency.  |  Jeannette Greaves photo

Providing poor quality water can end in disaster

Cattle can adapt to water with high sulfate levels, but there is a limit on how much they can tolerate

All animals need water, but in addition to lack of water, poor water quality can also cause disasters. Cattle need about 30 kilograms of water per day but requirements can vary according to the animal’s age, life stage and the weather. They need more water as temperatures rise past 27 C. Cattle on grass that […] Read more

High-risk calves pose big problem for feedlots

Calves often arrive at the feedlot unvaccinated, with horns and unaccustomed to using a feed bunk or water tank

Every fall, millions of calves end up in sale barns where they can be exposed to diseases, transportation stresses and other injuries. Feedlots commonly buy calves that have not been vaccinated, dehorned and are not accustomed to eating from a feed bunk or drinking from a water tank, said Dan Thomson, a veterinarian at Kansas […] Read more


Longer travel times can affect slaughter cattle’s mobility

A major beef packer announced in 2013 it would no longer accept cattle treated with the beta agonist Zilmax because it appeared to be connected to lame slaughter cattle. Since then, researchers have worked to assess the extent of the mobility problems. Jacob Hagenmaier of Elanco participated in research to assess the extent of lameness […] Read more

CAP to fund Alta. ag businesses

More than $90 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership has been announced to help Alberta businesses expand food exports and promote agriculture through five different programs. In Alberta, the partnership commits a federal-provincial investment of $406 million over five years toward strategic programs and services that are aligned to national objectives and tailored to priorities […] Read more