Mel Paton, left, visits with former employee Ernie Hansen as they unload a truck of wheat into the bin on the first day of harvest.  |Curt Paton photo

Sask. farmer takes off his 71st crop

Mel Paton, his two sons and their families farm 12,000 acres, a far cry from where he began as a 14-year-old in 1949

Mel Paton has been at this farming thing awhile now. At nearly 86 years old, his 71st harvest is in the bin. “It is one of the best crops I have grown and weather-wise, it’s been one of the best years, especially after last year,” said the veteran rancher and farmer. “But it can start […] Read more

Cassandra Lepp, the eldest of the two sisters, said they provide a clear and factual voice for the agricultural industry, and by incorporating their love of fashion, it also gives them a creative outlet. Their fashion photos provide them some contrast and reprieve from the physically demanding, sometimes tedious and dirty work of farming. | Screencap via Instagram/@thetulepp

Sisters use Instagram to share farm support message

Two sisters from Rivers, Man., are showing they are a force to be reckoned with in farming and fashion. But more importantly, they are increasing awareness on topics such as mental health and the agri-food industry, while empowering women and creating a positive space via their Instagram platform @thetulepps. “One of our goals with The […] Read more

Society has traditionally treated dying as taboo, which is what the organizers of Death Cafes are attempting to counter.  |  Getty Images

Death cafes help ease fear of dying

Manitoba death doulas hold discussion groups where people can share their personal experiences with dying and death

The Death Café approach to starting conversation about death and dying is a relatively new concept to hit southwestern Manitoba. Compassionate people like Christine Cross and Cathy Coulter of Virden are using their training to pioneer the movement in the area and to help make the experience informative and positive. Cross said a Death Café […] Read more

Tooke horses are still waiting their turn in the rodeo ring.  |  Ken Howie photo

Rodeo legend created ‘born to buck’

Feek Tooke single-handedly changed the face of the sport eight decades ago by breeding horses specifically for the ring

The loss of the Calgary Stampede this year and the cancellation of most fairs and rodeos due to COVID-19 have strained many pocket books. Rodeo stock contractors and cowboys rely on rodeos to make a living. However, the cancellations haven’t dulled the tenacity and spirit to produce great bucking horses. Jim Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., […] Read more

Too many choices to make can be overwhelming for farmers because they can cause confusion, take too much time to explore and provoke anxiety.  |  Getty Images

Immediate action uncommon with farm stress

Anxiety and depression are the most seen mental health issues facing today’s farmers, but many don’t seek help till later

Farming is a stressful business, and 2020 is shaping up to be a doozy. A dry summer across a good part of the Prairies last year was followed by a delayed harvest due to excess moisture in fall. That led to poor yields and crop left unharvested over winter in some areas. Then came the […] Read more

Professionals specializing in the mental health field say they have noticed a shift in producers’ willingness to open up with someone who they can trust and who understands the issues facing farmers.  | Getty Images

Agricultural lifestyle called conducive to farm stress

The independent spirit that helps farmers cope with working in isolation can also make it more difficult to ask for help

The most important components of a farming operation are its people. “In agriculture, we always hear about the latest advances in technology and innovation, and we forgot about our people,” said Lesley Kelly, co-founder of the Do More Agriculture Foundation, an organization founded to deal with mental health issues facing farmers. “We should’ve been talking […] Read more

Lower than average resilience can pose risk for producers

Never has farming been under such high scrutiny as it is today. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the modern world has never needed agriculture more than it does today. Farmers bear the weight of the world as the main source of global food supplies. As a result, recent studies have concluded that suicide […] Read more

Kim McConnell, a longtime supporter of the 4-H movement, paid to build and erect a cairn in Hamiota, Man., in honour of the McConnell Beef Club.  |  Supplied photo

4-H movement inspires continuing loyalty

Many adults remain intense supporters of the organization long after they and their children leave active membership

Candace Tolton of Kenton, Man., has taken the 4-H motto of “learn to do by doing” to heart. She has worked her way up the ranks to become president of the Manitoba 4-H Council. Tolton’s road to 4-H began when her eldest daughter, Brooke, turned nine and was old enough to join their local multi-purpose […] Read more

Lacey Marshall, centre, her daughter, Maci, and sister, Jerry-Lynn Marshall, wear shirts from her custom Wildflower Stitchin’ brand.  |  Photo courtesy of Lacey Marshall

Man. woman turns grief into thriving business

A decision to teach herself how to sew western shirts like her late mother used to do leads to a thriving venture

Lacey Marshall of Rapid City, Man., started sewing slightly more than a year ago, compelled by her mom’s influence, her own determination, and the excitement of sharing a family tradition with her daughter. A desire to sew some shirts for herself and her daughter, Maci, has become full-blown business with her Wildflower Stitchin brand of […] Read more

Kelvin Dushnisky is chief executive officer of AngloGold Ashanti in Johannesburg.  |  AngloGold Ashanti photo

Farm boy from Manitoba hits the big time

Kelvin Dushnisky, who grew up on a farm near Birtle, now runs the third largest gold mining company in the world

No matter where life takes Kelvin Dushnisky, chief executive officer of AngloGold Ashanti in Johannesburg, South Africa, he still considers Manitoba his home. “I have lived in a few places but unequivocally when I am asked where I call home, the answer is Manitoba,” says Dushnisky. “I am very proudly Manitoban and I promote the […] Read more