Sherry Thoveson and Scott Williams reported the killing of one of their bulls Oct. 9 on their ranch northwest of Edmonton.  |  Supplied photo

Cattle shootings stun Alberta ranch family

A heifer and bull were killed in separate incidents near Onoway, while a pregnant cow was also shot but survived

An Alberta ranching family is offering a $5,000 reward to find out who shot three of their cattle in three separate incidents, damaging their livelihood and raising fears for their personal safety. “I feel like I’ve gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson and he’s ripped off both my ears,” says Sherry Thoveson as she and […] Read more

Jennifer Davies, director of the Diagnostic Services Unit at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, works in the school’s lab.  |  Doug Ferguson photo

New vet lab can also protect human health

The University of Calgary’s Diagnostic Services Unit has the capability to monitor diseases that could spread to humans

A decades-long gap in Alberta’s ability to test livestock for diseases is beginning to be bridged due to a new laboratory being launched at the University of Calgary. The project will help ease costs and deliver quicker results, and the lab will keep an eye on diseases that could potentially spread to humans, said Jennifer […] Read more

No property taxes will be charged on new wells and pipelines for three years

Alberta temporarily freezes municipal taxes on energy sector

After hitting the pause button on plans to help Alberta’s oil and gas companies by reducing taxes levied by rural municipalities, the provincial government said it has come up with a solution that will help both sides. “I feel with our decision today, we have balanced the needs of both municipalities and the oil and […] Read more

The policy resolution was approved by slightly less than 53 percent of the 793 people who voted at the AGM. | Screencap via Twitter/@Alberta_UCP

UCP convention supports private health care

The governing United Conservative Party has passed a resolution supporting the option of a privately funded and managed health-care system for Alberta. The decision was made during voting Oct. 17 by UCP members on policies submitted during the party’s virtual annual general meeting. Critics of private health care have long maintained that such a move […] Read more

Alberta premier defends doctor reform

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said “perhaps misinformed attacks” by the Alberta Medical Association on his government’s initiative to rein in health-care costs have helped fuel grievances by rural physicians. “We acknowledge that there are always unique challenges in recruiting and retaining rural physicians, that’s not new to Alberta,” he told the recent virtual annual general […] Read more

Kenney spoke as part of a question-and-answer session Oct. 17 during the annual general meeting of the governing United Conservative Party. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held online for the first time, with about 1,400 party members registering for the virtual event, he said. | Doug Ferguson photo

Kenney recognizes energy-climate change balancing act

Alberta must be able to “walk and chew gum at the same time” when it comes to promoting projects such as oil and gas pipelines, said premier Jason Kenney. Access to capital for the energy sector increasingly “requires a demonstration that companies and governments are serious about improving their environmental performance — reducing their CO2 […] Read more

Farm leaders worry that most producers aren’t yet aware of the implications that looming regulatory changes will have on them.  |  File photo

Farmers request private rail crossing extension

Prairie farm groups want Ottawa to extend the deadline for when landowners become responsible for maintenance

Farmers in all three prairie provinces are asking Ottawa to put the brakes on a federal deadline affecting private rail crossings they rely on to access everything from fields to homes. “We are sending a letter asking for an extension,” said Lynn Jacobson, president of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture, adding the issue likely isn’t […] Read more

The federal government’s goal is to minimize accidents at grade crossings, according to Frederica Dupuis, a senior adviser for media relations with Transport Canada. | File photo

Feds insist farmers’ road access safe under new rules

Transport Canada urges landowners to contact railways if they have not yet been notified about their private crossings

Could private crossings on rail lines be shut down if farmers fail to meet new federal safety rules, cutting them off from fields, and even their homes in some cases? A Transport Canada adviser says no, but questions about maintenance and upgrade costs linger. “No one will lose access to their fields or homes as […] Read more

Researchers suspect that Potomac fever found in Alberta horses is caused by a bacteria for which veterinarians aren’t testing.  |Jeannette Greaves photo

Horse illness raises questions of exact bacterial cause

Potomac fever in horses can cause severe diarrhea, high temperatures, abortion of fetuses, lethargy and anorexia

Scientists are investigating whether a species of bacteria shown to cause symptoms similar to Potomac fever in horses is present in Alberta. It raises the possibility of extra biosecurity and isolation requirements, which could impact the owners of affected horses, said a researcher. “We have a lot of horses that come in that we think […] Read more

Alberta funds start-up program in Olds

Provincial government provides money to develop collaboration between Olds College and a business accelerator program

Agricultural startups in Alberta are about to get a shot at the world stage thanks to Olds College and a global Silicon Valley innovation and investment program. “This is Silicon Valley meets Olds College meets rural Alberta meets farming,” said Doug Schweitzer, provincial minister of jobs, economy and innovation. “I couldn’t think of a better […] Read more