Jody Wacowich will soon be at the helm of Alberta’s new farm safety organization, spending much of her time easing concerns among producers who might still be at odds with incoming rule changes. | Screencap via agsafeab.ca

Safety organization hires first executive

Part of Jody Wacowich’s role at AgSafe Alberta will be to ease concerns some may have over the incoming rule changes


Jody Wacowich will soon be at the helm of Alberta’s new farm safety organization, spending much of her time easing concerns among producers who might still be at odds with incoming rule changes. Wacowich, who will be AgSafe Alberta’s new executive director starting in August, acknowledges that getting everyone comfortable with the new rules will […] Read more

Brian Tischler demonstrates how he’s able to drive his tractor autonomously using software on a laptop.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Alta. farmer’s autonomous tractor working well

Brian Tischler, who demonstrated his technology at canolaPALOOZA in Lacombe in late June, says safety is crucial

LACOMBE, Alta. — Brian Tischler stands in front of a moving tractor. Nobody is in the driver’s seat, but the machine stops. It senses he’s there. He then decides to get out of the tractor’s way. The machine notices he’s no longer there and carries on with business, moving forward. “We went around this field […] Read more

Verticillium stripe will give canola stems a shredded appearance. | Jeremy Simes photo

Researchers target little-known canola disease

LACOMBE, Alta. — A new project that aims to better understand a little-known canola disease may soon be underway on the Prairies. Researchers behind the project, which is awaiting funding but likely going forward, hope they will be able determine whether verticillium stripe negatively affect yields, said Clint Jurke, agronomy director with the Canola Council […] Read more


Alberta’s United Conservative Party is proposing recommendations it hopes will reduce rural crime in the province.
 | WP photo illustration

Legal use of force called for in Alberta

Alberta’s United Conservative Party is proposing recommendations it hopes will reduce rural crime in the province. One of those includes a push to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to support the use of force as self-defence. The opposition party said in a report released last week that sections 34 and 35 of the Criminal […] Read more

Gary Sweetnam sells his females as breeding stock for other farmers looking to get into the business, while the males are used for pet food and for meat sold directly to consumers and restaurants.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Alta. producer finds success raising bison

Madden, Alta. — Gary Sweetnam doesn’t beat around the bush when asked about why he got into raising bison. For him, it’s been a profitable venture. “There has been good money in it,” said Sweetnam, who owns Glengary Bison with his wife, Cynthia Austin, near Madden. The couple raise about 40 head on prairie grasses […] Read more


Jacob Marfo, manager and research co-ordinator with the Mackenzie Applied Research Association, looks at how his organic oat trials are doing in Fort Vermilion, Alta.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Northern organic farmers get help

Fort Vermilion, Alta. — A new organic program in northern Alberta hopes to help solve farmers’ woes when it comes to growing in the region. The recently launched Mackenize County Organic Success Program will see the hiring of an agronomist to help with issues relating to weeds, soil fertility, crop rotations, finances and marketing. As […] Read more

Greyhound Canada plans to end all passenger and freight services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, a decision that will leave some rural residents in the lurch. | Screencap via Twitter/@GreyhoundBus

‘Absolutely horrifying:’ Greyhound pulls out of the Prairies

Greyhound Canada plans to end all passenger and freight services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, a decision that will leave some rural residents in the lurch. The company said on its website today the changes will take effect Oct. 31. Stuart Kendrick, who spoke with the Canadian Press in an interview, said the decision affects […] Read more

Nancy Hewlett hurls a heavy slab of sprouted barley to feed her hens and roosters on the Sage Creek Permaculture farm.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Alta. farm champions regenerative agriculture

A fodder system allows cattle on the Sage Creek Permaculture farm to eat 100 percent grass all year round

AIRDRIE, Alta. — Nancy Hewlett hurls a heavy slab of sprouted barley into the pig pen. She then moves to the chickens, chucking in another slab. The animals devour it almost instantly. The grass slabs, known as fodder, are constantly growing on the Hewlett’s farm, Sage Creek Permaculture, near Airdrie, Alta. She and her husband, […] Read more


Bill Boese is turning bush into new cropland on his farm near Fort Vermilion, Alta.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Northern Alta. farmer breaks fresh ground

Optimism and opportunity have long been part of the Boese family, which started farming in northwestern Alta. in 1965

FORT VERMILION, Alta. — Bill Boese is clearing 600 acres of bush to make way for new cropland, an exciting venture that highlights his optimism for the future. “This doesn’t happen in very many places,” said Boese, on his farm near Fort Vermilion, Alta., which is located in one of the province’s most northern points. […] Read more

Starting Dec. 1, seatbelts will be required wherever possible for all equipment that is more than 700 kilograms. If it’s not possible to install them, the rules state farmers must use reasonably practical methods, such as driving slow.
 | File photo

Alberta gov’t unveils new farm safety rules

The new rules, which go into effect Dec. 1, address seatbelt use, operating older equipment and conducting inspections

Alberta farms and ranches with paid employees will soon be required to follow a slate of new safety rules, some of which address using seatbelts, operating older equipment and conducting inspections. The province announced the incoming changes last week in an effort to strike a balance between keeping farm workers safe while ensuring operators can […] Read more