Kevin Lefsrud, who farms near Viking, Alta., started distilling honey as a way to find a creative outlet after retiring from the CFL because of concussions. | Section 35 photo

Producer finds fun outlet making honey liquor

On the Farm: Kevin Lefsrud needed a creative pastime after retiring from the Canadian Football League because of multiple concussions

VIKING, Alta. — When Kevin Lefsrud began coping with his concussion, he realized he needed a creative outlet to improve his mental health. He decided to distill honey, creating an array of uniquely flavoured alcohols through his company, Section 35. “Concussions are a very nasty thing,” he said, speaking in a telephone interview from his […] Read more

Protesters hold up a Black Lives Matter banner as they march during a demonstration against racial inequality in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The turmoil seen in the United States and around the world may seem far removed from the Prairies, but people of colour say they also experience racism in rural Canada.  |  Reuters/Erin Scott photo

Racism: not someone else’s problem

People of colour who work in the agriculture sector share their experiences and argue the rural Prairies are not immune

Himadry Singh was once told she needed a more white-sounding name. In another instance, someone said to her she was only hired to fill a diversity quota. She has also been asked if her parents speak good English. The racist comments are only a few that Singh, a marketer in agriculture, has dealt with. She […] Read more

Volunteers in the Clive, Alta., area created scrub bags for health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic that included indigenous artwork. |  Laurie Hermary photo

Alta. community creates scrub bags

Health-care workers can use the bags to store their work clothes after shifts to help reduce the spread of COVID-19

When Laurie Hermary first realized scrub bags were needed for health-care workers in neighbouring communities, she immediately went work. Hermary, along with many others, began sewing dozens of bags. Health-care and group-home workers can use them to store their work clothes after their shifts. With COVID-19, health-care employees are trying to reduce the spread of […] Read more


The regulations require railway companies and public transport authorities to meet new safety standards by Nov. 27, 2021. Landowners with private crossings must also meet the regulations, and may be required pay for some of the upgrade costs. | File photo

Private rail crossing upgrades could be costly

Farmers may have to decide whether they want to keep their crossings as new regulations come into force next year

Farmers with private rail crossings will have to decide whether to keep them when new regulations come into effect late next year. The regulations require railway companies and public transport authorities to meet new safety standards by Nov. 27, 2021. Landowners with private crossings must also meet the regulations, and may be required pay for […] Read more

Alberta launches new funding opportunity for agriculture

The $40 million fund is intended to provide economic benefits to the agricultural sector and help it reduce emissions

The Alberta government will be providing funds to agriculture ventures that demonstrate they can help boost the economy and lower carbon emissions through innovation. The $40 million in new funds, announced in early June, will be funnelled through Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA). The provincial corporation is requesting industry members to submit applications. The forestry industry […] Read more


Wet spring dampens progress in northern Alta.

It has been an extremely stressful spring for Bryan Gacek. Gacek, who farms with his dad near Peace River, Alta., has been dealing with saturated conditions, making it difficult to harvest last year’s crop and seed another one. “We seeded everything into mud. There is no dry ground anywhere,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. I’ve taken […] Read more

Farm groups that are part of the fusarium head blight working group welcomed the changes, arguing that the removal of fusarium from the Pest Nuisance Control Regulation of the Agricultural Pests Act will allow for sustainable mitigation. | File photo

Alta. removes fusarium from pest act

The Alberta government is removing fusarium graminearum from its pest regulation, a move industry says will allow for better management of the disease. The government said in a news release June 3 that regulating the disease has failed to stop it, arguing the changes allow for the modernization of management practices. It said rates of […] Read more

The Longview 4-H Beef Club has raised a steer named River, with proceeds going to the High River District Health Care Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund. | Stephen Hughes photo

4-H shows fundraising spirit during pandemic

Clubs adjust to COVID-19 by going digital to showcase their work and raise money for charities such as food banks

Despite changes to their activities, 4-H members have adjusted fairly well during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clubs have started showcasing their work and have undertaken fundraising efforts. Even though everything is digital, they’ve continued to be successful. “Our motto is to learn by doing, and that is what we’re doing,” said Susann Stone, executive director of […] Read more


A new report recommends the development of a long-term awareness program, a local food and beverage alliance and a procurement policy, as well as support for the efficient movement of local food, the expansion of processing, the modernizing of regulations, and exemptions of some rules for border regions. | File photo

Alta. local food council wants better branding, food hubs

Alberta’s former local food council has put forward a number of recommendations it says will help bolster the sector. The recommendations were part of the council’s interim report, which was submitted in March 2019. The unreleased document was recently obtained by The Western Producer. Within the report, the council provided seven recommendations. It was mandated […] Read more

The survey, conducted from Feb. 10-21, found that roughly seven in 10 producers (72 percent) have had an incident resulting in an injury, or they experienced a close call at some point in their lifetime. 
| Screencap via fcc-fac.ca

Farmers fail to act on safety

Farmers don’t necessarily change their behaviour when they experience close calls or are injured while working, according to a new survey from Farm Credit Canada. The survey, conducted from Feb. 10-21, found that roughly seven in 10 producers (72 percent) have had an incident resulting in an injury, or they experienced a close call at […] Read more