Brent Sterling combines wheat with his (by today’s standards) very small John Deere 45 combine with 10 foot cut header.  |  Les Dunford photo

Wheat field harvest uses vintage equipment

Aficionados of old farm equipment get together in Westlock, Alta., to take off a crop the way it was done in the old days

The Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club in Westlock, Alta., plants a small field of wheat every year on the Westlock and District Ag Society grounds. In the fall, a portion of the crop is harvested with a binder and two loads of bundles are stored for the harvest demonstration at the show the following year.  […] Read more

Baptist Pastor Carson Cole with John and Winnie Anderson in front of the Westlock Baptist church, renewing their marriage vows 70 years later.  | Les Dunford photo

Alta. couple renew vows on 70th anniversary

John and Winnie Anderson had to abandon plans for a big family gathering, but they were still able to mark the occasion

Sometimes, ways can be found to make the best of a tough situation. May 6 marked the 70-year wedding anniversary for John and Winnie Anderson, and their children hoped to have a big family gathering to celebrate. But the COVID-19 pandemic spoiled their plans. So family and friends held a surprise parade past the Anderson’s […] Read more

Five farm groups asked the Alberta government to form a cattle commission in 1969.  | Paula Larson photo

Alberta Beef Producers marks 50 year milestone

In 1969, five organizations approached the Alberta government and asked it to establish a commission for the cattle industry. It was the beginning of what is now called Alberta Beef Producers That government was the last Social Credit government in Alberta, led by Premier Harry Strom. The agriculture minister at the time was Henry Ruste. […] Read more

Don Crews’ 1,884 pound site record pumpkin made a great perch for the winning grower.  |  Les Dunford photo

Winning pumpkin sets Canadian record

The 1,884 pounder was recently entered in the Great White North Pumpkin Weigh-off and Fair in Smoky Lake, Alta.

SMOKY LAKE, Alta. — Setting the bar ever higher is nothing new to Lloydminster pumpkin grower Don Crews. At the 30th annual Great White North Pumpkin Weigh-off and Fair in Smoky Lake, Oct. 6, Crews set a new Canadian record and a new site record — again. His pumpkin officially weighed in at 1,884 pounds […] Read more

Eddy Zaychkowsky grew a 2,255 pound pumpkin this year. | Les Dunford photo

Flawed giant becomes major attraction at pumpkin fair

Smoky Lake, Alta. — Eddy Zaychkowsky is on a mission to show everybody that Alberta can grow big pumpkins. That’s what he said before the official pumpkin weigh-off began at the 30th annual Smoky Lake Pumpkin Weigh-off and Fair held Oct. 6. Zaychkowsky is a regular at the annual event and always a strong competitor […] Read more

This is what happens when a large pumpkin is dropped on a car from 45 metres: a split second before impact, left, impact and a split second later. | Les Dunford photos

Pumpkin drop resulted in split-second demolition

SMOKY LAKE, Alta. — There’s something about watching a pumpkin being dropped about 45 metres from a crane onto a car and demolishing both that attracts a lot of people. The pumpkin drop, initiated several years ago at the Great White North Pumpkin Weigh-off and Fair at Smoky Lake, Alta., is the grand finale of […] Read more

A side view of the 50-year-old John Deere 95 combine with much of the tin cut away shows the inner workings.  |  Les Dunford photo

Project offers look inside a 50-year-old combine

Alberta man converts the machine into a demonstration model to show people how the old equipment worked

People driving in the country at harvest time see the big yellow, green and red combines moving through fields of grain, canola or pulse crops, with chaff and straw blowing out behind, and hear the hum of the machine. Some may see them unloading their bounty into grain carts or trucks, sometimes on the go. […] Read more

Jadeene and Rolin Wolfe take a break from seeding.  |  Les Dunford photo

Brother-sister team share a passion for farming

WESTLOCK, Alta. — The Wolff family has been farming in Westlock County for more than three-quarters of a century, and now the fourth generation is working the land and seeding and harvesting crops. Rolin Wolfe, with the help of his sister, Jadeene, was augering wheat into the tanks of a huge seed drill May 14 […] Read more

Jason Wrubleski and Greg Toronchuk work together to forge a regular horseshoe and a therapeutic horseshoe in the two-man, 45-minute event. In this instance, Wrubleski is the main man and Toronchuk his helper. They later reversed their roles for the second two-man event.  | Les Dunford photo

Blacksmithing mixes skill, art

It sounds simple enough: take a flat piece of steel, add heat and turn it into a horseshoe. But as you watch a farrier make a horseshoe, one blow at a time, you soon realize it is a combination of practised skill and art. On Feb. 10, the Ag Arena in Barrhead, Alta., became one […] Read more