Bob Machum of Camrose, a problem wildlife specialista nd retired fish and wildlife officer  sets five beaver traps on land near Camrose, Alta.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Burgeoning beavers build bulky barricades

CAMROSE, Alta. — Kevin MacDonald wouldn’t give a plugged nickel for the Canadian icon featured on the real nickel. This year, beavers have plugged culverts and flooded roads, fields and farmyards. “This year, it’s bonkers,” said MacDonald, manager of Camrose County’s Agricultural Service Board. The county has ripped apart roads to let the water drain […] Read more

E: The biodegradable film protects the crop and gives it the added heat units and growing degree days it needs to improve performance for the farm.  The corn thrives under the plastic early in the season, creating a greenhouse that encourages early season growth.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Poly pockets for corn

CAMROSE, Alta. — The old adage that corn should be waist high by the fourth of July may be reality in the United States Midwest, but in central Alberta it’s just a saying. Except at Vermeer’s Dairy in Camrose where much of the 600 acres of corn seeded under a biodegradable film is growing quickly […] Read more

Rosa Wipf of Bawlf, Alta., holds one of the last remaining hanging plants in her greenhouse. Wipf said she sold twice as many plants this year as last year and will be completely out by the end of the month, two weeks sooner than last year.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Self-isolation helps clean out greenhouses

Operators in Alberta hope the increased interest in gardening will create a greater urban appreciation for agriculture

BAWLF, Alta. — The thought of being confined to home for the summer has turned Albertans into gardeners, racing to greenhouses and snapping up flowers and vegetables to fill the summer hours. Across Alberta greenhouse owners were taken by surprise at the intense interest. It’s Rosa Wipf’s seventh year as a greenhouse owner and her […] Read more


Dustin Bajer of Edmonton designed the sticker as a twist on the “I heart Canadian oil and gas” stickers.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Stickers support soil and grass

People are digging Dustin Bajer’s soil and grass stickers. What began as a play on words of the successful “I heart Canadian oil and gas” stickers, which supported the Canadian energy industry, has become a nod to Canadian food, forestry and agriculture. “Soil and grass is already something worth loving,’’ said Bajer of Edmonton. Bajer […] Read more

Addison and Reagan Ross of the Camrose 4-H Beef Club par ticipate in a Zoom meeting. Like other groups, 4-H clubs have learned to be creative in holding meetings and shows.  |  Mike Ross photo

4-H clubs meet online as activities continue

Calves will be sold through an online auction, and members will learn how to conduct meetings using social media apps

For 4-H members, their motto “learn to do by doing” may have to temporarily change to “learn to do by zooming.” With the suspension of Alberta 4-H activities until May 31, many 4-H clubs have met using the meeting app Zoom, and some clubs are planning online auctions of their calves instead of the traditional […] Read more


Murray Sange of Veteran, Alta., Justin Dorey of Vermilion, Alta., and Judy Van Haren of Lacombe, Alta., chat during a producer panel at the Bison Producer’s of Alberta meeting.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Bison producers share their years of experience

CAMROSE, Alta. — Bison producers got a chance March 12 to ask three of their peers about their operations during a question and answer session at the Bison Producers of Alberta’s annual meeting. Judy Van Haren of Lacombe, Alta., who farms with her husband, Erwin, and son, Roger, has raised bison for 25 years. She […] Read more

Bison producers on firm footing, despite lower prices

CAMROSE, Alta. — Despite softening prices, the bison industry is still a great industry, said producers during the Alberta Bison Producers convention and sale. “We’re coming down off historically high prices. It has affected prices all the way down to the calves,” said Steven Lunty, chair of the bison association. “Frankly, we priced ourselves out […] Read more

School remains open with ag at its centre

ROUND HILL, Alta. — A central Alberta school will now revolve around agriculture after school trustees voted to keep the school open. Battle River School Division trustees voted five to three to keep the Round Hill School open and allow the Round Hill Renaissance Agriculture Program group to develop an agriculture-based program at the school. […] Read more


Nicola Irving and Kyle Nahirniak of Round Hill are part of the Round Hill Renaissance Agriculture Program designed to save their rural school.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Ag seen as saviour of rural Alta. school

ROUND HILL, Alta. — Families, students and community members are counting on agriculture to save their rural school. They’re counting on chickens, cows, gardening and dozens of other agricultural projects to build enthusiasm needed to stop their school from being closed. Round Hill School is one of just four schools in the Battle River School […] Read more

Vince McConnell shares photos from around the world as inspiration for bison producers to be brave and embrace new marketing ideas.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Bison ‘the perfect animal’ to promote for consumers

Presenter at the recent Wild Rose Bison Convention in Camrose, Alta., lauded the attributes of bison meat

CAMROSE, Alta. — Bison are the ideal animal for consumers’ changing diet, said an agrologist and sustainable agriculture adviser. Bison meat is healthy, the animal is native to North America and is the ideal grass animal, Vince McConnell told bison producers at their annual meeting. Instead of trying to compete with traditional livestock and markets, […] Read more