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


During winter, bison are able to slow their metabolisms to reduce their feed requirements to maintain or lose weight. During winter, with reduced metabolism, an adult bison can lose 10 to 15 percent of its body weight.
 | File photo

Evolution has turned bison into efficient grazers

CAMROSE, Alta. — Bison evolved while grazing vast grasslands, and that evolution has allowed it to thrive better than cattle on mature, low-quality grasses, said a livestock nutritionist. “Mature grasses in The Prairies are lower in protein and energy and the bison have evolved to use lower quality,” said Annette Suominen. “They are the master […] Read more

Alta. organic growers explore check-off fees

Camrose, Alta. — Money problems with farm groups are as perennial as weeds. After the income and expenses were added up at the end of 2019, Organic Alberta had $7,025 more income than expenses. “It has always been this way. We go from project to project. That is not anything new. It’s not a new […] Read more

Rajan Rathnavalu of Camrose, Alta., gives a presentation to the Holistic Management and Organic Alberta conference in Camrose about his hopes to raise $2 million and use the co-op structure to buy Don and Marie Ruzicka’s farm and create a template for regenerating rural areas.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Co-operative model used in attempt to buy farm

The Sunrise Community Farm Co-op wants to buy an Alberta farm as part of an effort to maintain its rural sustainability

CAMROSE, Alta. — Twenty years ago Don and Marie Ruzicka changed the way they farmed. Now they hope they can create a new way to sell the farm. Their 640-acre certified organic Ruzicka Sunrise Farm has become an ecological oasis with native prairie, replanted tame pasture, large bodies of water protected by vegetation, more than […] Read more


Katelyn Duban of Lethbridge, right, interviews Kelly Sidoryk of Lloydminster, Alta., for Duban’s The Rural Woman Podcast during a session at the Holistic Management and Organic Alberta conference in Camrose Feb. 1.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Podcast tells stories of prairie farm women

The weekly Rural Woman Podcast has featured 41 women with 50,000 downloads since its launch last March

CAMROSE, Alta. — Inspiration can come from anywhere. For Katelyn Duban, inspiration for her podcast came from driving a tractor with no air conditioning and scrolling through Instagram. “I was watching stories of amazing women who were farming and ranching all their lives in their own unique way,” Duban said during a Holistic Management and […] Read more

The hardware store fire in Hines Creek, Alta., in 1981 is one of the topics covered in the Hines Creek Book Facebook page.  |  Photos courtesy of Roxanne Lefebvre

Alberta town’s history becomes online sensation

A popular Facebook page provides former residents of Hines Creek an opportunity to stay connected with their roots

The logical place to start when gathering stories for a history book was to begin a Facebook page, said Roxanne Lefebvre. Four years later, the Hines Creek history book has long been published, but the Hines Creek History Book Facebook page has grown and attracts new members each week. “I have lots of members who […] Read more