Coleman Watt competes in a saddle bronc competition organized by the Canadian Cowboy Association. The CCA is going ahead with the 2021 season as COVID-19 restrictions lift. | Lenora Bells photo

Rodeos slowly return after catastrophic pandemic year

Most rodeos in 2020 were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But in the spring of 2021, the Calgary Stampede said it would be doing as much as it could to bring the rodeo back after losing $26.5 million in 2020 due to its cancellation. This comes as vaccinations continue across the Prairies. Smaller rodeos […] Read more

Parkland County mayor Rod Shaigec, who chairs the RAMP Task Force, talks with task force members about a plan to preserve farmland in the Edmonton area. | Photo courtesy the RAMP Task Force/Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board

Edmonton targets urban sprawl

The area around Edmonton is prime agricultural land comprising about one-third of Alberta’s black soil zone. Urban sprawl threatens to overtake it. That has spurred development of the Regional Agriculture Master Plan (RAMP), set in motion by the Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Board. According to Rod Shaigec, Parkland County mayor and chair of the RAMP Task […] Read more

RCMP say the situation is no longer considered a criminal investigation because it was a miscommunication between the people involved. | RCMP photo

Sask. police solve case of ‘stolen’ windmill

It must be hard to steal a 41-foot-tall century-old steel windmill, but that’s the report that the Indian Head RCMP dealt with last month. However, theft of the Vibank, Sask., antique was later found to be a case of misunderstanding among neighbours. Sgt. Ryan Case of the Indian Head RCMP said the confusion started when […] Read more

Teacher Susan Muir, left, and her educational assistant hand out locally grown Saskatchewan food at Dr. Brass School in Yorkton, Sask. | Melissa Bezan photo

Breakfast on the Farm teaches kids about ag

Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan recently introduced the educational program in four schools across the province

As a farmer, Clinton Monchuk has seen misinformation often spread about agriculture. As the executive director of Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan, he decided to do something about it. Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan connects people with food and the farms that make the food. The Breakfast on the Farm program is designed to connect […] Read more

The Institute for Sustainable Food Systems’ Okanagan Bioregion Food System report says the region has some of the highest quality farmland in the province. | File photo

Okanagan food report studies sustainability

A study on farming and food systems in the Okanagan region of British Columbia focuses on regionalization. Released by the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS), the 80-page Okanagan Bioregion Food System report comprises three years of research. “The Bioregion Food System project in the Okanagan is intended to examine the potentials and substantially re-regionalizing […] Read more

Researchers have found the larvae of the Dichrorampha aeratana moth feeds on the root of the oxeye daisy weed, stunting the growth and reproduction of the plant. | Screencap via

Moth may stop daisy spread

A root-feeding moth could help prairie farmers control an invasive weed that has plagued them for years. The oxeye daisy plant is not native to Canada, but is found in all western provinces, where it is categorized as a noxious weed. It can affect the quality of grass seed crops, such as timothy hay. Entomologist […] Read more

A new study argues that a co-ordinated global reporting mechanism could minimize the risk of spread of plant diseases such as Ug99, a rust that has devastated cereal crops around the world. | USDA photo

Researchers warn about plant pandemics

New report calls for more pathogen surveillance and monitoring systems and better strategies to address plant diseases

The world is preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, but plant pandemics are also a threat. Sixteen researchers published a paper in May urging action to prevent the spread of plant pathogens such as rust, which affects a variety of plants, and Panama disease in bananas. McGill University professor Graham MacDonald is one of the researchers, […] Read more

Shale Creek Bison Ranch is home to approximately 60 head. | Danielle Moran photo

First generation rancher thrives raising bison

Doing custom work for a bison producer was all it took to convince
this grain farmer from Manitoba to switch career paths 25 years ago

Jamie Moran started his agricultural career in grain farming, but it didn’t last. Not after he did custom work for a bison rancher and found his calling. “There was just something about them,” he said. “I watched this other guy for 10 years. I custom worked with them for years and years and I just […] Read more

Mark and Claudia Keating stand with some of their staff at Keating Seeds. | Photo courtesy of Mark Keating

Family runs three businesses simultaneously

The Keatings produce grain on their farm near Russell, Man., but also find time to operate a seed plant and a restaurant

For most people, running one business is more than enough, but not for Mark Keating, who owns and operates three. Keating is a grain farmer from Russell, Man., a farm that has been in his family for more than 100 years. “I feel very privileged to have that opportunity,” Keating said about operating his multigenerational […] Read more

Melissa Bezan, the WP’s new intern, was raised on a mixed, multigenerational farm in western Manitoba, just north of Inglis. | Supplied photo

Internship returns writer to her roots

Last year was a year of firsts for me: my first year of journalism school, my first pet of my own, my first summer away from home, and my first real journalism job, here at The Western Producer. Here is another first, one you’re reading right now and one that I’ve rewritten five times — […] Read more