What does your future look like?

If you’re getting ready to retire, visualize what you want your life to look like — and figure out how much it will cost

To plan for retirement, it’s a good idea to think about what you want your retirement to look like. With a clear picture in mind, you can then set goals and figure out what needs to be done to reach those goals. Tim Eggers, field agricultural economist at Iowa State University, has designed a model […] Read more

Trusts can play key role in farm estate planning

Although trusts will not be of use to all producers, they will meet the needs of some, says Joel Bokenfohr, manager for business structures and financial policy with Alberta Agriculture and Colin Miller, developer of trusts in farm transition planning. A trust is a relationship between parties with interconnected rights and obligations. These parties include […] Read more

Communication key to smooth estate transition

Bob and Jan retired when they were 67 and 65 years old, after turning over the farm to their eldest son. They had a sound house and a big, beautiful yard that they both enjoyed working in. They were involved in the community and close friends with most of their neighbours. And their son and […] Read more


Home care nurses Tracy Hughes, Faye Street and Marion Linke are based in the Kelsey Trail Health Region. Bringing care to the patient is part of the home care philosophy, but regions have tough choices to make on limited budgets.  |  Shirley Byers photo

Should you go or can you stay?

If retired farmers want to remain on the farm as long as they can, factors such as safety, convenience and accessibility to health care will play a role in determining just how long that will be. Canada’s publicly funded health care system is made up of health insurance plans administered on a provincial or territorial […] Read more

A mother raccoon chewed her way into this home before giving birth in its attic. Animal damage is not covered by home insurance.  |  Ken Gartner, Animal Damage Control and Wildlife Specialist photo

Keeping home safe while away

“Happiness has many roots but none more important than security.”  Edward Stettinus, American statesman. Folks relaxing on the beach thousands of kilometres from their isolated farm house might well understand the wisdom in those words. How many pina coladas does it take to silence the persistent voice in your head that’s suggesting that maybe the […] Read more


Elaine Halvorson and her husband, Melvin, have travelled the North American continent in their RV. Elaine, who has adapted to working in a small RV kitchen, gets ready to make jam. |  Shirley Byers photo

Retirees rev up the RV and hit the road

Melvin and Elaine Halvorson of Rose Valley, Sask., have been avid RVers their entire married life. They acquired their first fifth-wheel in the 1970s. That RV was parked at Gordie Howe Park in Saskatoon and a schoolyard in Melfort, Sask., while Elaine, an elementary school teacher, took summer school classes. Various RVs got plenty of […] Read more

Do your homework before signing on the dotted line when buying real estate in the U.S.  |  Getty images photo

Thinking of buying a vacation property in Arizona?

Rick and Sandy retired to Blind Bay, B.C., a decade ago. The Ottawa couple thought they had landed in paradise, but as the days shortened, they noticed all their neighbours were heading south. They decided to see what that was all about and check out the snowbird lifestyle in Arizona for themselves. “We started out […] Read more

Rent it out, hire it out?

Until recently, farmers who wanted to hold onto their land but no longer wanted to farm it themselves had one option — to rent it to another farmer. After that, they had only the option of liking or not liking how the renter farmed the land — how quickly the land was seeded, sprayed and […] Read more


Hogs like these ones can soon learn to adjust to the great outdoors.  |  file photo

Pigs ‘thrive’ in the great outdoors

Alberta farmers pasture pigs year round and operate their own butcher shop

ROSEMARY, Alta. — Greg and Bonnie Spragg were pioneers in an unknown territory when they got into pastured pig production in 2002. Raise pigs outside, year round, on the Canadian Prairies? Who does that? The Spraggs credit Bert Denning, then the swine specialist with Alberta Agriculture, for pointing them in the right direction. They wanted […] Read more

Some like miniatures, some like Mammoths

Suzanne Paddock grew up on a donkeyless farm, which her father was not about to remedy in spite of his daughter’s keen interest in the species. However, a few years later she was engaged to marry a man who had not one but three donkeys. Ron Paddock and his brother had bought the donkeys for […] Read more