WP “NoCOZone” stories

There’s a great deal of news coverage of the current #COVID-19 pandemic. You won’t find any of that here.

For your enjoyment we’ve pulled together some of our favourite stories from past months and years that feature you, our readers. Stories of your life “on the farm.”

It’s our hope these stories will distract you, for a moment or two, from the the onslaught of pandemic news that seems to be the new normal these days.

We’ll add more stories here each weekday – we’ve got lots!

We hope you enjoy them. Please feel free to share. #InItTogether #NoCOZone

The #NoCOZone

new stories will be added each weekday – last update – Tuesday November 24, 2020

Sask. ranch learns from adversity – CORONACH, Sask. – The Elders’ purebred Charolais have garnered their share of slaps and banners in the show ring.

Farm goes from conventional to regenerative – FERINTOSH, Alta. – Takota Coen beckons his hogs to come out onto the green pasture. The animals follow him through a small opening in the fence and begin to forage.

Obstacles no match for horse training family – KENDAL, Sask. — Obstacles have never stood in the way of success for the Quams and they’ve had their share of them.

Cain Quam speaks to riders at one of his horsemanship clinics. | Christalee Froese photo

Young farmers live their dreams – GLENAVON, Sask. – It’s late September, and it’s raining, but Lee and Shannon Sluser are optimistic.

Soil health key for northern Alberta farm – LAC LA BICHE, Alta. – The Shelton family has managed to turn their once sandy soils into something rich and fertile, a testament to their ongoing commitment to improve the land.

Self-reliant bison work well on Sask. farm – PELLY, Sask. – It’s Grey Cup 1997 and the Saskatchewan Roughriders are playing against the Toronto Argonauts.

Dairy couple eager to meet 800-cow capacity – WARMAN, Sask. – For many dairy farmers, the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement posed a serious threat to their livelihood.

Alberta fish farm reels in booming business – If you caught a rainbow or brown trout this year in Alberta, there’s a fair chance you have the Menard family to thank for it. They’ve turned the unlikely prospect of aquaculture on the Prairies into a business that employs up to seven people, says Max Menard of Smoky Trout Farm Ltd. near Red Deer.

Raymond Dan Menard, left, and his son, Max, of Smoky Trout Farms take a look at the drum filter in their fish barn. The filter is a key component of the farm’s recirculating aquaculture system. | Menard family photo

Indigenous soldiers wore the uniform – Aboriginal men and women have served Canada in all wars. In the War of 1812 before Canada was wholly independent of Great Britain, thousands of First Nations and Métis fighters fought alongside British troops and settler militia, defending Canadian territory against American invasion.

B.C. grower taps niche opportunities – KELOWNA, B.C. – At the end of May, Brenda Dureault was busy germinating paw-paw seeds to plant as trees on her Kelowna area farm.

Cattle breeders have fingers in many pies – BENITO, Man. – Escapes to cattle shows and the lake are necessary distractions for the busy Tibble family.

Wild rice business takes family for wild ride – Larissa Muirhead has witnessed the wild side of the wild rice business. The venture started off with a bang in 2015 and 2016 when her family agreed to a share-cropping arrangement with the previous owner of the operation on Meeyomoot Lake in northern Saskatchewan.

The end result is in the bag for the Muirhead family and their crew at Against the Grain Organic Wild Rice. | Supplied photo

Poultry producers move from mainstream to niche market – FALKLAND, B.C. – North Okanagan specialty bird producers are helping others to farm and giving their children a business education.

Alta. family lives quiet life among the cows – RYLEY, Alta. – William and Christa Winsnes get instant gratification marketing halves of beef off their six-quarter farm at Ryley.

Family proud of putting food on tables – Mark McCutcheon can’t help himself. When he talks about a segment of customers who come to his butcher shop, he lets out a sigh. McCutcheon thoroughly enjoys the meat business, producing high quality sausage and cuts of meat for loyal clients.

Ranch embraces history – BIG BEAVER, Sask. – At the eastern edge of Saskatchewan’s Big Muddy Valley, cattle graze where outlaws once hid. The United States is practically within spitting distance of the Circle Y Ranch, and the Big Muddy itself is at the northern end of the Outlaw Trail that ran all the way to Mexico.

Second generation prepares to run sod farm – It makes sense that land once covered in grass would produce good grass. Doug and Lois McGillivray took that chance in the 1990s to add value to their farm south of Regina, establishing a 500-acre sod farm amid their grain and oilseeds operation.

Doug McGillivray, left, Lois McGillivray, Catherine McGillivray, and Carlos Quiroz on their Prairie Sod Farm south of Regina. | Karen Briere photo

Dairy couple enthusiastic about educating – INNISFAIL, Alta. – Stan and Marg Coleman are fiddling with their iPhone as they sit at the kitchen table. They are trying to figure out how to work the Google maps app.

Bison breeders see future in big beasts – NIPAWIN, Sask. – It’s only appropriate that Don and Paulette Scott have a “buffalo room” in their farm home. Bison-themed photographs, art and awards from nearly 30 years in the industry decorate the walls, while a hide drapes the couch.

Farming in two provinces lowers risk, allows expansion – The new Outstanding Young Farmers for British Columbia and Yukon aren’t satisfied with farming in just one province.

Garlic growers have no trouble selling crop – OFFRE, Alta. — In 2012, after years of living in Lacombe, Alta., and running several businesses, Mark and Brenda Visscher moved back to the farm where he was raised. They live on 4 1/2 acres of land that has been subdivided from the original base where Mark’s parents operated a mixed farm starting in the mid-1960s.

Mark and Brenda Visscher moved back to the central Alberta farm where Mark was raised and now have a market garden, specializing in garlic. They’ve sold out of the versatile cooking ingredient every year, even while continuously increasing the number of cloves that they plant. Social media, specifically Facebook, has helped to get the word out, and the demand continues to rise. | Maria Johnson photo

Farming in two provinces lowers risk, allows expansion – The new Outstanding Young Farmers for British Columbia and Yukon aren’t satisfied with farming in just one province.

Ranching family delves into work and play – D’ARCY, Sask. – Chores, school and sports leave little time for much else for the Mahon family.

Farm a family endeavour – WATROUS, Sask. – Nancy Johns and her husband, Jason, have deep family roots in agriculture. And if Nancy’s suspicions are accurate, those roots might soon extend to another generation in the Johns family tree.

Farm’s environmental stewardship recognized – CLARESHOLM, Alta. – Cows, calves and crocuses dot the hills around VXV Farms, where Gerald and Patricia Vandervalk ranch with Gerald’s parents, Jack and Merry.

Family creates inroads to fledgling hops sector – RED DEER, Alta. — Through the spring and summer of 2018, curious drivers stopped almost daily to investigate the high steel pole and trellis structures set up alongside the road in central Alberta.

Colin, left, Maya, Aspen and Jaclyn Smith stand in the cool shaded space between rows of hops. Each plant is strung from a trellis system made using 19 foot T-shaped steel poles. These poles are unique because most hop growers around the world use a traditional wood system. | Maria Johnson photo

Father planted seed of farming early in life – WISETON, Sask. – Ed Davis was only seven years old when his father, Cal, cut the first furrow in the field and had him smell the dirt.

Sask. farmer takes off his 71st crop – Mel Paton has been at this farming thing awhile now. At nearly 86 years old, his 71st harvest is in the bin. “It is one of the best crops I have grown and weather-wise, it’s been one of the best years, especially after last year,” said the veteran rancher and farmer.

Cattle breeders have fingers in many pies – BENITO, Man. – Escapes to cattle shows and the lake are necessary distractions for the busy Tibble family.

‘I’ve never missed a harvest in my whole life’ – ST. BRIEUX, Sask. — With 77 harvests under his belt, Lucien Fagnou keeps climbing the combine ladder. He’s working on number 78.

Lucien Fagnou is completing his 78th harvest this year. The retired farmer is driving combine for cousins Craig and Marcel Fagnou. He stands with other members of the harvest crew before heading out to a canola field near St. Brieux, Sask., Sept. 22. | William DeKay photo

Trial and error for startup U-pick berry farm – PINE RIVER, Man. – Life is good on the farm for 11-year-old Levi Williamason. A swimming pool, trampoline, all-terrain vehicle, horses, chickens and rows of sweet strawberries fill his farmyard.

Ranchers heralded for stewardship – FIR MOUNTAIN, Sask. – Miles Anderson would tell you he’s a rancher. But he’s also an historian, biologist, paleontologist and all the other things that come with spending his life on the family ranch in southwestern Saskatchewan.

Continuous education key to success: farmer – WILLINGDON, Alta. – Transportation and trade are the two big issues facing farmers, says the past chair of Cereals Canada.

Sustainable agriculture offers satisfaction – TAWATINAW, Alta. – Beans are planted beside potatoes to keep beetles at bay, hygienic Saskatraz queen bees from Saskatchewan keep hives clean and rooting pigs rototill the corrals.

Sask. horse ranching family is born to ride – CORNING, Sask. — John King can’t put a number on how many horses he’s ridden over the years, but it’s a lot.

The King family of Corning, Sask., have been raising award-winning quarter horses for more than half a century. Four generations of the family are surrounded by some of their mares and foals at their Diamond K ranch. | William DeKay photo

Poultry producers move from mainstream to niche market – FALKLAND, B.C. – North Okanagan specialty bird producers are helping others to farm and giving their children a business education.

Cattle breeders seek quality over quantity – CRAIK, Sask. – It started as a farm wife’s dry sense of humour and has become a landmark along Saskatchewan’s Highway 11.

Ranching and rodeo with focus on family – PINCHER CREEK, Alta. – Bobby and Kaycee Peters and their daughter, Eva, are embarking on “”the unfinished business tour”” this year.

Family footsteps lead back to the farm – NORTH STAR, Alta. – The children of Nora Paulovich and Bob Noble are defying what has become a common pattern for kids raised in rural areas.

U-pick market garden focuses on education – Bawlf, Alta. — If children, parents and customers leave Lil Ryley Farms knowing a bit more about agriculture and food, that’s a win, says owner Kerri Giesbrecht.

Kerri Giesbrecht kneels beside a row of colourful chard in her U-pick garden near Bawlf, Alta. | Mary MacArthur photo

Families operate as collective in farm business – WYNYARD, Sask. – Four operations are better than one. That’s the thinking at Windy Poplars where a father, his two sons and their best friend farm collectively.

Surgeon has farming in her blood – LLOYDMINSTER, Alta. – Thursday proves to be the busiest day of the week for Dr. Joan Wheat Hozack, running between appoint-ments at her orthopedic practice in the morning and surgeries at the hospital in Lloydminster in the afternoon.

Family challenged by ag economics covet rural life – HAGUE, Sask. – The dream was to farm full time, but high rents, minimal returns and a farm accident intervened for the Harms family of Hague.

High school rodeo – photo essay – The first Alberta High School Rodeo Association junior event of the 2020-21 season was held in Nanton, Alta., earlier this month. Freelance photographer Mike Sturk was there to capture the action.

Remote dairy farm grasps retail opportunities – CRESTON, B.C. — These dairy cows have it good. They graze on fresh organic grass every 12 hours. They are sheltered from blustery winds by a towering mountain range. They are milked on their own schedule. They don’t stand on concrete. And as newborn calves, they stay with their mothers for an extended period of time.

Erin Harris breeds all of her farm’s cows to Jersey bulls because she finds the breed preferable in terms of ease of handling. | Christalee Froese photo

Family farm is all about fostering lifestyle – BIGGAR, Sask. – Lisa and Mark Haynes think it’s important to their family to nurture a farm way of life and the values that go with it.

Maritime farmer all smiles when she’s milking – GOULDS, N.L. – There was never a doubt that Rebecca Williams would be the fourth generation to operate Forest Pond Farms Ltd.

Northern Alta. farmer breaks fresh ground – FORT VERMILION, Alta. – Bill Boese is clearing 600 acres of bush to make way for new cropland, an exciting venture that highlights his optimism for the future.

B.C. couple keeps heritage farm thriving – SURREY, B.C. – Hidden among the stylish cul de sacs in suburban Surrey, a thriving vegetable farm sits that has been in the Zaklan family for 90 years.

Family members gradually return to B.C. ranch – CRANBROOK, B.C. — Putting a fence post in the ground here isn’t easy. The bedrock that lies beneath most of the 10,400 acres of grazing land at Pine Butte Ranch is unforgiving, sometimes requiring A-frame posts to hold up the more than 80 kilometres of fence.

The Rocky Mountains rise up in the distance as Hugh McLuckie, left, and Hadley, Logan, Edric and Lynette Van Steinburg walk through Saint Mary’s Prairie with four of the nine Border Collies they raise. | Christalee Froese photo

Man. farmers embrace regenerative agriculture – About three years ago Brooks White had an “aha” moment that changed his life, or at the very least, changed how he views farming.

Former bull rider finds farrier career – SASKATOON – Laurie Tonita has a dust allergy to thank for a rewarding 34-year career as a farrier.

Adversity turns focus onto important things – LACOMBE, Alta. – People sometimes take circuitous routes to where they want to be in life. At times, they incur bumps along the road.

Alberta orchard not afraid of diversification – ELNORA, Alta. — Dave and Arden Delidais own and operate DNA Gardens. The 15-acre orchard is nestled into the rolling parklands of central Alberta, where the hills and valleys dotted with wetlands gradually give way to sprawling prairie.

DNA Gardens offers visitors a variety of options: a trip to the orchard for fresh berries, a walk on the wild side with the self-guided nature trek, a more serious hike on the blue bird trail or kid-centred fun in the family fun park. | Maria Johnson photo

Young farmers live their dreams – GLENAVON, Sask. – It’s late September, and it’s raining, but Lee and Shannon Sluser are optimistic.

Alta. family malts, markets their own barley – PENHOLD, Alta. – The Hamill family are accustomed to taking risks. After all, they’re farmers.

Dairy couple work well as a team – BALGONIE, Sask. – Jessica and Michael Lovich laugh when they remember the day their three young daughters defined their farm roles when they grow up.

Sisters use Instagram to share farm support message – Two sisters from Rivers, Man., are showing they are a force to be reckoned with in farming and fashion. But more importantly, they are increasing awareness on topics such as mental health and the agri-food industry, while empowering women and creating a positive space via their Instagram platform @thetulepps.

Alberta family’s matriarch returns to the farm – CLIVE, Alta. — Louise Bell recently bought a quarter section of land at Clive and plans to move back to the farm, even though she’s reached an age where many people are slowing down. “I need a purpose in life,” said the 74-year-old.

Stacey and Suzy Bell received the Lacombe County 100 Year Farm Family award on July 25 at their farm near Clive, Alta. They are the fourth generation of Bells to own and operate the farm. Pictured are Ken, left, and Laurie Bell, Suzy Bell, Corey Clark, Stacey Bell, Louise Bell, Donna Barnes, and Bob and Shauna Bell. | Maria Johnson photo

Family enjoys close interaction with animals – LANDMARK, Man. – The Meinens have had to move between three provinces and three farms to arrive at this, their dream. But it’s all been worth it.

Quebec fruit operation takes safety seriously – ILE D’ORLEANS, Que. – Dozens of farm workers are picking strawberries as the leaves begin to change colour in Quebec.

Farmers move beyond the air waves and the rink – LANG, Sask. – Early risers in southern Saskatchewan might have listened to Rustie Dean on one of several radio stations, or watched her as the weather morning host on Regina’s Global television station.

Accidental sheep producers have no regrets – CARBERRY, Man. – Paw Patrol and Play-doh. For an average three-year-old, a cartoon about rescue dogs and a container of Play-doh is enough to keep them occupied. At least for 35 minutes, while mom sits down for tea with a visitor.

Fresh Flavour Farm a year-round operation – NOBLEFORD, Alta. — At first, Andy Katoch’s reasons for starting a vegetable operation were selfish, he admits. But now his aquaponic operation in this southern Alberta town is supplying many with vegetables and serving as an example of how smaller operations on farms could provide sustainable income and stabilize vegetable supplies.

Fresh Flavour Farms produces a variety of hydroponically grown vegetables. | Barb Glen photo

Farmers eager to educate kids about agriculture – VULCAN, Alta. – Farmers are frequently told they need to reach out to their city cousins and show them where their food comes from.

Central Alberta operation receives an A for diversity – WESTEROSE, Alta. – They call it the A Farm – and for good reason. Hans and Jolanda Appelmans raise Angus cattle, ride spotted Appaloosas and race Alaskan husky sled dogs.

Computers and robots keep farm profitable – ERSKINE, Alta. – Embracing technology and sustainability has kept three families on one farm in central Alberta.

Hockeyville loss has silver lining for Pense – The winner of this year’s Kraft Hockeyville competition was announced over the weekend, and unfortunately the Sask. town of Pense’s shot missed the net, so to speak. However, Saskatchewan-born former Dragon, and philanthropist W. Brett Wilson has picked up the rebound and the town of Pense appears set to score after all.

Oats become healthy answer for family farm – ABERNETHY, Sask. — Harvesting wheat always presented a problem for Scott and Teri Ruecker. Their two children, Paige, now 18, and Luke, 15, would get sick each fall. And Luke wasn’t growing like a six-year-old should.

Paige, Luke, Teri and Scott Ruecker kneel in one of their 2020 oat crops. The family is growing oats certified for the gluten-free market. | Karen Briere photo

Pavelich farm cultivates healthy lifestyle – KENASTON, Sask. – It doesn’t take long to get a sense of what matters most to Gene and Glen Pavelich.

Family egg business carries on, with upgraded technology – MORRIS, Man. – Just inside the entrance of the barn glows something that combines two of Harley Siemens’ passions: farming and electronics.

Pense takes a shot at ‘Hockeyville’ title – The Stanley Cup might be the focus for a lot of hockey talk these days, but the people of Pense, Sask., are hoping to soon capture a prestigious hockey championship of their own.

Hard work keeps family grain farm afloat – WILLINGDON, Alta. – Ample rain hasn’t dampened the Porozni family’s optimistic outlook for harvest this year.

Greg Porozni was putting in a long day harvesting field peas Aug. 24, 2016 near Willingdon, Alta., after experiencing a wet growing season. | Karen Morrison photo

Livestock operation believes in the benefits of diversification – PONOKA, Alta. – Mark Stewart recalls the most memorable teaching moment he received at Olds College in 1987.

Homegrown garlic venture follows unique path – When Saskatchewan grain and oilseed producers Dave and Krista McBain started looking for a specialty crop to supplement their farm income, they decided to head off the beaten path.

Farm puts down roots in two provinces – KIRRIEMUIR, Alta. – The circle of family, community and relationships embrace Craig and Jinel Ference.

Alta. sheep farm anticipates room to grow – PONOKA, Alta. – It’s busy at East Valley Ranch – and loud. The collective “baa, baa, baa” of well over 1,000 sheep and lambs bleating together under one roof is surprisingly loud as ewes ensure their lambs stay close and lambs in turn want to feed or confirm the whereabouts of mom.

Sask. family makes the switch from cattle to sheep – SHAMROCK, Sask. – Not everyone gets a trial run at farming, but Liezel and Larry Kennedy knew before they expanded from 60 to 600 sheep how things would likely go.

Sheep in the pasture on Larry and Liezel Kennedy’s farm near Shamrock, Sask. | Liezel Kennedy photo

Father and son focus on moving farm forward – STURGIS, Sask. — Education is a lifelong endeavour for a father and son focused on improving their soil health.

Keenean Amy and his father, Elgin, split the chores down the middle on their commercial cross herd and grain farm near Sturgis, Sask. | William DeKay photo

Farm focuses on free-range animals, antiques – RED DEER – The Manyluk family at HolmeHus Antiques and the Farm With The Good Food promote their animals as free range.

Seed farm built on hard work, perseverance – IMPERIAL, Sask. – Selling products into a niche agriculture market is often about risk and reward.

Award winning farmers guided by five goals – FORT STEELE, B.C. – Energy and enthusiasm for agriculture are in abundant supply at Cutter Ranch, owned and operated by Sacha Bentall and Tyler McNaughton.

Love of farming weaves through many generations – CROSSFIELD, Alta. – For the Taks, the Master Farm Family Award from their county is affirmation that they are doing something right.

The Taks at Crossfield, Alta., are recent recipients of Rockyview County’s Master Farm Family Award. They include Amy, left, Kevin, Decker, Murray, Reba and Ryan. Peter and his great-grandson, Harlan, pose in the front row. | Barbara Duckworth photo

Alta. farms focus on growing vegetables and raising animals – BLACKFALDS, Alta. — There’s no doubt the Hoogland family in central Alberta will remember 2020.

Intergenerational farm takes holistic approach – ANOLA, Man.— Many farmers try to use every piece of land to its full potential, but paying attention to achieving maximum profit while also looking after the health of the land and the people is the driving philosophy of the Bouw family farm.

Memorable stock dog steers roper’s life in new direction – MAPLE CREEK, Sask. – If dogs are a man’s best friend, then it’s safe to say that Dale Montgomery has spent the past 30 years or so surrounded by best friends.

Diverse Alberta farm focuses on consumer – BIG VALLEY, Alta. – When Cremona Primrose fills egg cartons for her city customers, she always adds a blue-green egg for a little variety.

Cornel and Cremona Primrose with their daughters, Careese and Ceaxna, raise chickens, cattle and pigs at their farm near Big Valley, Alta. | Barbara Duckworth photo

VIDEO: Success is in the details, says dairy farmer – LYNDEN, Ont. – Travelling along a rural road near Lynden, Ont. recently, a writer looking for the Joe Loewith and Sons Holsteins farm stops at another farm looking for directions. He’s farther down the road, the woman said before volunteering: “Good farmer.”

Family pleased with homegrown produce, livestock – LANIGAN, SASK. – Ben Martens Bartel has a vision for his farm that likely differs from many other prairie operations.

Man. producers keep the family in family farm – ELM CREEK, Man. – The Penners aren’t trapped in farming. It’s a lifestyle they have embraced from one generation to the next.

Young Alberta family returns to farm roots – BEAVER MINES, Alta. – A winding gravel road through the foothills west of Pincher Creek, Alta., brings visitors to a ranch where the scenery fosters two families, a 60-head cow-calf herd and a photography business.

Brady, Jenny and Leena Vandersteen pose on an antique settee often used in Jenny’s photo shoots at the family’s ranch west of Pincher Creek, Alta. | Barb Glen photo

Farmers hope to pass on lifestyle – SHIPMAN, Sask. – Edwin Podhorodeski jokes that he farms because he doesn’t know any better.

B.C. couple keeps heritage farm thriving – SURREY, B.C. – Hidden among the stylish cul de sacs in suburban Surrey, a thriving vegetable farm sits that has been in the Zaklan family for 90 years.

Farm operation provides home schooling too – TYVAN, Sask. — It all started with the making of a quilt from old jeans. Upon the sale of that quilt, and a few more craft items, Country Road Concepts was born. Codee Kyle started her on-farm business in 2012 as a way to keep up with her love of crafting while raising her first child.

Producer finds fun outlet making honey liquor – VIKING, Alta. — When Kevin Lefsrud began coping with his concussion, he realized he needed a creative outlet to improve his mental health.

Organic farm serves island – FREETOWN, P.E.I. – Philosophy collided with profitability at Barnyard Organics, a Prince Edward Island farm operated by Mark and Sally Bernard.

Mark and Sally Bernard and children Solomon, 1, Lucy, 6, Wilson, 5, and Thayne, 3, behind fence, operate an organic farm near Freetown, P.E.I. | Barb Glen photo

A greenhouse and a whole lot more  – PIKE LAKE, Sask. – As a boy growing up in Edam, Sask., Roger Valliere would occasionally help old Mrs. Foster weed her garden.

Couple combines careers with farm lifestyle – BIRTLE, Man. – Dorelle and Tyler Fulton are urban professionals who live nowhere near a city.

Goat farm focuses on quality, niches – FANNY BAY, B.C. – Feeding 32 goat kids at once at the Snap Dragon Dairy near Fanny Bay would be a time consuming nightmare if the farmers didn’t use milk pails with nipples on all sides.

Broiler operation keeps Sask. couple farming – Elise Coleman’s daughters exhibit the same passion for raising livestock that she possessed at their age.

Tori, left, Jesse, Elise and Leah Coleman spend time in their barn on the morning a new batch of chicks arrive. | Coralie Spratt photo

Stocking dugouts: selling fish to farmers – VANSCOY, Sask. – Collin and Rachel Keet worry about drought, even though their operation is literally swimming in water.

Big acres, big animals, big workload – CARNDUFF, Sask. – A strong work ethic is what it’s all about for the Patons.

Fifth generation appears likely for Kress family – KENDAL, Sask. – Fourth generation farmers Jodi and Dennis Kress didn’t have to work hard to get the fifth generation involved.

Putting the business out to pasture – ANOLA, Man. – The Bouws have been hit by all the crises and challenges of modern farming, but they’ve managed to stumble through each one and emerge with a better farm.

Farm puts out welcome mat – HIGH PRAIRIE, Alta. – Lyndon Drefs once tried to use his bale processor as a snow-making machine, but it didn’t work.

Lyndon and Denise Drefs operate EC Bar Ranch Adventures near High Prairie, Alta. They have both summer and winter activities on their ranch, including a slip and slide, corn maze, human foosball court, bale maze, wagon rides and more. | Barb Glen photo

Producers strive to raise happy, healthy birds – STANDARD, Alta. – Alberta’s Sundgaard family wants people to know the real story of agriculture.

Ranching and rodeo with focus on family – PINCHER CREEK, Alta. – Bobby and Kaycee Peters and their daughter, Eva, are embarking on “the unfinished business tour” this year.

Family diversifies, direct sells to allow ranch lifestyle – BRIDESVILLE, B.C. – Art Harfman recalled the moment he met his soul mate at a 4-H achievement day as a teenager.

Grant, left, and Art Harfman take a stroll on their Circle Two Ranch at Bridesville, B.C. | Karen Morrison photo

B.C. growers relish hot and spicy life – WINDERMERE, B.C. – Saunders Family Farm’s cranberry jalapeno and raspberry pepper jellies might never have been made if the processors swam with sharks in Thailand in 2004.

Couple passionate about agriculture, family – STEINBACH, Man. – Sitting at her round, oak kitchen table, Kirsty Oswald pulled off a trick that she’s likely used before to amuse a visitor to her home.

Barley growers take grain-to-glass approach – STRATHMORE, Alta. – The Hilton family farm has always been about change, seizing on numerous innovations over the years to expand their business.

The dandy life – STROME, Alta. – John and Irene Feddema never thought they would get into the business of growing dandelions.

Farm diversification takes an unusual turn – BENTLEY, Alta. – Ongoing uncertainty around changes to the Canadian dairy system influenced Dennis and Laurie Duncan’s decision to sell their 70 dairy cows at their third generation farm.

Matt Cole shrink wraps a large boat in the bright spacious shop that used to be a dairy barn. | Maria Johnson photo

Family farm is all about fostering lifestyle – BIGGAR, Sask. – Lisa and Mark Haynes think it’s important to their family to nurture a farm way of life and the values that go with it.

Sask. farm family has history of innovation – FOX VALLEY, Sask. – There are two constants at the Lodoen farm: change and innovation.

Alta. couple’s Dexter cattle feed people, pets – PINE LAKE, Alta. – When Tracey Burke says she doesn’t cheat on her cows, she’s referring to the fact that the only beef she eats is the 100 percent grass-raised, hormone-free Dexter beef that she and her husband Brian Odgaard raise at Ghost Pine Dexters.

Sheep anchor Sask. family’s diversity efforts – ADMIRAL, Sask. — The fifth generation Pearl farm might look a lot like the first — chickens wandering the farm yard, pigs hunkered down in cool ground, sheep in the adjacent pasture and some still in the lambing barn.

Logan, left, Jennifer, Emma, Liam and Brian Pearl on their Prairie Pearl’s Homestead near Admiral, Sask. | Karen Briere photo

Alta. ranch operators keen on tackling new ventures – PONOKA, Alta. – Mike Williams had given up on his youthful dream of farming. The dairy where he grew up had been sold years earlier. He and his wife, Dawn, both had jobs in town and they were happy enough.

Seven generations and still adding on – GOODHUE, Minnesota – Max Schafer was all smiles July 29. His son, Louis John Schafer, was born the day before to him and his spouse, Hollie Fehrman, marking the eighth generation of Schafers on this farm.

Sask. family not sheepish about raising goats – DINSMORE, Sask. – Kristie Lawes said she is not shy about trying new projects on the family farm, which gets her a glancing look from husband Jason.

Multi-generational farm looks to innovation – CROSSFIELD, Alta – Returning to the farm does not mean going back to the simple life.

The Hurt family of Crossfield were named Master Farmers by the County of Rockyview. The entire family is involved in the 75 year old mixed operation: Wendy Hurt, left, Daryl, Nicole and Graham Ireland and baby Emery, Ron and Donna Hurt and Krystal and Brad Hurt. In front are MacKenzie Ireland and Abigail Hurt.  | Photo courtesy of Donna Hurt

Pride in the past, hope for the future of family farm – TARBOLTON, Man. – Under the branches of a birch tree, which shaded out the harshness of the mid-day sun, Reed Wolfe sat at a glass table sipping lemonade and snacking on homemade Monterey jack cheese.

Preserving past for future generations – EDAM, Sask. – Glen Foulds takes in a sweeping million dollar view from the porch of his rustic wooden cabin high above the North Saskatchewan River.

Sometimes growth means thinking small – SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. – When Glenda Allan says the ranching side of her southwestern Saskatchewan family farm has become smaller, she means it in the most literal sense.

Sustainability essential as family farm expands – WILLOWBROOK, Sask. – Labour is the one thing the Prybylski family doesn’t have to worry about on their farm.

Running Creekridge Farms Ltd. is a family affair. Back row: Brooklynn, Samantha and Kristyn, daughters of Josh and Janelle Prybylski.
Front: Bill, Neil, Mark, Josh and Richard Prybylski. | Family photo

Northern Alta. farmer breaks fresh ground – FORT VERMILION, Alta. – Bill Boese is clearing 600 acres of bush to make way for new cropland, an exciting venture that highlights his optimism for the future.

Couple focuses on raising livestock the natural way – INDIAN HEAD, Sask. – Ranching is in Jeff Bovee’s blood.

Family uses free-range thinking to diversify – DELBURNE, Alta. – Klein Farm, situated in the rolling parkland of central Alberta, keeps its eggs in several baskets.

VIDEO: Three generations going strong in Peace region – RYCROFT, Alta. – Keegan Milkovich said he tries not to take what he has today for granted because he realizes his grandpa had it tough in the farm’s early days.

Hard work, co-operation build rural lifestyle – Cam Goff has been involved in farming for his entire life.

Bev and Cam Goff grow cereals and oilseeds on their dryland farm northeast of Hanley, Sask. Cam’s name is well-known to those who follow farm politics. Over the years, he served as a board member with various farm organizations, including the Canadian Wheat Board, the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission and the National Farmers Union. | Brian Cross photo

Prairie farm proves viability of apple orchards – If you’ve ever driven north of Saskatoon toward the rural community of Blaine Lake, Sask., then there’s a good chance you’ve driven past the small piece of paradise that Diana Fedosoff calls home.

Farm to expand with direct-to-consumer sales – CHARLIE LAKE, B.C. – Clay and Katy Peck will soon increase production on their small farm in northern British Columbia, providing nearby consumers with local meat and produce.

Dairy capitalizes on farm-fresh trend – MARTENSVILLE, Sask. – Monday wasn’t the explosive product launch Bas Froese-Kooijenga was hoping for.

The Sunnyside Dairy farm near Martensville, Sask., has branched out and added a creamery to the operation. It took about one year to obtain a permit from the province to operate the creamery. | Sean Pratt photo

Father and sons enjoy farming with each other – SYLVAN LAKE, Alta. – Brothers John and Doug Bystrom have a standing coffee date most afternoons at 3:30 p.m. with their dad, Bernie, at his farm.

Family strives for healthier food – DENZIL, Sask. – The Witzaneys love to grow food for local customers.

Farmer convinced ‘this is the best place to be’ – RIMBEY, Alta. — “With the way things are right now, I’m glad I’m a farmer,” says Calvin Sargeant during a phone interview from his rural central Alberta home.

Jayden, left, Calvin, Louise, Jamin and Paige Sargeant farm 2,600 acres of rented and owned land and also raise horses and Simmental cross cows. | Sargeant family photo

Busy off the farm helping ag and community – BARONS, Alta. – Wide-open fields are visible in almost every direction from the Bishop family farm a few miles west of this southern Alberta village.

Backyard flock operators spread their wings – COBBLE HILL, B.C. – James and Cammy Lockwood have their own way of doing things.

Family takes on project for air ambulance – PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Sometimes modern technology helps farmers grow bigger and better crops. And sometimes it helps to give them away.

Teamwork is key for Ont. cattle producers – GLENCOE, Ont. – There is strength in numbers and the Zwambag family has proven that since they got into the purebred Limousin business in 1989.

Alberta custom graziers aim to always evolve – BUSBY, Alta. — One of Amber and Steve Kenyon’s missions is to never stop learning.

B.C. cattle producers resettle in Saskatchewan – MORSE, Sask. – Trading the mountains of British Columbia for the rolling hills north of Morse, Sask., represented a huge opportunity for Erika and Cyle Stewart.

Stocking dugouts: selling fish to farmers – VANSCOY, Sask. – Collin and Rachel Keet worry about drought, even though their operation is literally swimming in water.

Early garden patch grows into vegetable farm – OUTLOOK, Sask. – Dan Erlandson remembers when he became a farmer.

Children inherit parents’ passion for livestock – PINCHER CREEK, Alta. – There are bears in the Clark living room. Each has attempted a break-in of the ranch house at one time or another so each has met its demise.

Grandfather-inspired chicken project thrives – CREELMAN, Sask.— It all started with a chicken coop built by Grandpa.

Love of a lifetime starts with a gift of farming – CANDIAC, Sask. — It all started with a birthday gift — a quarter of land. Danny Kotylak knew he’d be a farmer early in life. With his grandmother gifting him his first quarter section, one-half cultivated and one-half pasture, it was like destiny came calling.

Raven buys DOT with plans for expansion — Raven Industries is now the sole owner of DOT. Norbert Beaujot is taking in the big view from his farm in southern Saskatchewan and of the future of the autonomous farming platform. “As a family, we couldn’t take on putting DOT where it needed to be by ourselves,” said the founder and owner of SeedMaster farm equipment near Regina.

 

Mars’ loss is our Earth’s gain  —  When we think drones, we envision UAV fixed-wing or rotary flying devices. Well, there’s now a UAV rolling ball that’s equally comfortable travelling across land, water or the Martian countryside. Meet GuardBot, a spherical drone that doesn’t fly. It rolls across the surface of the Earth or across water gathering data using sensors, including those able to collect sub-surface soil data.

 

Outstanding young farmers focus on Holsteins – SPRUCE VIEW, Alta. — Farming at Benthemmer Holsteins is all about continuous improvement. Every year Roelof and Mary van Benthem make improvements to their dairy at Spruce View in central Alberta to make life better for their cows and ultimately for themselves.

Farm profitability improving through the use of older equipment – The average American farmer has $170,000 tied up in unused used equipment. These implements are too good to scrap and they’re left sitting around in farm yards, losing value every month.

Young bison producer has deep roots – MELVILLE, Sask. — There was no question what Payton Molnar would do once she finished high school. Growing up in a family of bison ranchers, her career path was likely set before she was born.

Diversification keeps family seeing rainbows – ARGYLE, Man. – During a winter in Manitoba’s Interlake, there are days when eye and ear protection is essential. Jan. 5 was one of those days.

Sheep and fruit work well on Ontario farm SIMCOE, Ont. – When farmers are told they have a good story to tell, a prime example may be found at Simcoe, Ont.

When mountain meets prairie: a farm is born – WHITE BEAR, Sask. – How does a snowboarder and rafter fall for a farmer and prairie way of life?

Cowboy mounted shooting relives Wild West – BLACKFALDS, Alta. – The romance and folklore of the Wild West fascinated Niels Lausten when he was a farm boy growing up in Denmark.

Alberta family keeps cattle, business flowing – Windows in the second-floor office at KCL Cattle Company provide a good view of the 9,000-head feedlot north of Lethbridge.

Vegetables, sheep drive Vancouver Island farm – SAANICHTON, B.C. – Silverwood Farm is a serene place hidden in a grove of trees beside the busy urban community of Saanichton.

Aussie farmer jumped on Sask. opportunity – WARMAN, Sask. – You can never be exactly sure what life has in store for you.

Return to family farm life-changing experience – For Lesley Kelly, the decision to leave a stable job in Alberta’s financial sector and return to Saskatchewan to pursue a career in farming wasn’t easy.

Farm has high hopes for the next generation – Maintaining strong family ties has always been an important consideration at the Monchuk family farm near Lanigan, Sask.

Choosing a rural lifestyle, for the family’s sake – SPRUCE VIEW, Alta. – Stephen and Nicole Poburan have made a deliberate decision to raise their family on the farm so that they can give their two young sons, Hayes, 5, and Kett, 19 months, a lifestyle the city just can’t provide.

Sustainability top priority for Sask. family – FILLMORE, Sask. – Farming on the Canadian Prairies can be a risky business.

Sask. couple share a passion for livestock – INDIAN HEAD, Sask. – Ryan and Ashley Kattler could probably best be described as go-getters.

Sask. farmer happy that flood years in past – Slowly but surely, Saskatchewan farmer Jason Basset is reclaiming the farmland that he lost during “the wet years.”

Man. family survived tough times – HOLLAND, Man. – The national men’s curling championship was held in Brandon last week.

About the author

Saskatoon newsroom's recent articles

explore

Stories from our other publications