Stefon and Rebecca Beechinor of Bentley, Alta., and partner JNR Farms of Willingdon, Alta., sold a 15-month-old Simmental bull named BLL Kalibre 762E for $275,000 to Christel and Steve Humbke and Ken and Carol Warkentin and of Starwest Farms, who own Starwest Farms and have farms at Calmar, Alta., and Chilliwack, B.C. 
 |  Stefon Beechinor photo

Two bulls hit price stratosphere

(Editor’s note: This story has been corrected from an original version.) It was – 40 C on Feb. 25 when the Beechinor family prepared for their seventh bull sale. They never imagined that the pace of their sale would be so hot. Stefon and Rebecca Beechinor of Bentley, Alta., and partner JNR Farms of Willingdon, […] Read more

Bart Lardner, left, senior research scientist for the Western Beef Development Centre, chats with Chip Hines, author and retired rancher from Colorado during the centre’s 19th annual summer field day at the Termuende Research Ranch near Lanigan, Sask., June 20.  |  William DeKay photo

Bigger calves aren’t always better

LANIGAN, Sask. — Chip Hines says bigger cattle aren’t better for increasing the financial bottom line. “That’s something that people do not understand. Our whole focus has been on pounds and performance, but that’s not the one that tells the story,” the author and retired Colorado rancher said during the Western Beef Development Centre’s 19th […] Read more

Beef producers in Alberta, like these bulls, are butting heads over whether Alberta Beef Producers’ checkoff should be refundable or non-refundable.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Producers lock horns over checkoffs

Refundable or non-refundable? Cattle producers are split on how to fund Alberta groups through levies

CORRECTION – November 14, 2016 1000 CST – The Ontario Corn Fed Beef Program does not receive any money from the national beef checkoff. It does receive 50 cents per head from the Beef Farmers of Ontario. Alberta’s refundable checkoff for beef cattle remains a bone of contention for producers, even though it has now […] Read more


The herds of about 50 ranchers in southeastern Alberta remain under quarantine after one cow that grazed in a community pasture near Jenner and Suffield was diagnosed with tuberculosis in mid-September. | File photo

TB takes terrible toll

‘I was sick for the industry:’ Alberta ranchers worry about what happens next after one cow was diagnosed with tuberculosis

BROOKS, Alta. — Sleepless nights and worry: that’s what about 50 ranchers in southeastern Alberta are experiencing as their cattle herds remain in quarantine. One cow that grazed in a community pasture near Jenner and Suffield was diagnosed with tuberculosis in mid-September after being shipped to the United States. The cow belonged to Brad Osadczuk, […] Read more

Bill Freding was active in the cattle business throughout his life, and he earned a master's degree in economics from the University of British Columbia. Freding died at his Oliver home Oct. 18 at the age of 73. | Supplied photo

B.C. cattle producer, entrepreneur dead at 73

British Columbia cattle producer Bill Freding died at his Oliver home Oct. 18 at the age of 73. Active in the cattle business throughout his life, he earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of British Columbia. Freding started  Southern Plus Feedlot in 1988, a 7,000 head yard, which was dispersed earlier this […] Read more


Bovine tuberculosis is a contagious and reportable disease in Canada. One case does not affect trade, but there could be repercussions if the disease is found to be more widespread. | File photo

TB found in Alberta cow

An Alberta farm has been quarantined after a positive case of tuberculosis was detected in a cow shipped to the United States for slaughter. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating and the index herd will be tested, said Rob McNabb of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “They detected some lesions and cultured it and then […] Read more

The Alberta government is increasing the provincial loan guarantee for feeder associations to $100 million.The Alberta government is increasing the provincial loan guarantee for feeder associations to $100 million. | File photo

Feeder association loan guarantee increased

The Alberta government is increasing the provincial loan guarantee for feeder associations to $100 million. The Feeder Associations of Alberta has requested an increase for several years as demand for cattle went up, said chair Eric Boot. “Cattle prices were way up and there was demand and in the meantime there just wasn’t enough money […] Read more

Canada not in expansion mode

STRATHMORE, Alta. — Canadian beef producers face a big decision: expand the herd or take the money and run. The Canadian cow herd has shrunk by 31 percent since 2005. Record prices and profits in the last 18 months should have signalled that it is time to turn things around, but not much is happening, […] Read more


Ranch and feedlot representatives tell breeders what types of cattle they look for on their operations. | File photo

What are buyers looking for in cattle?

Purebred cattle breeders supply the commercial market with bulls, but ranchers and feedlots operators say breeders should listen more to their needs. Tom Fenwick manages Tongue Creek Ranch in the Alberta foothills. The 14,000-acre spread of mostly native grass is home to 700 commercial Angus cows with plans to grow to 850 cows using purebred […] Read more

Canadian slaughter cow supplies expected to tighten.| File photo

JBS prepares for herd expansion, fewer heifers

Meat processor JBS expects to scramble in the next couple years to keep its Canadian slaughter numbers stable. “We’re in an expansion phase (with the cow herd.) For my side of the business, the processing side, it’s going to mean less (slaughter) cattle,” JBS procurement chief Stirling Fox told the Livestock Markets Association of Canada […] Read more