Michele, left, Wayne, Brian and Ryan Slenders have coffee in the farm office at their mixed operation near Vauxhall, Alta. before heading out to the fields. | Alex McCuaig photo

Alberta family prepares for another harvest

On the Farm: Irrigation has allowed this mixed farming operation to be successful, but it makes slow times a rarity

It’s harvest season for the Slenders family, who run a mixed farming operation north of Vauxhall, Alta. But when you’re working a 13-quarter section farm with forage corn, wheat and alfalfa seed, not to mention a 300 cow-calf operation and feedlot, there aren’t many times they aren’t busy. “We’ve always been a mixed farming operation,” […] Read more

Tanya and Dwight Odelein of Quill Lake, Sask., stook freshly harvested barley straw using an old square baler. |  William DeKay photo

Farm family downsized to be more efficient

On the Farm: Couple say their imminent debt-free status and anticipated extra income will allow for creative thinking

QUILL LAKE, Sask. — It was a choice of getting bigger or getting more efficient. Dwight and Tanya Odelein decided the latter in 2012 by downsizing from 3,300 acres to 2,400 so they could manage all the labour on their grain farm by themselves. “It wasn’t easy to find hired men and Dad was starting […] Read more

George Gaber fell in love with Saskatchewan, establishing a working cattle and guest ranch on the shores of Lake Diefenbaker. | La Raeta Ranch photo

Saddle up and escape among the coulees

George Gaber instantly knew La Raeta Ranch was going to be his new home when he first visited the place more than 25 years ago. “We camped out overnight along the Swift Current Creek and that really hit me. I thought I was in a movie setting,” he said. “It rained all night. We got […] Read more

 Parker and Quinton Weiss work at the carousel for the afternoon milking at Hatview Dairy. | Alex McCuaig photo

Hatview Dairy makes it work in southern Alta.

On the Farm: Three generations of Weisses have operated their successful dairy just outside Medicine Hat for 70 years

The Prairies are best known for growing breadbasket crops and hosting the largest cattle herds in the nation. However, when it comes to dairy, Alberta doesn’t come top of mind. It may even be surprising to some that the province has the country’s third highest number of dairy farms — at slightly more than 500 […] Read more

Eli, Amy, Alexis, Mowat and Donald Nikkel on their organic farm near Lundar, Man. | Supplied photo

Farm family follows their own unique beat

On the Farm The Nikkels concentrate on oats, selling rolled and steel-cut products in health and grocery stores

Amy and Donald Nikkel chose to call their 80-acre farm in Manitoba’s Interlake region Adagio Acres to highlight their goal of producing food at a slower tempo. Amy said they achieve this by combining farming with a commitment to family life, their surrounding community and the larger community of Manitoba organic growers. The Nikkels are […] Read more

A Red Angus keeps an eye on the the Skinner family at home on the farm: Bonnie, Alice, 10, Sarah, 12, Ruben, 6, and Pat. |  William DeKay photo

City girl discovers a good fit with farm life

On the Farm: The Skinners grow wheat, barley, oats and canola and calve about 250 purebred Red and Black Angus cows

ENGLEFELD, Sask. — City girl Bonnie Skinner went looking for a farmer and the search led her to marry her husband Pat. “When I met Pat on his farm and he was covered in dirt, I just fell in love,” she said. The two connected online in 2006 using the dating service Cupid.com, which they […] Read more

Denver and Becky Johnson lead a busy lifestyle on their bison ranch with their children Ruby, 5, Duke, 4, and Stetson, 2. | Family photo

Bison helps couple find a role in family farm

On the Farm: The ranch began as a cow-calf operation three years ago but now actively markets the meat it produces

Denver and Becky Johnson saw bison production as a way to return to the community they loved and it also gave them a chance play a role on the family farm where Becky grew up. The Johnsons are owners of Bison Ridge Farms, a 150-head bison ranch located west of Prince Albert, Sask., on the […] Read more

Aidan Thomson is delighted to be farming again with his brother and father. | Supplied photo

First Nations family returns to grain farming

On the Farm: The younger Thomsons hope to build a business that grows ‘slowly but surely’ and stays in the family

Making money is not the primary reason Aidan Thomson started farming four years ago. “I love being outside, love connecting with the wilderness,” said the 21-year-old First Nations grain farmer from the Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation. Thomson grew up on a farm on the reserve, where he has fond memories of watching tractors drive […] Read more

The Keddys employ about 80 people on their Nova Scotia farm with most coming from Jamaica and Mexico. | Supplied photo

Nova Scotia producers try sweet potatoes

On the Farm: Family’s first years growing the sub-tropical crop were closer to disaster than success but they persevered

The Keddys seem to prefer to do things the hard way, like farming. The young couple lives in a fertile, warm, rich farming area that can grow all sorts of crops with good yields and returns. Instead of growing one of those proven winners, Katie and Phil decided to embrace something nobody else was growing, […] Read more

Tamara Carter is equally at home assisting a frozen calf as she is in the boardroom. | Supplied photo

Producer bridges ranching, conservation sectors

On the Farm: Tamara Carter helps run a cattle operation and grain farm and works for the Nature Conservancy of Canada

Tamara Carter didn’t really need another full-time job. She, her husband Russ, and their three children run 250 head of cattle near Lacadena, Sask., and also have a 4,000-acre grain farm north of there at Plato. But the position of director of grassland conservation for the new Weston Family Foundation initiative at the Nature Conservancy […] Read more