Provincial forage and beef specialist Karin Lindquist (left) and Kaitlin McLachlan, extension co-ordinator with Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, examine some roots during a pasture walk near 
Fourth Creek.

New non-bloating legume can power up your pastures

After years of development, a new and improved 
sainfoin variety is being field tested across the province

High-legume pastures can be profitable and productive, but many cattle producers are scared to use them because of the risk of bloat. That’s why Alberta Agriculture and Forestry along with the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta have teamed up to do sainfoin trials across the province. “Sainfoin is a non-bloating legume,” provincial beef […] Read more




A poorly ventilated sheep barn can be “a perfect place to get Q fever,” says an infectious disease specialist.

Little-known infection could be widespread

The infection, which can affect both animals and livestock handlers, 
usually doesn’t produce symptoms but can sometimes be very serious


It’s an under-reported disease and people who catch it often don’t show any symptoms. But an Alberta medical doctor still wants to know more. Q fever, known as coxiella, is an infection that can affect livestock handlers and their animals. “In Alberta, we only have about six human cases a year that are recognized — […] Read more


“This kind of growth and recognition can only occur with community leadership. Right out of the gate in Alberta, the program was championed and embraced by various counties.” – Bryan Gilvesy

Program that rewards stewards of the land is taking off in Alberta

More than 100 Alberta farmers have signed up for ALUS, and that number is expected to grow rapidly

The movement to pay farmers for being good stewards of the land is gathering steam, with 10 counties in Alberta now having a local ALUS program. ALUS — short for Alternative Land Use Services and pronounced ‘Alice’ — is expanding across Canada and recently became a national, registered not-for-profit. “This kind of growth and recognition […] Read more



Luke Wonneck, agroforestry technician with the Alberta Woodlot and Extension Society, describes the newly created eco-buffer at the Edmonton Corn Maze in Parkland County.

Want to keep pollinators and beneficial species on your land? Build an eco-buffer

Edmonton Corn Maze is showcasing an eco-buffer — a community 
of trees and plants that provide a host of benefits for farms

If you build an eco-buffer, beneficial species will come. An eco-buffer is a planned community of trees, plants, and herbaceous species that provide pollinator and wildlife habitat, shelter for livestock, nutrient cycling, and groundwater recharge. A newly created eco-buffer, designed as part of an ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services) project, will soon demonstrate its value […] Read more


Unlike swathed fields, nitrate levels in hailed-out crops can continue to rise and that increases 
the risk of nitrate poisoning.

If you’re going to feed hail-damaged crop to livestock, test it first

Doing a feed test ‘is much cheaper than losing an animal,’ says beef extension specialist

Hail damage this summer is approaching an all-time high — and with many producers putting livestock on their ruined fields, the risk of nitrate poisoning is also shooting up. So be sure to do a feed test first, said a beef extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “A feed test is much cheaper than […] Read more



Ray Price, Sunterra Meats.

The other side of the temporary foreign worker story

Sunterra Meats has helped dozens of ‘temporary’ employees become 
permanent residents — and they’re revitalizing the town of Trochu

Ottawa’s decision to grandfather the number of temporary foreign workers is being welcomed by food-processing companies. “It’s good news to the extent that we won’t have to send anybody back,” said Ray Price, president of Sunterra Meats, which runs farms, markets, and a small meat-processing plant in Alberta. Federal Employment Minister Mary Ann Mihychuk announced […] Read more


dairy cow, milk, cheese

Restaurants call foul as dairy farmers get a second pay hike this year

World dairy prices are crashing but Alberta Milk chair says the 
latest increase is modest and won’t hurt restaurant chains

Even though world dairy prices are at historic lows, Canadian dairy farmers will be getting a boost of 2.76 per cent for industrial milk — used to make butter, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese — starting Sept. 1. It comes on the heels of a 2.2 per cent price hike in February. “The industrial price […] Read more



A couple runs through a trust exercise in a Can Praxis course. The program uses equine therapy to help veterans suffering from PTSD and their spouses communicate.

Working with horses offers a lifeline to vets

Alberta-based equine therapy program teaches veterans how to communicate with their loved ones

Horses can be a mirror for human behaviour — act aggressively or refuse to communicate and it will let you know. “You can lie to a human, but you can’t lie to a horse,” said Steve Critchley, co-founder of Can Praxis, an Alberta-based equine therapy program that uses horses to help Canadian military veterans and […] Read more


Joyce Van Donkersgoed demonstrates processing techniques to students from Olds College.


Get rid of your cattle if they’re getting too big

Heavier cattle — particularly ones with small frames — can develop 
feet problems, especially if they suffer heat stress

Don’t keep big, fat cattle around because it could increase animal welfare problems. Animal welfare icon Temple Grandin has recently been sounding alarms about more lameness in beef cattle and part of that is related to heavier weights and genetics. “There are certain genetic lines of beef cattle that are repeating a mistake the pig […] Read more