Don’t leave money on the table, says marketing expert

Boosting production with good management is great, 
but catching an uptick in the market can make you more money

Beef producers, if you don’t have a marketing plan — get one. That’s the simple advice from Ryan Copithorne, who founded Cows In Control after his realizing “a proper marketing program was actually the best way to keep a year’s or a lifetime’s worth of hard work from going down the drain.” Having previously managed […] Read more


Three tools to reduce livestock price risk

Insurance, hedging, and retained ownership can be intimidating to use, but the basic concepts are simple

Navigating through different components of marketing can make one feel as though they are speaking a foreign language. Ryan Copithorne of Cows In Control marketing group talks about the pros and cons of common marketing tools. WLPIP 
(Western Livestock Price Insurance Program) “Price insurance is a good program,” said Copithorne because it allows you to […] Read more



Moving past the Bill 6 rhetoric

AgCoalition meetings focus on creating sensible workplace safety rules

The Alberta government’s town halls on Bill 6 last winter were explosive, but recent industry-led meetings didn’t produce similar fireworks. “I thought the meeting went very well. There were lots of ideas thrown around between farmers and the facilitators,” said Turin-area farmer Kevin Serfas, who attended AgCoalition’s producer meeting in Lethbridge on June 22. “The […] Read more


Draft a plan before rejuvenating tired forage stand

Forage ecologist Mike Schellenberg offers his insights on 
how to reinvigorate pastures and boost productivity

“Five years to forever.” That’s a long time for a forage stand to be highly productive — and yet that’s the answer producers often give when asked how long they expect the benefits of rejuvenating pastures to last, said Mike Schellenberg, a range and plant forage ecologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Swift Current, Sask. […] Read more



Latecomer to cattle business puts the green in greenhorn

Retired engineer takes a shine to controlled grazing — and proves the system can generate amazing results

Most people don’t associate mechanical engineering with cattle grazing — unless they know Mark Burggren. Although he spent summers on his grandfather’s Strathmore-area ranch in his younger days, Burggren knew little about cattle until retiring as a mechanical engineer in 2007 and buying a quarter section near Condor. But he’s getting nearly 50 per cent […] Read more


Making the flight zone instincts of cattle work for you

Vermilion rancher Sean McGrath says a Bud Box makes the job of processing cattle much faster

Thinking inside the box — a Bud Box, that is — can help cattle flow better when working them in a handling system. Being able to work the animals’ flight zones from outside, and having them see you, helps make them flow through the system faster, said rancher Sean McGrath. “We have a portable system […] Read more



Tips to reduce stress and up safety when handling cattle

It starts with keeping cattle calm and identifying hazards in your current handling facilities, say experts

Keep calm when handling cattle — especially if you want safe working conditions. Attitude, confidence, as well as the general mood sets the tone when handling cattle, says veterinarian Dr. Cody Creelman. “I can barely count the number of times I’ve seen situations where things are nice and calm, steady, quiet, and proper,” said Creelman. […] Read more


High-tech feed monitoring can forecast BRD

Bovine fitness trackers aren’t the only attempt to use technology to spot early signs of illness in feedlot cattle. Most efforts are focused on detecting bovine respiratory disease (BRD), the most common (and costly) illness affecting beef cattle and they’re borrowing a page from your mom’s handbook by asking, ‘Why are you poking at your […] Read more



Will the cows of tomorrow all be wearing fitness trackers?

Devices that measure activity levels can be used to tell if cattle are 
feeling poorly — but there are still some kinks to be worked out

Fitness trackers are all the rage among people these days — but they could catch on with cows, too. But the idea isn’t to start counting cow steps or to up bovine fitness levels. Rather, the goal is to use fitness monitors as a way to detect illness in beef cattle early on. Cattle producers […] Read more


Look past farming — you’re in the food business

FarmTech: Pulse leader says improving health and 
the nutrition of people who eat your food 
should be a top priority

Focus on food, not farming. Health is both a huge global issue and a deeply personal matter, and farmers should be focusing on that and nutrition, said Pulse Canada CEO Gordon Bacon. “The variety registration program covers 50 tests to have a variety registered for production — none has to do with nutrition, let alone […] Read more