Farming as though the Earth Matters – Brenlea Farms – Camrose, AB

Brenda Bohmer, a grain farmer at Brenlea Farm in central Alberta, realized she’d been draining sloughs for years in an attempt to farm more acres. She would seed around duck nests, but in order to deal with weeds, she’d farm right up to the edges of the wetland. “It’s a mindset you get locked into,” she admits. Bohmer’s goal? Create a year-round wetland and invite nature to help rehabilitate the natural wetland ecosystem and water cycle.

Several years ago, Bohmer partnered with Cows and Fish – Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society. Within a year, nature took over the wetland and Bohmer was amazed to see the transformation of the riparian habitat. “I can still grow crops between the wetlands,” explains Bohmer. “But now I have a buffer which provides a separation between farming operations and the natural habitat. Bohmer points out that 80 percent of all types of wildlife in Alberta spend all, or part of their lives in a riparian area. “We can co-exist,” she says. “I like to think of this as farming as though the earth really matters.”

Continue Reading →

EP48 Ranching at Kainai

Cattle ranching on the Blood Reserve can be a rewarding endeavour, however, it comes with challenges. Mike Bruised Head from Kainai shares his experience and how climate change has impacted his ranching.

Continue Reading →

Farming With Nature — Redtail Farms, Castor, Alberta

While Ian Griebel grew up on his family’s mixed farm south of Castor, Alberta, he never thought he’d one day become a farmer. Griebel studied carpentry and pursued his journeyman certificate, and envisioned a life away from the farm. But in his late twenties, he and his wife, Dana, realized they wanted “to get back to the land”, and that his family’s farm in Castor presented an opportunity.

Continue Reading →

Evolving Sustainable Practices on a Fifth Generation Ranch — Valley View Ranch & Flying Heart Meats, Strathmore, Alberta

Sustainability is a shared family value at Valley View Ranch and Flying Heart Meats, a fifth generation family ranch located east of the town of Strathmore, a short drive from Calgary, Alberta.

Rod and Beth Vergouwen’s agricultural roots in Strathmore stem back to the early 1900s when Beth’s great-grandfather emigrated from Illinois with the vision to farm and ranch in southern Alberta. In 1909, he named the land “Valley View Ranch” — a name that Rod and Beth, along with their children, who represent the next generation of farmers on the family ranch, have preserved and continued to date. “We have a long, deep rooted connection with agriculture on both sides of the family farm,” explains Rod, whose own grandfather emigrated to southern Alberta from Holland in the 1920s.

Continue Reading →

Organic Farming for Ecosystem Biodiversity & Diversity – Larchgrove Farm, Barrhead County

Today, Jenna and Thomas are in the process of rebuilding the market vegetable and herb garden, while focusing on restoring health and vitality back into the compacted hayfield. Their goal is to expand into an heirloom flower farm to offer a CSA program to the community (with organic, unsprayed flowers), while providing food for their honeybees and the native bees. They also want to create access for community members to grow their own food and forage for wild foods. “Everything works together,” explains Jenna, “And we’re building on this already incredibly resilient ecosystem.”

Continue Reading →

*BONUS* Bridging Echo Chambers Part Three

Feedlot manager Andrea Stroeve-Sawa shares low-stress livestock handling tips we can use to have constructive conversations on the livestock and the environment issue.

Continue Reading →

*BONUS* Bridging Echo Chambers Part Two

Communications strategist Sarah Wray discusses communications techniques we can use to have constructive conversations on the livestock and the environment issue.

Continue Reading →