With fertilizer prices hitting $1,000 a ton, it’s no surprise that cover crops are a hot topic. It makes sense that non-synthetic inputs like cover crops are becoming more and more appealing to producers. There’s many benefits to cover crops – including feeding livestock and pollinators, improving water filtration, suppressing weeds, building soil carbon and improving soil biology. In this episode, we’re joined by Kevin Elmy, of Cover Crops Canada, to discuss the ins and outs of cover crops.
The Gelowitz’s kept a garden on their farm where they grew several saskatoon bushes. Rick, who grew up in Calgary, but spent quite a few summer vacations on his uncle’s farms in Saskatchewan, has had a lifelong love for the native prairie berry. “It was my wife’s suggestion that we try to grow Saskatoon berries,” he recalls. “And that’s how it started.”
Norma Wolfchild, a member of the Blood Tribe, has spent nearly 20 years helping her community develop small business ventures, working with the Blood Tribe Economic Development as a small business development officer. After her husband was diagnosed with diabetes, she was determined to establish a healthier lifestyle with organic, nutrient-rich foods. She now has a thriving garden, a small horde of livestock and honey-producing bees.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Communications strategist Sarah Wray discusses communications techniques we can use to have constructive conversations on the livestock and the environment issue.
Author and leadership advisor David Irvine discusses the strategies we can use to have constructive conversations on the livestock and the environment issue.
If you’re enjoying a bag of potato chips in Western Canada, there’s a 1 in 5 chance the potatoes were grown by Harold Perry and his family at the Perry Family Farm, a fourth-generation operation located in Lethbridge County in southern Alberta.
Together, Harold and his brother, Chris, and his father, Gerald, work collaboratively as partners to manage 5000 acres of irrigated land producing potatoes—varieties of chippers, russets, and red Mozart potatoes—along with other field crops, including hard red spring wheat, winter wheat, barley, sunflowers, green peas, seed canola. The Perry family prioritizes environmental stewardship through their approach to soil management and a number of exciting renewable energy projects that they’re implementing on the farm.