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.

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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.

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Producing the Perfect Potato and Soil Health to Handle Environmental Stress—The Perry Farm—Chin, Alberta

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.

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EP46 Ag Research Part Two

The thrilling conclusion of our exploration of post-secondary research and regenerative agriculture with Jason Bradley of Olds College and a solid lesson in asking ourselves why.

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Generating Resiliency on the Ranch in the Face of Drought—WR Grazing—Irricana, Alberta

Tim Wray grew up on his family’s cattle ranch in Irricana, a small town located 50 kilometres northeast of Calgary in southern Alberta. As a child, he always dreamed of following in his parent’s footsteps and one day becoming a farmer, but first he pursued post-secondary education and later studied at a seminary to become a pastor. His first parish was located in a small agricultural community, which put him back in touch with his childhood dream.

“I lived around farmland and was surrounded by farmers,” says Tim. “I was really in tune with the movement of the seasons and the farm cycle—and I enjoyed that.”

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