In the summer of 2023, a diverse group of storytellers, organizers, and strategists visited 10 farms and ranches in Canada. These farms and ranches were carefully chosen to represent different aspects of Canadian agriculture, including fruit, grains, beef, veggies, and even a vineyard. The purpose of this project, which included videos, articles, and a podcast series, was not solely focused on what these farms produced, but rather how they produced it. These farmers and ranchers were passionate about not only producing high-quality, nutrient-rich food, but also about fostering community connections, caring for the land, contributing to ecosystem stewardship, and addressing global issues like climate change. And to top it off, some of these farmers were even enjoying the process.
Sometimes the public’s perception of agriculture doesn’t quite fit the reality. For many, when thinking about agriculture, the farmer is often tall, broad – and let’s be honest – masculine. With the number of female farm operators increasing, you’ve got to wonder if this outdated image is about to change.
If you live in Alberta and raise cattle, odds are you’re going to try every possible way to keep that spring melt, or heavy rain, on your land. A tried and true method of ensuring that water doesn’t go wandering off is the dugout.
In this episode, Norine Ambrose, Executive Director of Cows and Fish, helps us understand the importance of protecting riparian areas (including dugouts) and how it can help with drought management.
There are very few things that can mess up your grazing plans like a drought. Join us as we chat with Sean McGrath, of Round Rock Ranching, about creating a plan to help minimize the impact that a drought can have on your operation.
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.
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.