Wildfires claim life of young cattleman

NewsMakers from the November 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

James Hargrave.
photo: Supplied

Wildfires that swept through Alberta and into Saskatchewan last month claimed one of the young leaders of Alberta’s cattle industry when James Hargrave, 34, of Walsh, Alta., died in a vehicle crash while fighting a fire along the Alberta/Saskatchewan border. Hargrave was a vice-president of the Western Stock Growers’ Association and former delegate of the Alberta Beef Producers. He and his wife operated Hargrave ranch established in 1888 by his grandfather Bert, who served as the MP for Medicine Hay from 1972 to 1984.

At the last annual meeting of the WSGA, Cattlemen field editor Debbie Furber says Hargrave spoke on the need for ranchers to insist that oil and gas companies do a proper job of native prairie reclamation without resorting to tame grass species that become invasive on native prairie. He was also an advocate for grazing leaseholders and held leases in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Friends of the family have established a GoFundMe page in memory of Hargrave to assist his wife and their young family. At our press date donations had exceeded the $50,000 target with over $73,000 raised.


The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association will add two new members to its board of directors during its annual meeting in January, following the election of Kyle Hebert from Wawota and Roger Meyers of Minton this summer. They will join four returning board members: Rick Toney from Gull Lake, Garret Hill, from Duval, Michael Spratt from Melfort and Dean Moore of Paradise Hill.


Shane Jahnke.
photo: Supplied

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and its president Shane Jahnke is seeking donations of cash, hay, feed, trucking — “whatever people can offer” — to assist ranchers who lost feed, fences and livestock when wildfires spread across Alberta and into Saskatchewan last month. Jahnke says fires near Burstall, Leader, and Tompkins and another near Glentworth in early September destroyed nearly a million dollars worth of livestock. Some producers lost over half their herds, and feed for those that were left. To contribute go to www.skstockgrowers.com or call 306-757-8523.

Meanwhile a number of fundraising campaigns were set up on GoFundMe to help other individuals who suffered losses from the fires: Ron and Evan Wedrick and their families. The father and son were fighting the fire near Tompkins and were hospitalized in Calgary with severe burns;  Joce and Laurry Orr, who farm west of Lethbridge and lost over 600 round hay bales’ worth of winter feed; and the Brown family of Carseland, Alta., who lost four of their five dogs when their home burned.


Doug Henderson.
photo: Supplied

Angus breeders and many in the purebred industry were mourning the passing on October 24 of Doug Henderson of Henderson Cattle Co. and the marketing firm Douglas J Henderson and Associates Ltd. (DJH) he established with his wife Linda in 1985. DJH has managed sales for almost every breed; however, its primary focus has been promoting purebred Black and Red Angus for breeders across Canada. Doug and Linda have also marketed semen from top bulls from North America for the past 20 years. As well they have exported Black and Red Angus embryos to the U.K., Japan, Argentina and Russia.


In October Cargill added to its share of the global feed additives market with the purchase of Diamond V, a provider of natural solutions and technologies to improve animal health, performance and food safety. This came close on the heels of Cargill’s announcement of a minority investment and strategic partnership with Delacon, a manufacturer of natural, plant-based phytogenic additives.

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In the same month, pharmaceutical giant Lilly announced it was “reviewing strategic alternatives for its Elanco Animal Health business, including an initial public offering, merger, sale, or retention of the business. The company will provide an update no later than the middle of 2018.


In September, Ontario Corporation 1780010, operating as Eastern Meat Solutions Inc. of Etobicoke, Ontario, pled guilty in an Ontario court to five counts of contravening the federal Food and Drugs Act by mislabelling a substantial quantity of meat and was fined $200,000. A Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) investigation found the company falsely labelled 4,557 cases as containing prime rib beef trim, Angus boneless beef trim and sirloin boneless beef. The entire amount valued at $613,572 was rendered by order of the court.

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