Latest articles


Pre-breeding vaccinations for cows and bulls

Health with Heather Smith Thomas

Some diseases affect reproduction, interfering with the cow’s ability to carry a calf to term. It’s best to try to prevent these diseases by making sure cows and bulls have adequate immunity before breeding season. These vaccinations will vary, depending on specific risks in a certain herd, and timing will vary, depending on the calving/breeding […] Read more


Calving at Tannas Ranch

A family-run, fourth-generation ranch in Alberta

Mark and Ingrid Tannas, their son Luke and his wife Ceanna run 300 purebred Angus and 125 commercial cows at their ranch west of Water Valley, Alta. Mark is the fourth generation on the ranch. “Our family has been here about 50 years, and we built our first calving barn about 40 years ago. It […] Read more




Dealing with broken bones in calves

There are many options for setting a broken bone

Occasionally cattle suffer fractures, and it’s generally a leg bone. Often it’s a young or newborn calf, and the fractured limb should be cast or splinted for proper healing. When Dr. Andy Acton with Deep South Animal Clinic at Ogema, Sask., gets a phone call from a producer about a possible fracture, he asks about […] Read more



Calving fits with year-round grazing at Chinook Ranch

Longview, Alta. ranch in operation since 1950

Stephen Hughes raises beef cattle near Longview, in southwestern Alberta. “Our family has been here since the late 1940s. My grandfather came from England in 1928 and had this ranch put together by 1950. My dad, Jim, is still involved in the day-to-day management of the ranch. I am third generation, and when I got […] Read more


Beating back burdock

Invasive weed species can affect both pasture and profit

Burdock is an invasive plant that causes problems for livestock and crops, and is generally considered a noxious weed. The tall burdock plant, a native of Eurasia, is a biennial, which means it lives for two growing seasons. The first year, it merely grows leaves and accumulates food reserves in its roots, like a carrot. […] Read more




Some thoughts on backgrounding

Research scientist says it's all about cost-effectiveness

With feeder markets tumbling this fall, many people were thinking about holding onto their calves a bit longer in hopes of better prices ahead. Bart Lardner, research scientist at the Western Beef Development Centre and an adjunct professor at the University of Sask­atchewan, says there are several programs that can be used to grow weaned […] Read more




Direct marketing grass-fed beef is a family business

Family farm in Alberta made the decision to go certified organic in the 1990s

After Tim Hoven and his wife Lori took over the management of his family farm at Eckville, Alta., in 1998 they made the decision to go certified organic. It seemed like a natural next step to him. His parents had become involved with holistic management in the late 1980s after taking a course with Don […] Read more