Nanton rancher/feeder Bob Lowe was re-elected to a second term as chair of the Alberta Beef Producers at the association’s annual meeting in Calgary last month. Rejoining him on the executive is vice-chair Roland Cailliau of Valleyview. New to executive is finance chair Kelly Smith-Fraser of Red Deer County.
Mayerthorpe, Alta. rancher Tom Thompson of Winding Creek Ranch was presented with the Alberta Beef Producers 2017 Environmental Stewardship Award last month at the association’s annual meeting. Thompson runs a cow-calf operation where he rotationally grazes 500 acres with 700 acres in hay crops. When grazing he adheres to the adage of eat half, leave half so the grass has plenty of time to rest and regrow. Cattle bale graze through the winter months to recycle nutrients back into the soil. Riparian areas and dugouts are fenced to keep cattle out, and water is pumped to the cattle with a solar-powered watering system.
In early December His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada, presented Fir Mountain, Sask. cattle ranchers Miles and Sheri Anderson with Meritorious Service Medals (Civil Division) for their efforts in helping to protect the 16 wildlife species at risk who call their Saskatchewan acreage home. After studying the nesting habits of the Greater sage grouse, they adapted their cattle grazing patterns, which yielded a significant growth in the population of this endangered prairie bird. By collaborating with biologists and government agencies, and setting a positive example among those in the ranching community, they have spread the notion that good management of the grasslands is beneficial to both wildlife and livestock.
Cattle producers across the country were saddened last month by the passing of Boyd Anderson in Moose Jaw at age 96. A noted rancher, writer and cattle politician, Anderson was a past president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the Saskatchewan Stock Growers’ Association, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities and chairman of the Saskatchewan Beef Stabilization Board. A long-time columnist with Grainews Anderson also wrote a history of the SSGA and a book on his life in the grasslands near Wood Mountain as well as a collection of his Grainews columns in 2012. (More on page 4.)
Melissa Downing is the new provincial co-ordinator for the Verified Beef Production + program in Alberta. Along with her husband and children, Downing raises cattle in the east-central area of the province near the hamlet of Metiskow. She is a professional agrologist with a strong background in the beef industry encompassing all aspects of the production chain from cow-calf to consumer.
The Turner Ranch of Pritchard, B.C. was officially named a Century Farm last month (see photo at top of page). The land was originally homesteaded by George William (Bill) Turner in February 1913 and the award was accepted by today’s members of the Turner family, Harold, Shirley, Cody and Tamara.