Rick Toney of Gull Lake is the new chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association. Joe Jackson of Moose Jaw is vice-chair and Arnold Balicki from Shellbrook is the finance chair. Garret Hill of Duval is the member at large.
Ben Fox of Dauphin was re-elected to another term as president of the Manitoba Beef Producers following the annual meeting in Brandon last month. Tom Teichroeb of Langruth moves up to vice-president and Gord Adams of Deloraine is second vice-president. Peter Penner from Winkler is the finance chair for 2018-19 and Dianne Riding is secretary.
Twenty six resolutions were carried at the annual meeting and some, says Fox, are going to change the face of the Manitoba beef industry for years to come. One notable motion called on the MBP to lobby the provincial government to implement mandatory livestock inspection within the province.
Brian, Sonja, Thomas and Kristelle Harper of Circle H Farms are the 2018 recipients of the Manitoba Environmental Stewardship Award (see photo at top). The Harpers run a forage-fed purebred beef herd of 80 cows composed of three breeds known for production on forage-only diets — Lincoln Red, North Devon and Shaver Beefblend — on 500 acres near Brandon. To avoid erosion on their light land the Harpers plant perennial forages and perennial crops and planted about 5,000 trees on their farm. They’ve also installed off-site watering systems, digging wells and installing solar-powered winter water systems. Since they switched to high stock density grazing on multiple paddocks, yielding long rest periods for the pastures, they’ve increased beef output on 130 acres by 9,400 pounds over three years.
Craig and Jinel Ference of Double F Farms near Kirriemuir are Alberta’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018. After graduating from university the couple returned to the farm in 2004 and today crop 10,000 acres, manage an 8,000-head feedlot and 4,000 mother cows, as well as a number of custom farming contracts. Their goal is to continue creating a diverse business that involves many agriculture sectors.
Elizabeth R. Homerosky, DVM, MSc., of Veterinary Agri-Health Services at Airdrie, Alta., has been certified as a diplomate by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) specializing in beef cattle practice. She received her veterinary degree from Ohio State University and a master’s in beef cattle health from the University of Calgary.
Dr. Oliver Schunicht of Okotoks, Alta., is this year’s recipient of the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners (WCABP) Veterinarian of the Year award. The award is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. He graduated from the Western Canadian School of Veterinary Medicine in 1994 and has spent virtually his entire career practicing bovine production medicine with Feedlot Health Management Services in Okotoks. Schunicht is a director of the Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians and past president of the WCABP. In addition to his work with Feedlot Health Management Services, he has his own herd of 400 Angus-based cows and a 1,000-head feedlot.
Norma Ansloos of the Springbank Rawhides 4-H Club in Alberta was chosen as the 2017 4-H Canada National Volunteer of the Year. She will receive a prize package that includes a cash prize and a round trip ticket to Ottawa for the Leadership Summit and Awards where she will be honoured for her contributions to 4-H.
Noted feed and forage researcher Vern Racz will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Saskatoon in April. Racz has contributed to animal nutrition and development of new feeds throughout his career. He is a former director at the Saskatchewan Feed Testing Laboratory and founder of the Prairie Feed Resource Centre.
Johnathan Bennett is the new range ecologist at the University of Saskatchewan. Originally from the Maritimes, he did his PhD on plant ecology at the University of Alberta. His previous work has focused on understanding how variation in plant competition, mycorrhizas, and plant-pollinator interactions alter plant communities, especially as it relates to invasion by non-native plants.
Tess Mills was awarded the $2,000 Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference Scholarship for 2018 that goes to a third- or fourth-year degree student in agriculture or biology at the University of Saskatchewan.
Joyceline Toews was awarded the $1,000 scholarship for a student in the second or third year of the diploma program in agriculture.