Don’t pet the skunks (or St. Bernards)

If you are like me, you probably cruised right through World Rabies Day without even noticing. It was September 28. When I first saw a notice about this from University of Calgary, I thought ‘you’ve got to be kidding’.  For anyone who watches The Office sitcom on TV, they had an episode last year where

Read more →

Have times changed?

I attended Cliff Flauknor’s funeral in Calgary this week. Many of you may not know Cliff, who was a long-time writer for Country Guide Magazine. In fact, I didn’t know him very well either. I had met him, knew him by reputation mostly, but he had retired from Guide a decade or so before I

Read more →

Red Feather Ridge replacing cattle and crops

Doug and Cheryl Livingstone and family have been producing grain and purebred Hereford cattle on their Vermillion, Alberta area farm for many years. But, as Doug recently noted, speaking to the Canadian Farm Writers Federation conference in Edmonton, “food doesn’t gain any real value until after it leaves the farm gate.” So the Livingstones have

Read more →

Wind-powered alfalfa

Power generating wind turbines are appearing everywhere across the country, but I bet Alberta still holds the record for having winds that can push round hay bales around. Oddly enough these pictures were sent to me by my brother-in-law, Walter, who lives in Carp, Ontario (just outside Ottawa). Supposedly they are aerial photos of hay

Read more →

Finding perspective on Swine Flu

After months of planning, I have now completed my H1N1 (Swine Flu) Management Strategy.  Here it is: “If I get it, I will probably feel sick for a few days until it is over.” The End.  I just hope it works. I know these may be my “famous last words’, but my alarm level over

Read more →

What a bunch of dopes

I know that Canada’s health care system isn’t perfect, but I think we all have a reasonable and realistic expectation that every man, woman and child, regardless of their economic status, will receive necessary medical treatment as needed. So it to some degree amazes me to see the panic in the U.S. as President Obama

Read more →

Hargrave aims to drought proof 120 year old ranch

I spent part of a day recently at the Hargrave Ranch northeast of Medicine Hat,  (just north of Walsh actually, on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border) and I was duly impressed with the skill and management of James Hargraves, who is the fourth generation managing the sprawling native-prairie operation that covers a couple townships. At 26-years of

Read more →

Retired grain farmer sows golf course plans

Old farmers never die. Some may slow down, or in Ted Shipley’s case, the now-retired, long time Glenwood-Alberta area farmer, is finally realizing a long-shelved plan to turn about 100 acres of river bottom land along the Waterton River into a RV-campground and golf course.  Shipley, who is a confessed snowbird who heads for Arizona

Read more →

If it ain’t ‘instant’ we’re in trouble

I sat next to a young Edmonton girl on a flight from Ottawa to Calgary recently, and she was extremely frustrated at how slow the touch-screen TV in back of the seat she faced worked. This was an Air Canada flight, every passenger had a small TV screen in the back of the seat in

Read more →

Grass in Saskatchewan, Ontario wet

Anyone looking for a couple months of grazing for a couple hundred head of yearlings, may want to call Rodger Savory near Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Rodger is a friend of a friend, and apparently has enough pasture for two months and also has winter grazing available. That part of the country was blessed with a bit

Read more →