Ag News & Events

List of Upcoming Events and Products

Ladies Livestock Lessons: January 19, 2024
  • Save the date! Location at the Cochrane Ranchehouse, Cochrane AB.

To register visit:

Environmental Stewardship Award & Sustainable Grazing Award: Deadline is January 31, 2024.

These programs were initiated to recognize contributions made by families, individual landowners, or community members. If you know someone who may be suitable to receive one of these awards, please contact 403-846-4040 or for a nomination form or more information.

Septic Sense, Solutions for Rural Living: January 31, 2024

Rural property owners are responsible for ensuring their systems operate properly and safely. If you have a septic system on your rural property, you will benefit from attending this workshop!

Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: Rocky Regional Recreation Center, Subway Room

To register, please contact the Agriculture & Community Services department at 403-846-4040 or email

Ranching Opportunities: February 8, 2024

  • Save the date! Location Olds College, Olds AB.

To register visit:

Caring for My Land funding Program (C4ML) 
  • The C4ML program offers 25%-75% funding – up to $5000 - through Alberta Environment and Parks Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program and EPCORE. 
  • To learn more, click here or contact us at 403-846-4040 /
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Most Recent Ag News Article

December 06, 2023 - 20th Annual Cattlemen’s Day a Resounding Success 

Local ranchers learned a lot, ate well, and left with exceptional door prizes.

Twenty years ago, on the heels of two drought years followed by BSE and the closing of the US border, the first Cattlemen’s Day was conceived of. Local cattle producers were hurting and Clearwater County Ag Services wanted to take a day to celebrate their tenacity and provide a few more tools to help turn things around. 

It happened again November 23rd at Dovercourt Hall for the 20th consecutive year. More than 100 local producers took advantage of a trade show, presentations from key agricultural speakers, a delicious roast beef lunch and much camaraderie.

There are a lot of changes on the horizon considering that the average farmer in Clearwater County is over 60 years old, approaching retirement age and has, or will likely, exit the industry in the next few years.

For the last 15 years the Canadian beef herd has shrunk from a high of 14.74 million in 2005 to 10.36 million in January of 2023. In the same period, the number of beef cows on cow/calf operations in Canada has dropped from 4.5 million in 2008 to 3.3 million in 2023.

With a 1.4% overall herd contraction anticipated in 2023 the shrinkage is expected to continue, helping feed record prices. That was the good news provided by Brenna Grant, Canfax Executive Director. Those record high prices are expected to continue for the next few years.

Dr. Desiree Gellatly, a research scientist for the Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production at Olds College, gave a detailed presentation on The Fundamentals of Cattle Behavior. Though like humans in some ways cattle are very different in others.

While humans are verbal thinkers (generalized thinking) and predators with good depth perception, cattle are visual thinkers, with limited depth perceptions and respond as prey to an image through smell, sound, touch and taste. 

Not able to see the same light spectrum as humans (trichromats), cattle (dichromats) can be intimidated by situations that appear straight forward to us. 

Dr. Gellatly described how humans need to adjust their management behavior, providing techniques to handle animals in ways that will substantially reduce stress and improve production outcomes.

Ryan Copithorne, a fourth-generation rancher from the Cochrane area illustrated in detail how to blow the family farm in eleven easy steps. From having no business plan to succumbing to “iron disease”, to growing volume when there Is no margin and taking on debt while underestimating overhead, it was an enlightening exercise. And how about a succession plan? 

In essence, many cow/calf producers would benefit from changing their mindset to become more businesslike when it comes to running their operations. They should know their real cost of production per head with a realistic long-term plan on paper, so they know where they are going.

That said, Alberta is the largest cattle producing province in Canada and the Alberta beef industry contributed $473.4 million to Alberta’s GDP in 2019 and generated 7.1 billion in Farm Cash Receipts in 2020. The average revenue and expenses of beef farms in Alberta were the highest among all provinces in Canada (2018).

The cow/calf business is a thriving industry that is integral to our local culture and the foundation of the whole beef equation. Our history is built on farmer tenacity and stick-to-itiveness, and that is what we celebrate every year at Cattlemen’s Day.

As the day wrapped up, so many exceptional door prizes were handed out that everybody got a little help with the bottom line. Because the ag community got involved there was plenty of good sponsorship to help make the event a total success.