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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 16, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE April Rustlers, drought and grasshoppers SAVONA, B.C. (CP) George Farmer would like the public to know part of the story behind high beef rancher's side of the story. Mr. Farmer and his family run one of the few family ranches left in British Columbia. On Indian Gardens Ranch, about seven miles from here in the province's interior, the Farmer family keeps head of cattle on acres of sagebrush hills, grassy meadows, lakes and forest. Among the many problems the Farmers face are drought, a grasshopper plague, rustlers, soaring feed grain prices, magpies and vetch. ACORN POOLS NOW AVAILABLE Lethbridge and Southern Alberta Special bonus if ordered before April 15 Put summer fun in your own back yard Do-it-yourself or have it built -either way your ACORN POOL will give years of fun in the sun. For more information contact: STANLEY'S DISTRIBUTORS Box 665, COALHURST, Alberta Phone 328-3402 And then there are the vandals who open the reservoir gate at night and send gallons of water gushing down the mountainside. Mountain milk vetch is a tiny purple blossom that grows in the grass where cattle graze. Vetch acts like a drug on the animals because once they are hooked on it, they stop eating grass. The poison in the plant attacks the cow's nervous system and usually kills it. "We once had eight cows drop dead as we drove Mr. Farmer said. "Their legs gave way, they fell over, kicked a few times and were dead." Worried Ranchers are at their wits' end trying to decide what to do about the poisonous plant because vetch seems to be poisonous only in some areas and to some animals Mr. Farmer said ranchers hope intensive research being done by the federal government agriculture experts will come up with the answer. "But right now it's a con- stant battle to keep the cows off the vetch." Magpies are another For Complete Livestock Sales and Service call FRENCH LIVESTOCK Won., p.m. Feeder Hogs Slaughter Hogs Assembled ind Sold Monday Thru Friday Exporters of sliuihtir Utilities for ftadini and loading hois Also Baby Calves WE BUY AND SELL FAT AND FEEDER LAMBS DAILY We carry Hertford Insurance on ill Livestock Wednesday and Friday Fat and Feeder Cattle Sale p.m. Special Stock Calf Feeder Sale Ed French...... 328-3986 Dan Klassen.... 345-4358 Miller Megreth ......75S-6607 Lou Dejager 345-4489 Whit Heninger 328-7354 Consign all your Livestock to: C. E. FRENCH LIVESTOCK "In the Heart ol Canada'! Ranching Country" Phone Office: Stockyards: 327-2891 P.O. Box S.S. 1-7-7, Lethbridge, Alber.a threat with which the rancher must cope. One winter George Farmer penned some cows with frozen feet in a holding corral while he decided how to treat them. "The magpies made up my mind for pecked out their eyts. "So we're not especially fond of magpies around here And to make matters worse, ranchers in the inte- rior suffered last year through what were virtually drought conditions. The drought put a bit of a damper on the family's joy in the record September price it got for the cattle sold to feed cents a pound "Feed grain this year is to a ton delivered and that's almost double what it was last year. In a good winter about one- third of our better cows could rustle for food by themselves but we had to feed them all this year." But even with all this stacked against him, George Farmer is not Continued on Page 11 Ranchers face problems George Farmer, who runs a cattle ranch in the British Columbia interior, thinks the public should know about some of the prob- lems ranchers face in raising beef. The problems range from drought, rustlers and soaring feed grain prices to magpies, grasshopper plagues and a poisonous plant called vetch. Mr. Farmer is shown at the family's original log house (top) and rounding up cattle with his son, Jim. LETHBRIDGE ARTIFICIAL BREEDERS Phone Dally 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 327-8822 Blonde 0' Aquataine Blonde D' Aquataine Born: May Weight Oct. '73: 2710 Calves: ave. birth wt. (M A F) 84 100% born unassisted Born: Dec. Weight Oct. '73: 2440 Ibf. Calves: eve. birth wt. (M ft F) 77 100% live calves jt birth ALSO Blonde D' Aquataine Guide, Grand and Flon-Flon. Semen available from all Breeds and all Major Bull Studs ;