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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 27, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 8 THE LEriiSr.lDGE HERALD Tuesday, June 17, 1972- Tuesday, June 57, 1971 THE lETHBrlEGE HErA'.D 9 George Wesley has own way of life" By JOE IULLA Herald Staff Writer George Wesley has pre- served a way of life (hat few people even know exists loday. There mny be vast sums of money in the gas and oil busi- ness, but George Wesley lias managed so far to keep the in- dustry at arm's away from Ms holdings. That's the way ho likes it, and that's the way it's going to remain as long as George has his way. While he has never tried out his rifle on a crew o! roughnecks, he feels that it doesn't do nny harm to be a crack shot. If you have lived in southern ASberta any number of years at all and you decide to dis- cuss the grain business, base- ball, livestock or scores of oth- er values that can be related in economic terms, there's one name at least that is hound to come up George Wesley. Although George is past the retirement age, his present keen interest is in the cattle business. Tlic Wesley Ranch west oi Granunv in the Porcu- pine Hills consists of holdings that most everyone in the re- gion knows about. Just how big those holdings are isn't any secret, but sire keeps changing and the over- all undertaking is one of the largest of its kind on the con- tinent. To most people an operation of Iliis magnitude represents as much hustle and bustle as a busy intersection in the down- town area of any major city. If this is the situation on the Wesley holdings, George has a unique ability to camouflage it all, for there is no evidence of hurry up, hop, skip and jump. Much of the Wesley holdings are in rolling foothills country. The rich, green grass is any- thing but overgrazed. It is quiet and there is contentment throughout the countryside. No milk cow was ever more con- tented than the bcefers on Ihc Wesley ranch. Son Lee is general manager oE the setup now, assisted by his brother Gordon. Their sister Mary is married and living in jhe northern part of the prov- ince. George and his wife Grace spend the winters m Florida, lie has a great love fish- ing and he spends many a day on Duck Lake at Baljb, Mont., which is on the Blood Reserve near the Canadian border. lie hasn't had lime in recent years to visit his lodge in Walerton Lakes National Park. Son of a Yankee father, George has always had the flair for efficient organization and management. His father brought the family out to the raw, Canadian prairies in 1909 from Illinois. They settled first near Winni- fred, just west of Medicine Hat, Later they moved further south to the shortgrass country around Orion where carrying capacity is one cow-calf unit per 50 acres. It was there that George got his first job with the Yeast and Higdon Cattle Co. It was while he was riding for the out- fit that he took a strong liking to cows. Next move was to the Doc Tenney grain farm near New Dayton, where George became foreman. "The hired men didn't like taking or- ders from a kid, but we got the work George recalls. By the time George had ideas of getting married in 1930 he had saved a few hundred dollars. He bought a quarter section at New Dayton and a half section near Wrentbam. In 1032 George bought his first tractor and combine. He paid from to an acre for land during the depres- sion. He never believed in going into debt; he did, how- ever, borrow some money once with his wheat pool certificate as backing. ttHpgaa EssPiiii ESB" Not long after he got on some sound footing, George was able to satisfy a long-standing yen. tie bought a small cattle ranch in the foothills country. The two operations kept an ever- changing panorama before George. But, despite the fact that he bad some fond memo- ries of ranching, George didn't buy his new holding as a hob- by. It was to be a business ven- ture. The fact that there were some "nice trout" back in them lulls didn't hurt the situation at all. Home place for the Wesley grain farm as it grew in size and became more mechanized was established near Conrad. Everything was operated in business-like fashion "as it had to be in this semi-arid country." The year of the quarter-mil- lion bushel crop on the Wesley farm, eight combines were put to work at harvest. They cut and threshed 450 acres every day on a spread that totalled more than a township. Every hour the combines churned out bushels of "fine Marquis wheat." George's ability at organiza- tion is indicated by the harvest of 1942. They started hauling grain at 3 p.m. and by 7 p.m. they had moved bushels to the elevators. Expecting line elevators to be plugged during years of bumper crops, George built his own storage depots. With one structure he topped the largest eleva tor in the countryside with bushels. Despite the fact that he made great strides through mechani- zation during the years of the big depression, George Wesley always felt the grain industry was just on the threshhold of bigger tilings. Science was be- ginning tu step in and the man with the hoe became the man with the power-drawn machine. While his operations are spread into several different units and camps, the home place continues as the nerve centre for the operations. Sons Lee and Gordon are well on the way to establishing them- selves on their own units just off Highway 2, near Granuin. In addition to livestock, their operations will also include some grain farming. At one time the Wesley holdings west of Granum total- led 42 sections. "There are larger holdings, but we arc at the end of the road. You can't get by without going through my says George. "And, that's the way I like it." Just then seven deer ambled out of the brush near the home buildings. It's why George Wes- ley calls it the end of the road. Dugout research vital to arid south Alberta George Wesley flanked by tort Gordon, kft, and Ue By ItUDY HAUGENEDER Herald Staif Writer Water is a precious commo- dity in arid southern Alberta. Since llie days of earliest secernent southern ranchers and fanners have encountered the problem of dry water dug- outs. The dugouts, constructed to collect water from spring run- off, were usually leaky and lost most of the water within the first months of warmer weath- er. Animals and humans often used dugouts as a source of drinking water with both suf- fering during typical hot sum- mers with temperatures soar- ing in the 80s. In recent years many water preserving methods have been tried or discussed. Most were not universally accepted be- cause of their exhorbitant iost. As most scientists can attest to, the secrets of the universe arc often locked in simplicity. Three years ago a research agrologtst with the water re- sources division of Alberta's de- partment of the environment stationed in Peace River ap- plied mother nature's own water preserving solution. Agrologist D. N. Graveland, currently stationed in Leth- bridgc, recalled how dugouts in alkali-rich central Alberta did not leak. Although the high salt con- tent posed problems for farm- ers in the area, the dugouts re- mained full. Three-years ago Mr. Grave- land treated a Peace River farmer's dugout, which emp- tied with regularity at the on- set of summer, with sodium carbonate the first of a ser- ies of experiments. Since that time, the farmer has had a continuous supply of water. Sodium carbonate alters the soil structure sufficiently to seal itself to prevent water leakage. "It makes the soil imperme- he said. Similar experiments have been started in southern. Alber- ta by Mr. Graveland. Although the longevity of the sodium carbonate affects on the soil are still unknown, a farm- er near Kipp is still providing 300 head of cattle with a treat- ed dugout after two-years. Sodium carbonate is not the answer to all farmers, depend- ing on the type of soil they con- struct their dugouts in, he said. Naturally, Mr. Graveland says, it probably won't work in certain types of soil such as land with high sand or gravel content. However, the treat menl works for most soils and docs not pose any danger to water quality. The sodium carbonate must be applied when a dugout is dry and is done with equipment such as a fertilizer spreader pulled by another piece- of equipment. Naturally the dugout slope will have to be constructed with a slope level to allow the entry of machinery, or at about a three to one slope three feet horizontal for each foot verti- cal. The sodium carbonate chem- ical soda ash is easily purchased at a variety of sources. Because the price of the chemical varies, the average cost of dugout treatment will range between and Mr. Graveland reiterated an earlier warning: "Farm- ers shouldn't just dig dugouts But even if the treatment lasts only three years, he said, it certainly is a cheap supply of water. Mr. Graveland said any far- mers ready and willing to try the sodium carbonate treatment should get in contact with his department in Lelh- bridge. OCT. NOV. DEC. JAN. BEFORE TREATMENT -T- ICE FEB. MAR. APR. MAY JUN. SAYINGS GALORE at your I.H. STORE! 1965 930 Case Diesel Tractor Real good shape........ JvU TRACTORS International 650 Diesel Tractor International 650 Diesel Tractor With power steering. Good shape........ Super WD-6 With TA-PTD Bc't pulley. Good shape..... W4 Gas Tractor As is............ Ailrs Chalmers AC45 Wflh front-end loader. rnolor. Good shape. AC Atlis Chalmers Tractor Good. Mcissey 55 Gas Tractor Bobcat 4 Wheel Drive Loader New engine. Real good shape. MAKE US AN OFFER WINDROWERS COCKSHUTT 503 WINDROWER Real Qood shaoe........... 5 800 OWATONNA 81 WINDROWER 14 fl. with pickup reel and hay condition- er. With water cooled engine, Real good thope........... COCKSHUTT 502 14 FT. WINDROWER Good INTERNATIONAL 163 16 FT. WINDROWER Fair shape. INTERNATIONAL 17S 19V4 FT. WINDROWER Real good shape. COMBINES COCKSHUTT 555 COMBINE 16 ft. plalform with equipment and 12 ft. pickup. 419 rendition, ___ Af INTERNATIONAL 4O3 COMBINE 13 ft. platform with pickup. Real good thupt MASSEY 27 COMBINE Fair MOWERS INTERNATIONAL NO. 28 3 FT. HITCH MOWER JOHN DEERE MOWER "ALL UNITS IISTED BALERS NO. 3 MASSEY BALER Good NO. 9 MASSEY BALER Good shape. NO. 10 MASSEY BALER shape INTERNATIONAL 430 BALER good shape 1 650 INTERNATIONAL 440 BALER Used 1 crept. >cl good ARE REID READY" PICKUPS 1967 International 1100 4 Wheel Drive V-8, 4 speed transmission. New paint. O3v 1966 International 1100 Pickup 6 cylinder, 3 speed transmission. (287) 1966 International 1000 Pickup 6 cylinder, 3 speed transmission. (329) I.H.C.C. FINANCING SALES 304 STAFFORD DRIVE 1RVICE I.H.C.C. FINANCING PHONE 327-3125 1952 International L-160 4 speed transmission, 2 speed axle. Beet box and ACA hoist. (345) I UDU 1964 Fargo 4 Wheel Drive 6 cy'inder, 4 speed. (SOI) I I 50 1971 International Ton V-S, 3 speed, low mile- age. (519) 1969 International 1100 Pickup V-3 automatic. (220) Now only 1968 International Travelall 4 wheel drive, V-8, 4 speed OCA trans. New paint. (402) I O jll TANDEMS 1966 Ford F-800 391 engine, full air, 5th wheel. (410) 1967 International F-1800 Tandem With 18 ft. grain box and A A hoist. (3TO) Now only 1968 Ford F-1800 Tandem 391 engine, 5 and 4 trans- mission. (253) 1968 International F-1800 Tandem 5 and 4 transmission, chas- sis cab, 392 engine. (451) ;