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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 21, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Cattlemen urged to give bison crossbred data thorough study By RIC SWIHART Herald Staff Writer In the face of advertising campaigns to use semen from American bison domestic cattle crossbred animals, Southern Alberta cattlemen are being advised to. consider all information before changing from straight cattle crosses. John Lawson, beef cattle breeding expert at the Lethbridge Research Station, told The Herald this week research data on work done with bison crossbred animals by the Canada department of agriculture and common sense make some claims by promoters of a "new beef breed" called the beefalo unrealistic. Beefalo promoters, including the animal's developer D. C. Basolo and a Calgary company which purchased a beefalo bull for the reported sum of million, are calling the animal a cattle breeder's dream. Mr. Lawson said the publicity about the ability of beefalo to utilize feed to gain weight and to show growth performance on roughage in the feedlot and the claims for its fertility are the main areas which he questions. The promoters say in advertising handouts that beefalo gain one pound of weight for every four pounds of feed consumed. The feed doesn't have to be of high quality, tftey add. Mr. Lawson said from hundreds of detailed tests on the best cattle available, both purebred and crossbred, it takes 24 pounds or more of good quality feed for an animal to gain four pounds in one day. Even then, only the best animals would use the feed efficiently enough to reach that level of gain. Under research tests at the Manyberries research substation in 1949 and 1950, Hereford calves gained 2.5 pounds per day in the feedlot. Animals with 14 per cent bison breeding gained two pounds per day and animals with 25 per cent bison breeding gained only 1.6 pounds per day. It was found, however, that the weight gain of the animals with 25 per cent bison was less affected by colder weather conditions. The promoters say their bison cross animals gain three to four pounds per day on 13 to 18 pounds of feed. Mr. Lawson also questioned the promoters' claim that their calves are weaned from their mothers at a weight of 550 to 600 pounds. He said Herefords are weaned at less than 400 pounds, Aberdeen Angus at about 400 pounds with Charolais, Brown Swiss and other exotic breeds, which are considered the big beef breeds, at a little over 500 pounds under range conditions But the animal which sold for a reported million was classed at one quarter Hereford, three eights Charolais and three eights bison. The amount of bison blood in the beefalo bull is another main concern of Mr. Lawson because of possible infertility. Research data indicate only a few bison- cross bulls with as little as three sixteenths bison blood were fertile enough to produce calves when bred naturally. Those with more bison blood were infertile. Research indicates about 20 per cent fewer calves were produced from the cattle bison crosses than from straight Hereford. Many of the calves produced by hybrid and one quarter bison cows were small and weak and fewer male than female calves were born. "Before I could recommend that any cattleman enter into this type of livestock ven- ture I would want some data from a recognized performance he said. Mr. Lawson said he would want to see the data the promoters say show the beefa'n has a five per cent lower incidence of disease, that feed costs are one half of what it costs to feed conven- tional animals, that the meat protein of beefalo is 20 per cent as opposed to 12 per cent in stan- dard cattle and that the carcass produces 65 per cent saleable meat cuts, not 55 to 59 per cent as with traditional cattle breeds. Two weeks to opening day The Lethbridge Herald Lethbridge, Alberta, Saturday, September 21, 1974 Second Section Pages 19-36 Hudson named interim coroner The Alberta attorney-general's department has appointed Lethbridge Provincial Judge L. W. Hudson to serve as one of three interim coroners during the government's overhaul of the coroner system. W. F. McLean, deputy attorney-general, has announced the appointment in a move by his department to remove responsibility of the conduct of inquests from the medical profession. He described the ap- pointment of Judge Hudson and provincial Judges C. H. Rolf of Edmonton and R. Aldermen asked to ponder power rate intervention City council will be asked Monday if it wants to form a committee to prepare interventions against future Calgary Power rate increases City Solicitor John Ham- mond raises the matter in a submission to council reporting on the recent three- month surcharge granted Calgary Power by the Public Utilities Board. It's considered likely, however, that council will wait until after the Oct. 16 civic election to form the committee. Its formation was proposed by Aid. Steve Kotch after council was told in August Calgary Power will likely go for another rate increase before the end of this year. Subsequently it was learned that Calgary Power will ask for a seven to 10 per cent rate increase by December. Although the three-month surcharge of 4.1 per cent, to be applied by Calgary Power to all it's customers from Oct. 1, won't be passed on to city consumers, the city's utility department said a seven to 10 per cent increase in Calgary Power rates could force up city utility bills in 1975. The city buys all its power from the utility company after selling it the city power plant this summer. Sportsplex, the city's newest recreation facility, is nearing completion and must be ready with a sheet of Ice Oct. 6 when the Lethbridge Broncos meet the Regina Pats in the first event scheduled for the building. The million Sportsplex will have seating for people and nobody will be sitting behind a post. At left, George Hunt, Sportsplex foreman, and Ray Lambert, Sportsplex manager, observe while Tony Elands, centre, shows them how the new score- board works. Burning ban to be lifted for two weeks in October City residents will be able to burn leaves and other debris during daylight hours for two weeks starting Oct 1 The fall burning period provided for in the open- burning ban bylaw, passed by city council last spring, was announced by city hall Friday. Lethbridge on CBC Monday Lethbridge will be in the national spotlight Monday on the CBC network radio show This Country in the Morning. Southern Albertans will be able to pick up the show, with host Michael Enright, on the CBC's Calgary station CBR. 1010 me. from 9 a.m. until noon. The show was taped in advance in Lethbridge Friday. Judge reserves ruling in Hurlburt case By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer An Alberta Supreme Court trial scrutinizing a quarter-million dollar land deal by Lethbridge MP Ken Hurlburt ended Friday. Mr. Justice W. K. Moore has reserved his decision The MP's former hired hand. Gus Moneo. 51. testified on behalf of an elderly Fort Macleod ranch family involved in the dispute. Mr. Moneo witnessed an agree- ment between the family and Mr. Hurlburt for a lease and option on their ranch. The Hunter family of a sister and three brothers have since claimed the deal was misrepresented; that they only agreed to give Mr. Hurlburt first right of refusal if they ever decided to sell When the family cancelled his lease. Mr. Hurlburt, as provided in the option, offered them to buy the ranch. They refused to accept his cheque. He is suing to have the agreement honored. "If you folks ever decide to sell I want the first chance to Mr Moneo reported as one statement the MP made in sealing the deal He also testified Mr. Hurlburt said that, "If I rent two or three years I'll pay whatever the going price is if you decide to sell." Mr Moneo acted as foreman of the leased ranch for a year and then Mr. Hurlburt said he fired him. The fired hand said the Hunters did not have a chance to read a copy of the agreement before signing, and that the verbal summary of the agreement offered by Mr. Hurlburt differed from the written document. Mr. Hurlburt has insisted that he could not have made it more clear to the Hunters that he would not rent the land without an option to buy at a set price if they cancelled his lease. He testified that he also placed a copy of the agreement in front of the Hunters during the evening of final negotiations in their ranch house kitchen and that they read it Mr. Moneo testified Friday that he was not fired by the MP "I was asked to negotiate to leave." Nor was he fired from a series of other jobs in the past 10 years, he said He left a position at Etzakom after a disagreement with his employer over a cow Mr. Moneo butchered, "if I didn't leave he said he would charge me with theft, but I wasn't he testified Other testimony Friday came from a neighbor of the Hunters wto bought acres adjacent to their land at the same time Mr. Hurlburt signed the option to pay them an acre John Vanderwolf of Calgary said his land, which he considered comparable to the Hunters', cost him an acre. Mr Hurlburt's counsel Charles Virtue sent an accredited Lethbridge real estate appraiser out to the Hunter ranch seven miles west of Fort Macleod Thursday afternoon to counter an appraiser for the Hunters who testified Thur- sday. Jerry Zezulka. 27, Friday disputed the an acre price tag computed by George Leslie, who had been retained by the Hunters. Mr. Zezulka said the value of the land was more like an acre in the summer of 1972 when the deal was made. In his summation, Mr. Virtue said the Hunters knew what the deal was when they entered it. Only the Hunters could bring the option into play by terminating the lease. Mr. Hurlburt could not, he said, so they were protected from losing their home. Mr. Hurlburt was protected by the option to buy if be invested a large amount in the ranch and they attempted to throw him off, the counsel said It was only after they discovered he could raise the option money that they started to dispute how the agreement was completed, Mr. Vir- tue said. "They gambled and he said. Mr. Hurlburt said earlier he thought the Hunter ranch is one of the best in Southern Alberta and reluctantly sold most of his own ranch to raise the money. Donald Chernichen, counsel for the Hunters, said the Hunters' ac- tions from the beginning were con- sistent with wanting to get their land back, once they understood what an option was. They trusted their lawvers to do that and it was not their fault if the lawyers took a poor route, he said. He also said the lease-option was not the simple document Mr. Virtue made it out to be. Nor had increasing land values caused a change of heart on the part of the Hunters, he said. They only wanted the ranch as a home for their retirement. He suggested Mr. Hurlburt was better equipped than the Hunters to handle the negotiations. He was a substantial businessman with varied interests, acquainted with business dealings and had the "advantage" of a lawyer. The Hunters had virtually no business experience and had never entered an option agreement Mr. Chernichen said. Mr Justice W. K Moore said it didn't mean there was anything wrong with the deal because one of the parties was more experienced in business. "The whole question boils down to whether their minds were in agreement. If so. did they have a change of heart later Or they might not have understood the agreement, he said Martha Hunter, 74, and her brothers Vere, 72 and Howard, 67. testified they turned down other offers to sell the ranch A third brother. Joseph. 79, was not at the trial as he is in hospital in Calgary Mr Justice Moore heard testimony from 14 witnesses dunng the three-dav trial V. Read of Calgary as an "interim measure" while the government drafts new legislation based on fin- dings of the Kirby Com- mission. The deputy attorney general told Canadian Press his department will introduce a new Coroners Act. The only question is how many of the Kirby Commission findings will be included in the propos- ed legislation. Mr. Justice W. J. C. Kirby of the Alberta Supreme Court, head of a three man justice reform commission, has termed the current Coroners Act obsolete, possibly uncon- stitutional and badly in need of change. The commission has recommended the govern- ment take the conduct of in- quests away from medical doctors and shift coroner proceedings into courts under the jurisdiction of provincial judges. In the meantime, Mr. McLean said, coroners' juries will continue to function, but judges are free to tighten up procedures for both testimony and verdicts. He also said the attorney general's department expects to appoint a new chief coroner in two weeks to replace Dr. Max Cantor, who has held the post for 24 years. Mr. McLean confirmed that Dr. Cantor wants to retire, but declined to name a successor. Civic issues 'dominate election9 Advanced Education Minister Jim Foster has suggested that school board elections should not be held together with civic elections. Mr. Foster said in a Calgary interview Friday that if school board elections were held apart from civic elections, they could "increase public awareness in educational issues." Civic issues tend to cloud out educational ones when mayoralty, aldermanic and school board candidates are all trying to get public atten- tion, he said. In Lethbridge there are 19 candidates seeking the eight seats on city council in the Oct. 16 civic election, while 13 people are running for the seven vacancies on the public school board and 10 have been nominated for the five seats on the separate school board. Census The city will have to do its annual head count in the spring from now on because of a change in the Alberta Property Tax Reduction Act. says City Clerk John Gerla in a submission to go to city council Monday tO Major recommendations on West Lethbridge, including one that would allow Engineered Homes to develop a large parcel of land it owns to the west of the present west side developments, will go to city council Monday If approved, it would repre- sent a fairly significant change in council policy towards West Lethbridge which to now has been to limit builders to development of only five or 10 lots at a time. But Deputy Mayor Vaughan Hembroff, who was on coun- cil's committee that launched the West Lethbridge project, said Friday he's not prepared at present to accept such a shift in policy unless he's satisfied council's aims and philosophies are looked after in keeping the price of housing as low as possible "We're limiting builders to five and 10 lot parcels because we want a mix of housing and real competition as far as he said. The submission to council from administration officials working on West Lethbridge development also recommends that the next major phase of West Lethbridge development by the city be west of the present developed area The land Engineered Homes owns is a portion of that area. City, county draft co-operation pact A resolution calling on Lethbridge city and county to co-operate in matters of "mutual interest" such as development, annexation, ser- vicing, fire protection and transportation will go to city council for approval Monday. The resolution was drafted at a meeting on annexation last week between, city, coun- ty and Oldman River Regional Planning Commission of- ficials. It suggests that the county and city set up a committee to enable' both bodies to take such matters of mutual interest to the provincial senior governments. It's understood, however, that annexation is the big issue on which city officials are seeking co-operation from the county. Lethbridge has informed the county it wants to annex near- ly a section of land on the city's northeast end to use for industrial expansion but to date no application for annex- ation has gone to the provin- cial government's Local Authorities Board. Meantime, the city's option to buy 206 acres owned by Lethbridge Theatres Ltd. in the area just north of 9th Avenue N. and east of the CJOC television station ex- pires Oct. 15. To date, while the provin- cial government has promised to help the city finance development of the industrial park project, city hall has not yet received a definite com- mitment from Edmonton. Since the cost of acquiring the land will run over million with interest charges, the city needs a firm state- ment from the province soon. United Way on its way Did you know That the John Howard Society in 1973 made 734 contacts in the community regarding ex-inmates of correctional institutions? Support the John Howard Society through the United Way 1974 campaign results to date: Professional...... National firms Selected residential... 9812 Local firms Education Civic employees Provincial employees Federal employees Banks and financial SO Real estate firms District Agency staffs UW bd 81.745 Total S12.-S54 Objective S190.000 190.000 150.000 50.000 United way ;