Make Some Noise for Mental Health, Jan. 31

By Murray Green

The University of Alberta Augustana Vikings are encouraging fans to make Some Noise for Mental Health on Jan. 31.
The Vikings will be hosting Concordia Thunder for women’s and men’s basketball in the gym during the 6 and 8 p.m. games. Concordia will be holding their Make Some Noise night on Feb. 1 with the Vikings in attendance.
Created and implemented in 2015 by the SAIT Trojans Outreach Program, Make Some Noise for Mental Health has grown into an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) conference-wide awareness campaign to break stigmas around mental health.
By involving student-athletes, Make Some Noise for Mental Health is intended to encourage empathy, understanding and open-mindedness, while promoting resources and support available on campuses and in their communities.
The award-winning campaign expanded to the 17 ACAC member institutions and 11 communities in 2016, with the help of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Alberta Division, to connect those experiencing mental illness and those who are impacted by mental illness with the support they need.
The ACAC members (now consisting of 18) will collaborate with CMHA and RBC through student-led, on-campus activities.
“The involvement of RBC as the presenting partner, and continued support of CMHA Alberta and the CMHA Alberta Regional offices has been absolutely pivotal in expanding the profile and scope of this important ACAC initiative,” said Mark Kosak, ACAC chief executive officer. “We simply can’t thank both organizations enough for lending their influential voices to the ACAC’s efforts to make more noise about mental health.”

Interesting responses to tools

By Lori Larsen

We received a few responses to our Jan. 14 mystery items on page 26 here at The Camrose Booster and while the mystery on two of the items may not have been verified, agreeable emails and letters would suggest our readers are on to something.
The top item in the photo featured in the Jan. 14 edition, has been identified as a sewing hem marker, the bottom left item may be a wooden press used to flatten material.
As for the red handled item, several responses would indicate that it is a dehorner for small animals such as calves or baby sheep, another guess was a bottle cap flattener.
Whatever the true identity, this is for sure, these tools have truly stood the test of time.

RCMP advise on intersection safety

By Lori Larsen

The Alberta RCMP are advising motorists on the dangers of intersections during Intersection Safety Month in Alberta and offer the following tips on how to make the roadways safer for all users.
Slow down as you approach an intersection, come to a complete stop and check all traffic before proceeding.
Obey traffic signs and signals. Come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs. Be a defensive driver and be prepared to react accordingly to other motorists lack of judgement or unsafe driving.
At a four-way stop, remember the Right of Way rule. You must yield to the vehicle on your right.
Always initiate your turn signal when making turns. Ensure it is safe to turn before doing so. Check for both pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic before making any turns.
Yield the right of way to pedestrians in all marked or unmarked crosswalks.
Drive for the weather and road conditions. Even if the roads are cleared, black ice can still be present.
Slow down and allow for plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of yours. If you are approaching an intersection controlled by a traffic light and the light has been green for a while, anticipate it turning by taking your foot off the gas and slowing down prior to the intersection.
Never jaywalk. Check traffic both ways before crossing and only proceed when it is safe to do so.
Always use crosswalks and pedestrian-activated signals when they are available.
Don’t be a distracted pedestrian. Remove headphones and put away cell phones or other electronic devices when crossing the street.
“You should always be prepared for the unexpected at intersections: pay attention to pedestrians, changing lights, slippery road conditions and other drivers before proceeding through an intersection,” said Alberta Sheriffs superintendant Rick Gardner. “Intersection safety entails consistently watching the road and other drivers and pedestrians to avoid dangerous collisions.”
Most motor vehicle collisions can be avoided by driving defensively and using extra care and control.
“According to Alberta Transportation, over 85 per cent of collisions involve a driver error,” said Alberta RCMP Traffic Services superintendent Gary Graham. “The most common driver errors identified in casualty collisions at intersections include left turns, stop sign violations and disobeying a traffic signal.
“Intersection safety is a shared responsibility. Together, we have the ability to reduce the number of collisions and save lives.”
The Alberta RCMP will continue to work with Alberta Sheriffs and other law enforcement and safety partners to ensure Albertans make the right driving decisions. For more traffic safety tips visit their Facebook page at @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.

Bull Congress teaches students about the agriculture industry

By Lori Larsen

Grade 3 students from schools in and around Camrose were once again given a wonderful opportunity to learn about life on the farm and the agriculture industry.
On Jan. 21 and 22 the  participating schools took the students on a field  trip  to the Camrose Regional Exhibition hosting the annual Canadian Bull Congress Education Program, where they were able to learn, hands on, some of what it takes to be an agriculture producer at a variety of vendors and presenting organizations, as well as valuable safety tips from Camrose Fire Department.
“The Canadian Bull Congress Education program is sponsored by Camrose County and made possible by the CRE team and many wonderful volunteers,” said Camrose Regional Exhibition Agriculture liaison and Bull Congress Education Program coordinator Megan Lethbridge.
“It is a great opportunity for students to receive hands on education about agriculture.”
Topics covered at the different booths included: a veterinarian presentation by Dr. Ileana Berezanski from Camrose Vet Hospital; canola seeds processing and usage; milk production; chicken producers; farm and fire safety; auctioneering and cattle ear tagging.
The Bull Congress Education Program played host to 15 schools and approximately 522 students and is well received throughout Camrose and the county as a valuable tool for educating youth on the important role agriculture plays in our communities.

Cold weather translates into more feed for livestock

By Murray Green

 This winter frigid temperatures have been taxing for both humans and their livestock across the province.
The colder the weather, the more feed is needed to keep animals warm. Some animals have lost condition or dropped weight due to the cold weather.
“Animals that are kept outside–be they cattle, bison or horses–all increase the amount of feed they consume during the cold weather,” explained Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist at the Alberta Ag-Info Centre.
“This is to increase the amount of heat that is generated during the digestion process to stay warm. Using beef cattle as an example, if temperatures drop below -20° C, feed intake can increase by five to 30 per cent compared to a warmer day,” added Yaremcio.
Because of the cold, Yaremcio said that some producers are noticing that their haystacks or silage pits are emptying a lot faster than what was expected. However, he says that producers have some options even on limited feed supply.
“Cows in late pregnancy can be fed a certain amount of straw per day, which is no different than before the cold weather. However, the straw cannot be the total increase in feed supplied because it is low in protein, high in fibre which reduces digestibility and rumen efficiency. Good quality hay and additional grain is needed as part of the additional feed supplied. Adding two lb. of grain per head per day at -30° C and four lb. of additional grain at -40° C is a good starting point,” he added.
“Managing the protein content, calcium and phosphorus, magnesium, trace minerals and vitamins are all important to provide a balanced ration. If hay or silage supplies are very short, feeding roughly 10 lb. of straw per day to a lactating cow with the remainder being silage or hay along with 10 to 15 lb. or more of grain per head per day may be necessary. Grain feeding rates will depend on the quality of the other feeds and forages,” said Yaremcio.
After calving, when including straw in the diet, it is critical to include sufficient amounts of protein. The ration should contain a minimum of 11 per cent protein on a dry matter basis. Adding faba beans, peas, distillers grains or 32 per cent with Rumensin are all possibilities.
“Changing and adjusting the feeding program when including lower quality straw is critical. It is possible that calcium and magnesium levels will be low, creating a concern with downer cows or milk fevers.”
Keep an eye on the animal’s body condition score. “When a cow loses body condition score prior to calving, the energy availability the cow has to produce milk after calving is reduced because there is less fat to mobilize off her back in addition to the feed that is providing them with energy.
“If the cow can’t mobilize the extra fat to get energy to produce milk, peak milk production is going to go down. If you lose two pounds of milk production off the peak at eight weeks after calving, your loss of milk production over the entire length of that lactation period is going to be down that two pounds. It is not just the peak that is lost, but the two pounds all the way through,” he continued.
“If cows are losing weight between calving and when the bulls are turned out, it takes longer for the cows to start cycling and first service conception rates go down,” explained Yaremcio. “Therefore, you are either going to have a bunch of calves born later in the calving season next year, or that cow might be open and gets culled.”
Yaremcio added that bringing the cows back into condition will take a little more attention to details. “Get some extra help working through current rations. Or, use the CowBytes program and readjust them as soon as possible to allow the largest amount of time to regain condition before the breeding season begins. Feeding an extra two, three or four pounds of grain a day over and above what is fed in warmer conditions is a starting point. The extra grain will help increase weight gains by about one-half to three-quarters of a pound a day. That is over and above fetal and placenta growth for cows in late pregnancy and some weight gain for lactating cows.”

Food regulations could see changes

By Murray Green

The province is gathering feedback on proposed changes to Alberta’s Food Regulation and Food Retail and Foodservices Code.
They are looking for ways to make it easier for Albertans to make, sell and purchase low-risk, home-prepared foods.
The primary goal of the Food Regulation and Code is to protect the public from food-borne illness. The proposed changes will reduce unnecessary red tape and increase flexibility for consumers and home-prepared food entrepreneurs, while protecting public health.
Home-prepared food entrepreneurs and food industry operators can share feedback by taking the online survey by Feb. 2.
Your feedback will help inform potential changes to Alberta’s Food Regulation and Code, expected to be introduced in the spring of 2020.
Go to for more information or to take the survey.

Treating seeds is your own insurance plan

By Agri-News

Whether to seed treat, or not is a question that often comes up in the spring.
“Seed treatment should be looked at as an insurance policy to protect against less-than-ideal growing conditions in the spring,” said Harry Brook, crop specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
If a producer has high germinating, vigorous seed planted into warm, moist soil, the crop will germinate quickly and be off to a good start. However, spring often comes in spurts between winter and summer, and using treated seed can help to avoid potential problems.
“Soils warm up only to cool off. Long periods of cool, damp conditions hovering around five and six °C gives plenty of chances for root rots to take hold and kill off the plant. Early plant and root development is a crucial contributor to the overall yield a plant will deliver in the fall. As the roots go, so do the shoots.”
There are other factors besides weather that can increase the risk of seedling losses. Smuts, bunts and fusarium are seed-borne diseases, and even low levels on untreated seed can, under the right conditions, take over and cause significant yield loss in the crop.
“Without treatment and with a series of damp cool years, small pockets of infection can spread and become a field-wide disaster,” said Brook. “Treating your seed with fungicide kills off those potential damaging organisms and can protect the seed in the soil for up to two weeks. This protection will also extend to some of the common root diseases that attack the crop at the germination stage such as common root rot and seedling blights. Some seed treatments also have insecticides incorporated to prevent early feeding by insects on the seedlings. Seed treatment for flea beetle in canola is standard and treatment for wireworm in cereals is becoming more common.”
Other farming practices that increase the risk of seedling losses include slow soil warming, limited crop rotation and seed quality. “The majority of seeding done is now zero or minimum till. This is good in so many ways but it also slows soil warming in the spring. Plentiful crop residues insulate the soil surface and keep soils cooler and moister, ideal for slowing down germination and emergence and giving fungi a chance to affect the seedling.”
Another big risk factor, said Brook, is crop rotations with little variety. “A lot of central and northern Alberta producers have moved to a canola-wheat or canola–barley crop rotation. Many diseases will overwinter on crop residues left on the soil surface and provide a primary source of infection for surrounding, susceptible crops for the next year. Reducing the spore source requires burial, which is not done with zero tillage. Blackleg on canola is a good example. Infectious spores are produced on the stubble for two to three years after the crop is harvested. Highest spore production occurs two years after the crop, which is a problem with a wheat-canola rotation. Recent surveys of canola stubble show increasing levels of blackleg in the canola. Crop yield losses are also starting to increase as well.”
Seed treatments with insecticide in them are essential for a couple of crops. “As canola is a very small seed and the seedlings take some time to get established and begin to grow, insecticide treatment is required to protect the seedlings from flea beetles. All hybrid canola sold in Alberta is treated with an insecticide because flea beetles are endemic in the province. As well, peas are susceptible to pea leaf weevil, which is expanding through all of central Alberta. Larval feeding on pea nodules in the roots can lead to nitrogen deficiencies and reduced yields. In areas with high pea leaf weevil populations or signs of heavy feeding in previous years, seed treatment for the weevils is a matter of course. Seed treatment for pea leaf weevil is the only effective way to reduce damage from these pests.”
Another factor to consider when applying seed treatment is the application method. “Ideally, you want every seed to be adequately covered by the seed treatment. Some methods are better than others at getting it on each seed. Drip and gravity feed applicators are not good methods for application, as they don’t allow for accurate volume control or seed coverage. To improve coverage, you need an even volume of fungicide being applied over the whole stream of seed as it travels up the auger. Use an applicator tip with a known volume output and pressure.”
Modern seed treatments have lower application rates with less physical product being used, noted Brook. “Even if the seed doesn’t have as much colouring, the fungicides are still effective if applied properly. This makes seed treating calibration even more important, as a visual inspection of the seed is no guarantee of good coverage.”
Seed treatment should never be used to replace good seed. Poor, diseased, low germinating seed will still be poor, diseased, low germinating seed with or without treatment. It is insurance and protection, and not a replacement, for good seed quality.
“As with any insurance, seed treatment is a way of reducing the risk to the crop at the important, early stages of growth and establishment. With the uncertain nature of weather in the spring and tight crop rotations, seed treatment can be a way of ensuring a healthy, vigorous crop stand, or you can seed into warm, moist, soil. It’s all a matter of timing.”

New laws to protect property owners

By Murray Green

The Alberta Government has introduced legislation to strengthen protections for law-abiding Albertans and their property.
Bill 27, the Trespass Statutes (Protecting Law-Abiding Property Owners) Amendment Act, has received first reading in the Legislature.
“The proposed changes in Bill 27 came directly from listening to rural residents whose lives have been affected by crime. As the next step in our plan to combat rural crime, this legislation will not only protect property owners and help law-abiding Albertans feel safe in their communities, but also will ensure that trespassers face the proper consequences for their actions,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
If Bill 27 is passed, amendments to the Occupiers’ Liability Act would better protect law-abiding property owners from civil liability for injuries to trespassers, where the owner has reasonable grounds to believe the trespasser is committing, or about to commit, a criminal offence. The amendments would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.
The proposed amendments do not change a property owner’s legal duty to child trespassers or trespassers who are not committing, or are about to commit, a criminal offence.
The proposed legislation would also strengthen deterrents to trespassing through amendments to trespass laws. This includes five-fold increases to maximum fines for trespassing, with fines of up to $10,000 for a first offence and up to $25,000 for subsequent offences, as well as possible prison time of up to six months.
Corporations that help or direct trespassers would face fines up to $200,000 – a first for Canada. In addition, the maximum amount a court may order for loss or damage to property would be raised from $25,000 to $100,000.
Bill 27 would also better protect farmers and ranchers from harassment and occupation by protesters, which are actions that risk introducing disease and threaten the welfare of animals. This includes amending the Petty Trespass Act to add explicit references to land used for crops, animal-rearing and beekeeping.
Once these changes come into force, Alberta would be the first province to have offences and penalties for creating a biosecurity hazard to animals.
It is important that property owners remember that they can still be held criminally responsible for their actions and should call law enforcement to deal with trespassers.
The proposed increases in maximum fines for trespassing would be done through amendments to the Petty Trespass Act and the Trespass to Premises Act.
The maximum fines for first and subsequent offences would increase from $2,000 and $5,000 to $10,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Organic Alberta to hold conference

By Murray Green

A conference for farmers, ranchers and industry to grow organic agriculture will be held at the Camrose Regional Exhibition on Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.
Organic Alberta is partnering with Western Canadian Holistic Management to provide three days of information, insight and inspiration. Learn new ideas and practices to improve your land and your business. Organic agriculture offers solutions to many of the challenges facing society today. Hear from world-renowned experts on the impact organic farmers are making.
Known for attracting an amazing community of farm families, this is the place to meet other farmers who are exploring new practices, ways of thinking and supporting the paradigm shift in our agriculture and food systems.
While feeding your mind, we’ll feed your stomach with food from farmers across Alberta. We are committed to farmers who are growing nutrient dense food that is good for people and good for the land.
Organic Alberta is committed to supporting the next generation and offers an educational children’s program at our conference so they can learn alongside us. For more information contact Dana at or call 780-914-6282.
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By Bonnie Hutchinson

Cold enough for ya?
The weather forecast tells me that on the day you’re reading this, the temperature in East Central Alberta is practically balmy–only a few degrees below freezing. Where I am right now, the outdoor temperature is minus 37 with a wind chill of minus 50 or something. I learned this week that the heating system of the building I live in was not designed for outdoor temperatures as low as minus 37. The heating system is pumping its little heart out, but can’t seem to warm up the units past room temperatures in the mid-teens. Yep, layers of sweaters. So what does this have to do with anything that matters to you?
Well, I’m thinking our Canadian weather probably impacts us in ways we don’t think of as anything.
The cold is top of mind. It’s certainly affecting my behaviour. I’m more wimpy than I’d like to admit–or possibly more resourceful. I’ve discovered it’s amazing how many groceries I don’t need after all, so I don’t have to poke my nose outside for another few days.
We Canadians have different standards of what’s considered “cold” and what’s not. A friend who visited Arizona during the summer told me a story of staying in a smallish motel that had a pool. The motel owner was interested to learn my friend was from Canada and commented about “crazy Canucks.”
The motel owner’s example of crazy Canucks was, “They come down here in the dead of winter when it’s only 70 degrees (about plus 19 Celsius) and swim in the pool!” My friend thought that was funny.
Once when I was in Hawaii, the temperature on one island dipped to the low sixties Fahrenheit (about plus 15 Celsius). For Hawaiians, that was considered a crisis. Canadian tourists–aware of their back-home winter temperatures–found it funny.
This reminded me of a “Temperature Chart for Canadians” that someone emailed me. There are several versions online. Here’s a sample (temperatures in Celsius).
Plus 20: Texans turn on the heat and unpack the thermal underwear. Canadians go swimming in lakes. Zero: Distilled water freezes. Lake Superior’s water gets thicker. Minus 45: Polar bears begin to evacuate the Arctic. Canadian Boy Scouts postpone “Winter Survival” classes until it gets cold enough. Minus 165: Microbial life no longer survives on dairy products. Canadian cows complain about farmers with cold hands. Minus 246: Absolute zero. All atomic motion stops. Canadians start saying, “Cold enough for ya?” Minus 500: Hell freezes over. Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup.
The “Temperature Chart for Canadians” was originally written by Newfoundlanders, who have produced an astonishing number of Canadian comedians. I’m wondering if Newfoundland’s harsh weather and terrain (“Welcome to The Rock”) and difficult economic conditions contribute to Newfoundlanders’ warm friendliness and sense of humour. I’m wondering if, in Canada as a whole, our less-than-friendly winter weather and often harsh terrain drive us to humour. It’s not only a coping mechanism but a survival mechanism.
In years when I worked with people in highly volatile careers–police officers and emergency medical responders and firefighters, for example–I got to appreciate black humour. If you can laugh about it, you can survive it.
Laughing is not the only coping mechanism. In fact, I’ve learned over the decades that at some point we actually have to confront and dive more deeply into things that cause us pain.
But finding humour gives us enough of a lift that we can muster up the courage to face what has to be faced, and then the resourcefulness to figure out how to deal with tough situations. You know, like staying in a chilly building and not going out for groceries when the outdoor temperature is minus 37!
Okay, I’m joking about what constitutes a “tough situation.” But somewhere in there is a nugget about how our Canadian weather impacts our minds and hearts and identities, as well as our bodies and living conditions and livelihoods.
I’d love to hear from you! If you have comments about this column or suggestions for future topics, send a note to I’ll happily reply within one business day.
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Births and Deaths

- To Kaylin Jago and Kyle Leslie, of Camrose, a daughter on January 15.

- Leonard Robert O’Donnell of Camrose, on January 17, at 63 years of age.
- Ruth Eva Jensen of Camrose, on January 17, at 80 years of age.
- Calvin Thomas Johnson of Edberg, on January 18, at 99 years of age.
- George Watt of Camrose, on January 20 at 85 years of age.
- Margaret “Marg” Rose Lloyd of Camrose, on January 20, at 77 years of age.
- Glen Alfred Bradley of Ferintosh, on January 20, at 63 years of age.
- Gordon Fredrick Fredrickson of Camrose, formerly of New Norway, on January 21, at 89 years of age.
- Doris Margaret Day of Wainwright formerly of Kopernick, on January 21, at 76 years of age.
- Doreen Gloria Nystrom of Tofield, formerly of Calgary, on January 21, at 79 years of age.
- Olive (nee Sand) Nitz of Camrose, on January 21, at 101 years of age.
- Lois Lauber of Tofield, on January 23, at 79 years of age.