History of the PRFA

1992 - The Beginning

1992 Board of Directors:
President: Glenn Hogberg
Vice President: Steve Shipton
Sec/Treasurer: Ernest Nimitz
Director: Harvey Wiles
Director: Arnold Bennett
Director: Jim Scafe

Accomplishments: 
Due to the intensive efforts of several "forage keen" livestock producers in the BC Peace River country in the fall of 1991 & winter/spring of 1992, the Forage Association came into being officially in July 1992. These efforts included talking to alot of people thought to be interested in forages, development of a 200 person bonafide mailing list and several mailouts to a prospective interested farmers, ranchers and resource agency people. This was strictly a grass roots, producer driven effort from day one.

1992_EH_Bine

1993 - Officially Recognized

1993 Board of Directors:
President: Glenn Hogberg
Vice President: Steve Shipton
Sec/Treasurer: Ernest Nimitz
Director: Harvey Wiles
Director: Arnold Bennett
Director: Jim Scafe

Accomplishments: 
Forage Variety trials established in Peace region. Jim Forbes was instrumental as an advisor. Partnered with BC Forage Council. Glenn Hogberg became first chair of our active R&D committee. Presentation about the vision & protocol of Long Term Forage Productivity Benchmarks Project. Association received the official Certificate of Incorporation on March 29, 1993. R&D report included proposed Pasture Production Record.

1994 - Dana Bentley Hired

1994 Board of Directors:
President: Steve Shipton
Vice President: Brian Turner
Secretary/Tresurer: Ernest Nimitz
Director: Keith Weaver
Director: Walter Fritsche
BCFC Rep: Bob Tubb
Executive: Glenn Hogberg

Accomplishments: 
Forage Variety trials established in Peace region. Jim Forbes was instrumental as an advisor. Partnered with BC Forage Council. Glenn Hogberg became first chair of our active R&D committee. Presentation about the vision & protocol of Long Term Forage Productivity Benchmarks Project. Association received the official Certificate of Incorporation on March 29, 1993. R&D report included proposed Pasture Production Record.

1995 - Year of the Logo

1995 Board Of Directors:
President: Keith Weaver
Vice President: Walter Fritsche
Treasurer: Glenn Hogberg
Secretary: Ernest Nimitz
B.C.F.C. Rep: Bob Tubb
Director: Ernie Fuhr
Director: Steve Shipton

Accomplishments:
Forage variety and cultivar testing will be allowed to continue on in the Peace River Block.  Although many other projects could be canceled if funding is not available.  Goals and objectives of the PRFA of BC have been defined.  “Encouraging the maximum net profit for each and every member” is the motto of the year.  A comparison on bloat control was conducted, and a seminar was held to inform people of holistic management.   This year’s forage tour was held in Groundbirch and Progress; with stops at the Groundbirch community pasture, Hogbergs ranch and the Bentley’s Ranch. This was the year the Moo Cow Three Step became all the rage.

1996 - First Tour To Alberta

1996 Board Of Directors:
President: Keith Weaver
Vice President: Don Pedersen
Treasurer: Glenn Hogberg
Secretary: Ernest Nimitz
Director:  Bob Tubb
Director:  Ben Hansen
Director: Horst David

Accomplishments: 
Good animal health + good forage crop management seminar was held this year in Taylor.  Topics such as Stored forage, the tools needed to improve forage quality, and calving management tips were just a few that were discussed.  The activities of the association this year include participation in forage variety trials, hosting the BCFC AGM trade fair and will also be sponsoring a low stress animal handling seminar.

1997 - PRRD Wildlife Committee

1997 Board Of Directors:
President: Keith Weaver
Vice President: Don Pedersen
Treasurer: Glenn Hogberg
Secretary: Ernest Nimitz
Director:  Bob Tubb
Director:  Ben Hansen
Director: Horst David

Accomplishments:
The Cattle Industry Development Council and Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration assisting with forage projects.  There was a livestock watering demonstration in partnership with the PFRA that promotes that development of sustainable watering systems in the B.C. Peace River Country.  Other activities that the association was involved in this year were the Western Canadian Grazing Conference, the Rycroft forage seminar as well as the wildlife policy committee.

1998 - First PRAD Funds

1998 Board Of Directors
President: Don Pederson
Vice President: Phil Haight
Treasurer: Glenn Hogberg
Secretary: Ernest Nimitz
Director:  Bob Tubb
Director:  Ben Hansen
Director: Brian Clark

Accomplishments:
The theme for this year’s forage tour was the economic offsite livestock water development as well as the intensive management with controlled grazing of livestock.  The area that will be toured will be the Tomslake district. The winter forage seminar highlights was the discussion on “how to increase  your net farm and ranch profits with forage farming”.  The Rycroft, Alberta seminar had a theme of “utilizing alternative feed sources and feeding low quality roughage”.

1999 - Environmental Award

1999 Board Of Directors
President: Arnold Bennet
Vice President: Doug Bentley
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Ernest Nimitz
Director: Fred Burres
Director: Micheal Cowger
Director: John Kendrew

Accomplishments:
To date, this years convention was the most sucessful in our history The theme being "Making Money by Keeping Our Calves a Home and Grazing and Marketing our Lush Forage Resources" The attendees went home with a clearer definition of what it takes to produce and utilize forage for profit. The forage tour this year was a 2 day journey with the destination locked on the Westlock-Barrhead area of Alberta. Our Association was presented with the Environmental Stewardship Award at the 71st Annual General Meeting. This award recognizes excellent environmental management associated with livestock and forage operations.

2000 - Forage Management For The New Millennium

2000 - Board of Directors
President: Arnold Bennet
Vice President: Doug Bentley
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Ernest Nimitz
Director: Fred Burres
Director: Micheal Cowger
Director: John Kendrew

Accomplishments:
PRFA partnered with BC Grain Producers Association & Peace Region Forage Seed Association to hire Sandra Burton as a Cross Commodity Manager. The annual summer tour was held in the Peace River Valley, with stops at the McKnight Ranch, Rich Sewell's Seed Farm as well as a tour of Hudson's Hope and a BarBQ supper in Summer Brothers pasture . This year we organized a Goods & Services auction fundraiser; and we raised several thousand dollars that was used for seed money for research development, demonstrations and communications projects.

2001 - Wildlife Agricultural Symposium

2001 - Board of Directors
President: Arnold Bennet
Vice President: Doug Bentley
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Ernest Nimitz
Director: Fred Burres
Director: Micheal Cowger
Director: John Kendrew

Accomplishments:
In January a wildlife agriculture symposium was held in Charlie Lake and was well received. The eclectic group of speakers were all on the same page, and looking for a solution that will be beneficial to everyone involved. Also this year The PFRA held a Riparian Workshop, to extend out knowledge on healthy and unhealthy stream banks.

Click here to view the first decade of tours.

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2002 - Swath Grazing at Mile Zero

2002 - Board of Directors
President: Chuck Sutherland
Vice President: Glenn Hogberg
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: John Kendrew
Director: Ernest Nimitz
Director: Fred Burres
Director: Pat Gerlinsky

Accomplishments:
This year the theme for the PRFA seminar was -40 and Over 80:Pasture and Woodland Management. The swath grazing trial has provided some interesting cattle economics. With substantial monetary savings, and minimal usage of equipment in the cold harsh weather this might just catch on. Climate Change, global warming and environmental sustainability; these are the hot topics of the year.

2003 - The Year of Environmental Farm Plans

2003 - Board of Directors
President: Chuck Sutherland
Vice President: Ernest Nimitz
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Micheal Cowger
Director: Sarah Davies
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Pat Gerlinsky

Accomplishments:
Holistic management and it's ecological, economical equilibrium have us intrigued enough to implement the environmental farm planning system. Great Northern Marshmallow Farmers strongly feel a change in trend is going to happen. A genuine thank you to the members that have been involved with our association for 10 years. Without your cooperation and support, the information we strive for would be unattainable.

2004 - Ernest Nimitz Retires

2004 - Board of Directors
President: Chuck Sutherland
Vice President: Darwin Linford
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Sarah Davies
Director: Micheal Cowger
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Ernest Nimitz

Accomplishments:
This year Jim Forbes has instructed two courses that provides us with feeding strategies for our herds. Forage Goods & Services Auction is back! Ernest Nimitz retired this year; and he will surely be missed by everyone. A big thank you to Ernest and his family for all of your hard work and dedication over the years.

2005 - Beef Cattle Industry Council Visits the Peace

2005 Board of Directors
President: Chuck Sutherland
Vice President: Rick Kantz
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Sarah Davies
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Aron Collins
Director: Pat Gerlinsky

Accomplishments:
A genuine thank you to the Nimitz family for all of your hard work and dedication to the Forage First publications over the years.  The Environmental farm plan received a lot of positive feedback from the producers in this area. The Cattle Industry Development Council visited the North Peace.  Atlantic Farm Day 2005.  Summer Forage Tour was a 2 day trip this year, and was hosted in Grande Prairie and surrounding areas.

2006 - Walkerton Visits The Peace

2006 Board of Directors
President: Rick Kantz
Vice President: Chuck Sutherland
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Sarah Davies
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Deryle Griffith
Director: Pat Gerlinsky

Accomplishments:
Explanation of the age verification tags for producers and how to get birth certificates registered. This year there has been an increase in Environmental Farm Plan Usage (EFP).  Producers are eligible to receive a 50% funding cost break on offsite watering systems, and this in turn will aid in keeping Riparian areas clean.  There has been an increase in wildlife/producer conflict; therefore there has been a project developed to monitor the amount of loss due to wildlife interference.  A seminar was hosted to inform the public about the basic tools for grazing management.
This year the summer forage tour was held in the Peace region, and had a fair turn out.

2007 - Sustainable Grazing Mentorship

2007 Board Of Directors
President: Rick Kantz
Vice President: Chuck Sutherland
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Sarah Davies
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Deryle Griffith
Director: Pat Gerlinsky

Accomplishments:
At the Annual General Meeting Rick Kantz and Jim Collins gave a talk about dealings with the Oil and Gas industry. Items such as new tenure grazing applications, range use plans and range stewardship plans were also discussed at the meeting.   Wildlife damage, and participation.  Dale Hansen (Van Han Apiaries) was awarded with the Fred Rathje Memorial Award.    The phenomenon of disappearing bees discussed.  There were changes to the hunting regulations this year for mule deer.  A how to guide on grazing chickens.  Julie Robinson moves to the ministry of agriculture and lands starting Sept. 07. A pasture school seminar was held to focus on custom and yearling grazing.  The Summer forage tour was held in the North Peace this year and a lot of local issues, such as the site C dam were discussed.  There was a Bio-diesel workshop hosted by Rex Newkirk of the Canadian International grains institute to discuss the usage of this bio-fuel.  There is a detailed update by Rick Kantz about his composting project.

2008 - Integrated Brush Management

2008 Board Of Directors
President: Rick Kantz
Vice President: Deryle Griffith
Treasurer:  Bill Wilson
Secretary: Sarah Davies
Director: John Kendrew
Director:  Pat Gerlinsky
Director: Chuck Sutherland

Accomplishments:
Soil biology: Composting and compost tea has many people interested in our region, and we are trying our best to keep everyone updated and informed about new information as it gets brought to our attention; stay tuned.  BC sustainable grazing mentorship program updates.  Lowlander 75, an innovation in manure maneuvering. Two summer students join us this year, Kim Schlaepfer with the BC Min of Agric and Vicki Moser with the PRFA & PRFSA. A fond farewell to Barb Cowger, Ernie Fuhr, Mark Nimitz and Casey Moser.  There has been a lot of buzz about sheep; with articles that range from how to raise sheep to humane slaughtering services.  Information about integrated brush management is also provided.   Bio-control insect options can help control noxious, invasive weeds like scentless chamomile.

2009 - Connecting With Forage Nationally & Internationally

2009 Board Of Directors
President: Rick Kantz
Vice President: Deryle Griffith
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Sarah Davies
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Pat Gerlinsky
Director: Chuck Sutherland

Accomplishments:
Horst David, Rob Davidson, Sarah Davies, Allen Dobb, Mike Malmberg & Sandra Burton get involved and accredited with the nation wide Sustainable Grazing Mentorship Program (SGMP).  This year the summer students along with Deryle Griffith have been developing a compost tea brewer. (see Forage Facts for more details.) Forage members take time to host 2 agriculture students from Sweden, Sofia Nyman and Pernilla Salevid, including Julie Robinson, Bill Wilson, Bill Bentley, Aaron Collins, Rick Kantz, Petersons, Hogbergs and Buchanans. A milestone for PRFA of BC is producing their 50th Special Edition of the Forage First newsletter.

2010 - 3D Wildlife Fencing Project Launched

2010 Board Of Directors
President: Rick Kantz
Vice President: Pat Gerlinsky
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Sarah Davies
Director: Chuck Sutherland
Director: Don Kruse
Director: Fred Schneider

Accomplishments:
Forage members get involved with the Wildlife Mitigation efforts. They also launched their first 3 Dimensional Wildlife Fencing project. Many members supported the 6th Biannual Forage Services & Goods Auction. PRFA partnered with NPARA (North Peace Applied Research Association) to bring Jill Clapperton, a renowned soil microbiologist to the Peace to full house at the Tower Lake Community Hall. We partnered with NPARA, PRFSA plus 3 Forage Associations from Central Alberta to host a 3 day tour visiting a variety of operations in Rocky Mountain House, Olds, Airdre & Lacombe.

Click here to view the second decade of tours.

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2011 - Great Collaboration with NPARA

2011 Board Of Directors
President: Rick Kantz
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Don Kruse
Director: Fred Schneider
Director: Heather Hansen

Accomplishments:
A project to compile all available information about wildlife mitigation was approved & Talon Johnson took the lead. Collaborated with Nora Paulovich, NPARA to organize a joint tour through AB & BC and the first of 2 low stress handling clinics with Dylan Biggs in the Peace. We had the shortest AGM in history when the power went out at the Farmington Hall.

2012 - Low Stress Handling Clinic in the BC Peace

2012 Board Of Directors
President: Rick Kantz
Vice President: Heather Hansen
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Director: Fred Schneider
Director: Andrew Clarke
Director: Darwin Linford
Director: John Kendrew

Accomplishments:
Forage members travel to Spokane to participate in the Society for Range Management 65th Annual International Meeting. Schneiders hosted 2 day Dylan Biggs low stress cattle handling clinic. Collaborated with NPARA to bring John Basarab & Mark Grafton to the Peace for international marketing perspectives. Considerable interest in our 3D fencing demos, wildlife mitigation options & revegetation project.

2013 - Forage Teams Up with Range

2013 Board Of Directors
Past President: Rick Kantz
Vice President: Heather Hansen
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Director: Fred Schneider
Director: Darwin Linford
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Walter Fritsche

Accomplishments:
Collaborated with several industry & government partners to manage 3 large projects including: Revegetating Lands Disturbed by Oil & Gas Activities, 3D Wildlife Fencing II & Healthy & Vigorous Pastures. Collaborated with the BC Society for Range Management to jointly host annual tour in Progress, Pouce Coupe, Swan Lake & Dawson Creek areas.

2014 - Soils & Forages Course with UNBC

2014 Board Of Directors
President: Darwin Linford
Vice President: Heather Hansen
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Director: Fred Schneider
Director: Rick Kantz
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Walter Fritsche

Accomplishments:
PRFA collaborated with Dr. Bill McGill, UNBC & Shell Canada to develop & host 5 interactive hands on sessions of Soils & Forages Course in the Peace. The course was well received by the agriculture, student & professionals working in the oil/ gas industry. We hosted a 3 day Working Dog Handlers Clinic with Dennis Gellings. We participated in the World Congress on Conservation Agriculture in Winnipeg.

2015 - Soils, Forages & Water Dynamics Course with UNBC

2015 Board Of Directors
President: Darwin Linford
Vice President: Heather Hansen
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Director: Fred Schneider
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Ron Buchanan
Director: Darryl Kroeker

Accomplishments:
PRFA collaborated again with Dr. Bill McGill, UNBC & Shell Canada to offer a second course, with an unforgettable launch in the world's largest soil pit at Buchanans ranch. We offered Cowbytes & Feed Rationing courses again in North & South Peace. Forage members enjoyed the Canadian Soil Quality Conference in Edmonton.

2016 - Year of Fires & Floods

2016 Board Of Directors
President: Darwin Linford
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Director: Darryl Kroeker
Director: Fred Schneider
Director: John Kendrew
Director: Ron Buchanan
Director: Heather Fossum

Accomplishments:
Hosted successful forage workshop with Graeme Finn. Ron Buchanan & Glenn Hogberg participated in the Extending the Grazing Season tour & workshop in Central Alberta. Collaborated with Dawson Creek Vet Clinic to host Dr. Lynn Locatelli on low stress cattle handling. Collaborated with NPARA to bring Diane Knight to the Peace to share her research on legumes. Very well attended tour in Pouce Coupe, Bessborough, Sunrise Valley & Dawson Creek areas in spite of flooding everywhere.

2017 - Initiated 3 Major R&D Projects

2017 Board Of Directors
President: Darryl Kroeker
Vice President: Ron Buchanan
Treasurer: Bill Wilson
Secretary: Heather Fossum
Director: Fred Schneider
Director: Jackie Thiessen
Director: Tara Holmes

Accomplishments:
PRFA organized mentorship short courses in Feb & Mar. Special Sheep Insert compiled by Lori Vickers, Tara Holmes, Carol Nelson & Tess Davidson. Factsheets shared info from Livestock Grazing Weeds & Resiliency projects. Successful summer tour in Cecil Lake, Syphon Creek & Rose Prairie areas. Forage members participate in Site C Ag Compensation consultations. Julie Robinson leads new project called Forage Starting Over Dos & Donts. Sandra Burton leads new project called Improving Productivity & Profitability of Forages.

2017_Resiliency_Workshop_BMRB

2018 - Grazing Guru Gerrish in the Peace

2018 Board Of Directors
President: Darryl Kroeker
Vice President: Ron Buchanan
Treasurer: Tara Holmes
Director: Fred Schneider
Director: Jackie Thiessen
Director: Dave Armstrong
Director: Dale Fredrickson

Accomplishments:
PRFA was asked to set up demo for Alberta wide "Tough Enough to Grow Pink" Sainfoin project. Shared soil quality info at UBC Soil Science conference. Hosted annual tour in Braden Road & Groundbirch area & hosted Investment Agric Foundation board for lunch. Collaborated with PCFBA to bring in Jim Gerrish for several field days in the Peace.

2019 - Singing & Dancing in the Rain

2019 Board Of Directors
President: Darryl Kroeker
Vice President: Fred Schneider
Secretary: Jackie Thiessen
Treasurer: Dale Fredrickson
Director: Dave Armstrong
Director: Kristina Schweitzer
Director: Neil Ward

Accomplishments:
Partnered with PRFSA & ACARN to host soil health & soil carbon workshop. Partnered with 4 forage groups to organize summer tour in Beaverlodge & Demmitt area. Hosted 5 pasture walks in north & south Peace. Compiled over 10 factsheets sharing info from R&D projects.

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2020 - COVID Friendly Pasture Walks & Mentorship

2020 Board Of Directors
President: Neil Ward
Vice President: Jackie Thiessen
Treasurer: Bess Legault
Director: Darryl Kroeker
Director: Josh Stobbe
Director: Shaun Grant
Director: Kristina Schweitzer

Accomplishments:
Forage Extension & Mentorship Community Outreach project approved by BC Hydro Ag Mitigation Fund & led by Samantha Dilworth. Heather Fossum joined the Communications Team in time to help collect feedback from over 100 members & compile it into the next 5 year strategic plan for PRFA of BC.

2021 - Transitions

2021 Board Of Directors
President: Neil Ward
Vice President: Jackie Thiessen
Secretary/ Treasurer: Bess Legault
Director/ Equipment Rentals: Josh Stobbe
Director: Shaun Grant
Director: Shellie English
Director: Kristina Schweitzer

Accomplishments:
Samantha Dilworth & Julie Robinson organized 11 webinars to continue sharing info. Heather Fossum leads website redesigned with New Harvest Media. Directors revisit & revitalize equipment rentals. Neil Ward & Sandra Burton collaborate with AAFC researchers on a soil health & roots project.

Click here to view the third decade of tours.

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