University of Alberta students were in for a treat when they toured to the Poplar Grove Red Angus cattle operation for some on-site education about cattle and breeding practices.
Poplar Grove Red Angus, located west of Millet near Wizard Lake, is owned by Blaine and Sandra Meyer. The couple hosted three groups of ag students from the university on their farm for the afternoons of March 27, 28 and 29.
This was the first time Poplar Grove Red Angus had been the site of a university tour. “It’s great. It’s kind of an honour; and how else do they learn?” mused Sandra.
Sandra says the couple was contacted by another purebred breeder, inquiring if they would be willing to host the tours, as the university did not want to send the students on a bus too far from the city.
Students were shown the mature cow pens, pens containing flush and recipient cows that are a part of the couple’s embryo transplant breeding practices, plus the bull pens.
“So then we just talked about how the flushing happens and how the recips (recipient cows) get the embryos,” said Sandra.
Sandra added the farm drives for quality over quantity. With 60 head of breeding females, Poplar Grove Red Angus, established in 1994, primarily breeds red genetics and a handful with black outcross genetics.
“We’re raising seed stock cattle,” said Blaine. Yearling bulls are sold directly from the farm during the spring.
According to the Poplar Grove Red Angus website, “We do not creep feed our calves and we feel this gives us a better idea what our genetics are doing on their own with only mother’s milk and grass … All calves are weighed at birth with no estimating of birth weights.”