Big Valley | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 28 May 2024 4pm
  • Primrose Farms welcome all to Alberta Open Farm Days

    Primrose Family of Big Valley, Alberta.

    Cornel and Cremona Primrose of Big Valley are officially opening their doors to experience what it is like on the farm come August 19 and 20.

    After 14 years of experience and family ties, the couple and their two little girls aged 7 and 9 are more than happy to share their life with the public.

    “We have farming ancestry on all side of our families; born with farming in our blood,”

    Cremona has an Animal Health Technology background and noticed how industry companies were pushing dairy farmers to use more pharmaceuticals for “band-aid” approaches on their cows.

    “We disagreed with the industry and thought there must be a breed who is healthier. A year later, our farm was using

    Fleckvieh genetics directly sourced from Germany in lower Bavaria,” said Cremona in an email interview.

    The Fleckvieh breed offers dual purpose of both high quality beef and milk as well as the ability to fight disease without many antibiotics and pharmaceuticals.

    “We have always farmed with ethics in mind, especially with world wide superbugs on the rise,” said Primrose.

    By 2016, the family farm obtained a processor's license and began selling whole milk, plain yogurt, and plain kefir. Their products have seen shelves in many stores across the province now.

    “It’s a global calling to be able to provide food for your fellow human beings.

    Their traditional approach to farming includes the animal's experience on the farm and how they are treated.

    The milking cattle specifically are fed high forage diets which essentially ensures moderate milk production of a healthy, long lasting cow.

    A unique part of the farm is that all animals are named rather than identified by numbers.

    As for the open farm days itself, it is set to be full of family-friendly fun activities. Many farmers, ranchers, and ag-tourism operators invite visitors to experience informative tours and culinary events that help highlight the importance of agriculture in the province.

    This year, there are more than 100 Alberta Open Farm Days host sites and over 20 culinary events across Alberta including Primrose Farms, south of Big Valley.

  • Big Valley welcomes 14th Annual Metis Hivernant Days

    Metis Hivernant Days

    In the spirit of the Metis culture within the Big Valley community, the area invites you to the 14th annual Metis Hivernant Days August 4, 5, and 6.

    For highlights, there will be a Metis showcase, finger beading tutorials, introductory fiddle lessons, and the ability to learn how to make a Capote from a blanket, all at the Jubilee Hall in Big Valley.

    “We provide the blanket and it costs 25 dollars, otherwise everything else is free,” said Marlene Lange, president of the Metis Cultural Society.

    The event plans to focus on the Metis lifestyle from the past and present.

    “Mainly because we need more Metis folk in Alberta and we get to showcase our Metis culture,” said Lange. “We can make people aware of who we are because a lot of people don’t know and think that we are like the first nations and do the powwows and stuff like that which we don’t do.”

    Onthe Sunday, a breakfast will be available. Afterward, morning mass will commence and then a talent show will follow in the afternoon. Something that sets this year apart from last is the jig, a counterpart that attaches to a guitar.

    “Right after the mass, we are going to have a guy who does jigger band; he shows how to make them and how to play the jig,” Lange continued.

    A training bus with a guidance counselor will be on hand for young folks who are interested in attending post-secondary.

    “It helps you decide what career you want to take or if you are already in school, it tells you how to get money for school,” said Lange. “You don’t have to take the money out of your own pocket to go.”

    Lange is more than excited to allow the community to embrace the culture. “I can’t wait!”

  • Three-peat for Zeke

    Big Valley native Zeke Thurston holds up his third consecutive cheque of $100,000 from the Calgary Stampede

    Big Valley star Zeke Thurston claims his third top win for saddle bronc from the Calgary Stampede on Sunday, July 16.
    With an outstanding score of 90 points on Timely Delivery during the opening round on Sunday, Zeke was able to rise above in the final four.
    On his final ride of the day in the final four, Thurston rode the famous Northcott Macza horse ‘Get Smart’, netting him the $100,000 win.
    “Every jump I thought I was going to get bucked off,” puffed Thurston, moments after his thrilling 92 point ride. “That horse bucks so hard. He’s probably only 800 pounds, but that’s one of the strongest horses I’ve ever been on.”
    A cowboy is only as good as the horse underneath him.
    “Honestly, that horse could buck you off any day of the week. I was just lucky to stay on.”
    Following the three-peat trend, this is not the first nor the last time Zeke and Get Smart have encountered each other. Ironically enough, the two horses and the Big Valley local worked together to win the Ponoka Stampede two weeks ago and plan to see each other again next weekend.

    Zeke Thurston's 92 point ride on 'Get Smart' during the Calgary Stampede rodeo finals on Sunday, July 16.

    Zeke’s championship score was just a half point higher than the 91.5 turned in by his friend Layton Green on Wild Cherry moments before.
    “That was pretty special to be riding against your buddy that you’ve known since you were eight years old,” insisted Zeke. “We grew up riding steers together, came up through high school rodeo, learned to ride broncs together, and now to be competing against him at Calgary, it’s pretty cool. He made an awesome ride. I knew I was going to have to do something to set myself apart. Turns out I had the buckier horse, was all.”
    Zeke, who just turned 23 on Saturday, hasn’t thought too much yet about making his mark in history as the first saddle bronc rider to notch three consecutive wins with the $100,000 paydays attached.
    “That’s crazy to me. You know, a lot of guys will go their whole careers and maybe never win this rodeo and to win it three years in a row, that’s unbelievable,” Zeke explained.
    Family, especially Zeke’s mother Lynda, was beyond proud to watch her own blood make history.
    “It feels pretty exciting, it actually took a little longer this time to sink in I think,” Lynda laughed. “It was a pretty great round of bronc riding. It was awesome to watch four outstanding horses and four good cowboys and yeah, it was close but I’m really proud of the ride that Zeke made. It was a heck of a ride.”
    Thurston’s takehome from Stampede was $110,000, with the cash he won earlier in the week; while Green gets the $25,000 bonus to go with his earlier $13,000 take.
    Taking the third place bonus of $15,000 for a 90 point ride on Stampede Warrior was Taos Muncy. Sterling Crawley also received a $10,000 bonus for his 89 point ride on Magic Carpet in the Showdown round.


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