Dr. Duane Landals

Dr. Duane Landals graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with a major in animal and soil science.  In 1975, he obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.

He spent 25 years in rural mixed veterinary practice in Alberta. After leaving private veterinary practice, he served 13 years as CEO/ Registrar and Secretary-Treasurer of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association. Currently his role is as Senior Advisor to that organization and he is Vice-President of the World Veterinary Association.  He is Past-President of both the Alberta and Canadian Veterinary Medical Associations and served as chair for the 29th World Veterinary Congress in Vancouver, Canada.

Laurie Fries

Laurie and her husband Shay run a mixed farm operation in Edgerton, Alberta. They raise commercial beef cattle along with a herd of meat goats.  They operate under the name SLF Ranch. They brought goats into their operation to diversify the farm in 2003 after B.S.E. was found in Canada just after they had purchased 100 head of beef cows and the cattle industry was in the red.
Laurie graduated with a diploma in Animal Health Technology from Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta in 1997.  She taught the swine production and management course to 2nd year Agriculture and Economics students for 4 years until the college discontinued the program. She also helped to update the Swine Production Course for the Green Certificate Program for Alberta Agriculture.
Off the farm, Laurie is employed by Alberta Pig Company for the past 15 years.  Alberta Pig Company manages Sunhaven Farms who own around 10,000 sows through all production areas of the swine industry.  She is currently the finishing co-ordinater where she overlooks 16 finisher facilities who contract grow the companies market hogs.

Laurie is passionate about the goat industry and continues to promote all aspects through education, promotion and government involvement. She is passionate about youth in Agriculture and  supports 4-H through judging small town achievement days and supplying animals for the Provincial Judging competitions held at Lakeland College. 
She sits on the Biosecurity of Champions group and the Alberta Farmed Animal Health & Welfare Steering Committee facilitated by Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development .  She was involved as a producer consultant for Alberta on the National Biosecurity Standards and was also involved with the Goat On Farm Food Safety manual. 
Laurie has been on the Alberta Goat Breeders Association board since 2006 and is currently the President. She is Alberta’s representative on the Canadian National Goat Federation and is currently the chair for Traceability. She received the 2012 Award Of Excellence at the last AGM held in October 2012 in Ponoka, Alberta for her dedication and promotion of the Alberta Goat Industry.
Laurie also is the current Secretary for the Canadian Meat Goat Association and has been involved with the CMGA for the past 5 years.
Shay and Laurie have 2 sons, Hunter (8), Gauge (4) and daughter Shelin (18 months). 

Lee Sexton

My interests and hobby's have always been associated with the livestock sector. My career has been indirectly and the last number of years, directly involved with livestock, particularly small ruminants.
I have owned and worked with cattle and horses since I was a youngster. About 18 years ago Lynn, my wife and partner for 38 years, got into the sheep business and now also own goats.
  My last position before I retired, was the Elbow Invasive Weed Coordinator, for AESB formerly PFRA. We were targeting 13000 acres of leafy spurge infested  pasture using an integrated approach of sheep, goats, beetles, mowing, and fire. When AESB shut down the project, we had over 4000 small ruminants on the project.
  More recently Lynn and I have started Sexton Grazing and Consulting. We have hosted the Canadian Multi Species Workshop, and hope to help move the industry forward.

Louise Liebenberg

I was born and raised in South Africa, my love and interest in all animals and nature was nurtured there. I have always had a menagerie of birds, reptiles, horses and other animals while growing up and wanted to ranch when I grew up.
After my university study, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University Of Natal in South Africa. I majored in Psychology and Geography, and had credits in Zoology, Biology and Genetics.

After my study I decided to travel, during these travels I worked on various sheep farms in the Netherlands and Scotland. In the Netherlands I met Eric Verstappen and we continued on ranching first in the Netherlands and later on in Alberta together.

In 1992 we started a grazing company “The Grazerie” and were hired with our flock of sheep, at times comprising of 1200 ewes, to graze nature areas, dykes, military grounds, parks, golf courses, heather regions and grass lands in the Netherlands.  We built up an extensive organic grazing company and advised in many other projects of this kind. We had three full time shepherds employed and we marketed our own lamb directly to the consumer through a network of stores.

Despite the fact that our company was doing very well, Eric and I did not want to live in the Netherlands much longer. We wanted a new challenge and wanted to live in a less populated country with more nature and wildlife, our choice was Alberta, Canada

In these years of managing our sheep grazing company we acquired our first livestock guardian dog in 1992 after suffering through our first predation incidents from local, pet dogs attacking our sheep. After reading up and doing our research we decided that we would get a Šarplaninac dog to protect our sheep. When we moved to Alberta we imported a number of these livestock guardian dogs with us, as we realized we would have a few more formidable predators to deal with.

We have bought our ranch comprising of 480 acres, near to High Prairie, Alberta. We rent a few more quarter sections for hay and pasture.  We run about 550 commercial ewes, have a small feedlot, and have small herd of Angus cattle, some free range chickens and some horses.
We use about 8 guardian dogs on our ranch to protect the stock, and border collies to do our herding work.  Our ranch is bordered on three sides by heavy bush (mostly crown land), national park and forestry. We have a resident pack of coyotes on the ranch, bears, wolves and the odd cougar wondering through.  Moose and deer are regulars on our ranch. We do not own a gun, do not trap, poison or utilize any means of lethal control for the predators. Our ranch became the first ranch to be certified “Predator Friendly” in Canada. Being Predator Friendly does not mean that we are some bunny loving, tree hugging activist. Instead, we believe in sustainable long term ranching practices. It is about responsibility, biodiversity, respect and simply about sharing the land with the wildlife that inhabits this country. We like to look for solutions to control predation through management, better husbandry practices and long term sustainable solutions.

We utilize various management tools to enable us to ranch successfully, such as a pack of guardian dogs, good fencing, grazing rotations and other management practices.  I will talk about “Living with Wildlife”, about predator friendly practices, ways to improve management and about the need for co-existence.

On our ranch we will continue to build up our commercial sheep ranch, raising and training our border collies and Šarplaninac livestock guardian dogs and of course raising our two wonderful children to love and respect nature and animals in general

Dr. Kathy Parker

I graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981 with an eye on becoming a “cow vet”. Believe it or not female large animal vets in 1981 were rare and not readily accepted. I soon discovered that in rural practice you need to be willing to treat whatever comes through the door if you wanted to survive in a small town, so I did. From humming birds to Shire horses, most days are at least 4 species days. Whether it is a dog, cat, sheep or goat the basic principles apply. I have a particular interest in small ruminants partly because we have a modest sized flock of sheep but mostly because I really enjoy empowering producers to help themselves and few vets seem to want to take the time for small ruminants.

I look forward to visiting with you at the Conference and please bring your questions.