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Photo Credit: National Film Board of Canada
January 18, 2023 Trailblazers

Remembering the roots of Alberta’s beef industry

Sweeping grasslands and herds numbering in the thousands. Cowboys driving cattle for famous ranches. The romance and harsh realities of the open range. It’s a world that endures in our imaginations and lives on in the way we raise cattle in Alberta today.

In the spring of 1969, the National Film Board of Canada set out to capture a cattle drive in the Porcupine Hills of southern Alberta, juxtaposing it with first-hand accounts and archival photos from the early days of our industry. How Things Have Changed, the 10-minute documentary film that resulted, was originally released in 1971 and is now available to stream for free on the NFB website.

The re-release of the documentary was recently covered in an article by the Western Producer, with the ranching family featured in the film reflecting on what has – and hasn’t – changed in beef production since the 1970s.

Watch the film here

Is the ranchland in the film familiar to you? Do you know any of the other people featured in the film? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know at communications@albertabeef.org.

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About the Author

Piper Whelan
Piper grew up on a purebred cow-calf operation in Southern Alberta, and she studied English at the University of Alberta and journalism at the University of King's College. She has written for industry publications for more than a decade and is currently the Digital Content Specialist for Alberta Beef Producers.

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