White Lake Colony
Paul Walter, Nobleford, Alberta
Paul Walter is the sheep boss at White Lake Hutterite Colony, which sits in between Granum, AB and Nobleford, AB. Paul and a small construction crew from the colony just completed their new, state of the art, 38,000 sg ft sheep barn which is now fully operational.
Paul has a flock of 2000 ewes, which consists of Dorsett, Suffolk and Ile de France sheep breeds. Paul usually starts lambing out his first group of ewes at the start of February while his second set lambs out around the start of June. He likes to break up his lambing for a few reasons.
The first reason is that it’s a very big job. He sometimes can’t get all the help that he needs when the ewes start lambing. Because most colonies are self-sustainable, Paul might find himself on a tractor helping with seeding and/or harvest when he’s not busy lambing. And second, he says he likes to have his lambs available at different times in the year for marketing reasons. Lambing in Canada is very seasonal and he says he likes to try and sell lambs in months were other producers may not.
Paul recently visited Australia and was able to tour many different sheep farms. He said he learned a lot and has taken some of those things back to his sheep operation and put those practices to use. Paul had said that even though the Australian lamb farms are so much bigger than most farms in Alberta that they still had lots of the same goals – the most important being the health and safety of the lambs. Paul takes great pride in raising happy, healthy lambs through humane animal practices.
Paul sees lots of opportunity in the sheep industry and hopes to see more Canadian lamb available on local grocery store shelves. Paul is very well respected in the Southern Alberta sheep community and we are looking forward to continuing our working relationship with him and White Lake Colony in the future.