Nathanael Polson, Tees, Alberta
Nathanael and Christine Polson and their four children Karina, Natalea, Jenica and Wyatt have been farming since 2000. Their farm and ranch are located near the small town of Tees, Alberta, which is about 30 minutes east of Ponoka, Alberta.
As any farmer knows, farming can be full of ups and downs and the Polson's are no strangers to that. Nathanael credits the support of his family and neighbors for the success and longevity of his farm. After facing challenges in the early 2000s such as drought and BSE; 2009 brought new ideas forward for the Polson's.
After much research they introduced sheep to their primarily cattle farm. The addition has been a positive one, not only for growth of their farm, but adding sheep has greatly improved their family life. As raising sheep is a full time, year round business, Nathanael no longer had to go trucking during the winter months, and they were able to include their children in the day to day chores tending the sheep. Now, with the cattle, grain and sheep they have hired three employees to help them run the farm.
After converting a pig barn east of Ponoka to a sheep facility in 2012, Nathanael has grown his flock to one of the largest in the province. Today, the Polson's have over 1800 ewes and will market around 3200 lambs. The mainly Rideau sheep with some Ile de France and Charollais genetics were chosen for their ability to produce multiple lambs and breed out of season.
The ewes lamb in groups of 500. They and their young are moved into individual lambing jugs for one to two days until they are mothered and the lambs receive colostrum. A group of 500 ewes began lambing in mid-January, a second group will start in mid-March and the final group will start in June. Nathanael plans to have another group that can eventually lamb in November, ideally after he is finished harvest.
They take great pride in raising their lambs, to ensure they have an excellent product to offer consumers. They understand people work hard for their money, and they deserve the best product.