Bill & Lorna Gibson, Tees, Alberta
The residence of Bill and Lorna Gibson is in the rolling hills East of Lacombe, Alberta. Together, the couple has been raising lambs for 30 years. Both Bill and Lorna come from extensive farming backgrounds. While growing up, Bill spent a lot of his time at his grandfather’s and uncle’s farm, this is where he found his love for farming. Lorna grew up on a multi-generational dairy farm in the heart of British Columbia.
The couple work on the farm full-time with the help of their daughter Maryellen, when she returns home from University breaks. The Gibson’s have a 125 Friesian cross Dorset ewe flock, supplying replacement ewe lambs to producers across Western Canada. Each spring, the 125 ewes produce nearly 250 lambs. The males are shipped to SunGold Specialty Meats.
In addition to raising lambs, they are active members of The WWOOFers (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) program where they host international visitors who want to learn about Canadian agriculture. They host 6 to 8 annually, teaching visitors about raising lambs, breeding ewes and rotational grazing sheep in Western Canada.
Before going to work in the morning or going to town, the Gibson’s have to go out to check all the sheep and lambs to ensure they had a good night. Checking for health problems, adequate food and water, bedding, and the health of the guardian dogs are the first items on the list of daily tasks on the farm. Walking through the fields, rubbing back of the friendly sheep, and giving belly rubs to the dogs set the tone for a productive day where the health and happiness of everyone at the forefront. In late afternoon, this routine repeats itself as everyone is fed and bedded down before nightfall.
Bill and Lorna are excited for the future and development of Canada’s Lamb industry, seeing huge growth potential in the fact that currently Canada is producing less than 50% of the country’s consumption of lamb products.
They work to be advocates in the industry to promote farming of livestock in the most humane way. They have worked extensively in the creation of YouTube videos, workshops, seminars, and handbooks in order to promote the proper care and handling of sheep. Respect for animals while maintaining a high standard for Alberta Lamb is a priority on the Gibson farm.