Prominent dairy, cattle breeder sold

A prominent dairy and cattle breeder near Ponoka has been sold

A prominent dairy and cattle breeder near Ponoka has been sold.

Morsan Farms announced recently that its operations have been sold to WestCoast Holsteins of Chilliwack, B.C. The deal closed May 1.

The business, which was owned by the Thalen family, included a large dairy operation and involved the international sale of Holstein genetics. It made headlines in 2009 when one of its cows sold for $1.2 million.

WestCoast Holsteins is also family-owned, and consists of a larger dairy and breeding operation.

Morsan Farms and WestCoast Holsteins have had ongoing business dealings over the years.

Included in the sale were Morsan Farms’ main dairy and heifer facilities at Ponoka, as well as its cattle and genetic inventory.

Darren Kooyman said he didn’t expect Morsan Farms’ operations to be affected by the change in ownership.

Morsan Farms dates back to 1981, when Morris and Sandra Thalen began buying and selling Holstein cattle near Chilliwack, B.C. They started milking in 1987.

With much of their commercial customer base in Alberta, the Thalens relocated to Ponoka in 1995 and began building up one of Western Canada’s largest dairy herds.

They bought their first purebred Holsteins in 1998, and the following year started raising their own heifers. Several of Morris and Sandra’s children worked in the business, including Greg, who is staying with the operation.

“With many of the original goals we set for Morsan Farms having been achieved, the decision to sell the business is related to succession planning and creating an opportunity for the next generation to begin to build something of their own,” said Morris Thalen in a release.

Ken Kooyman said the deal allows WestCoast Holsteins to advance its farming operation and the genetic component of its business.

“In purchasing the Morsan Farms enterprise, we gain the ability to rear our own replacement animals and ramp up our commitment to the pedigree side of our business.”

Just Posted

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

Trump-Putin summit opens without talk of election meddling

HELSINKI — With a wink and a slouch, respectively, President Donald Trump… Continue reading

Ultra-light helicopter pilot killed in crash near High River

Police say the pilot of an ultra-light helicopter is dead after crashing… Continue reading

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Croatia gears up to give heroes’ welcome to World Cup team

ZAGREB, Croatia — Fans are pouring in from throughout the country as… Continue reading

Statelessness a hurdle for some rescued Thai boy

MAE SAI, Thailand — The 12 boys and coach of the Wild… Continue reading

Lobbying commissioner rejects complaints against firearms panel member

OTTAWA — A federal watchdog has dismissed complaints that a mass-shooting survivor… Continue reading

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of homes… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Muslim candidates running in record numbers face backlash

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A liberal woman of colour with zero name recognition… Continue reading

Former UK Cabinet secretary seeks new Brexit referendum

LONDON — A former U.K. Cabinet minister from the ruling Conservative Party… Continue reading

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month