Over the past 50 years, this business and family has grown and diversified in Airdrie, Alberta. Through all these ventures, family has always been the heart, soul, and driving factor.
Ben Thorlakson grew up on a sheep ranch near Vernon, B.C. and earned a degree in agriculture from the University of British Columbia. In 1970, Ben decided to take the leap and start his own feedlot and bought a ¼ section just East of Airdrie.
Ben has made a strong commitment to cattle industry organizations, serving in a number of association leadership positions, including president of the Canadian Cattleman’s Association in 1999 and 2000. He has strived to ensure that the Canadian cattle industry is competitive both nationally and internationally.
Shortly after starting his business, Ben started his family, having his first daughter, Brandie, in 1972. Over the years, his family grew to 5 daughters, and 2 sons, who have all worked at the feedlot at some point in their lives, and 2 who currently work at TFI and TNC (Tom and Lindsey). This family has expanded to include 5 son-in-laws, a daughter-in-law, and 14 grandchildren.
When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. To us, this is more than a business - this a second family.
With a second-generation of employees starting to make their roots in our organization, we are excited to see what is in our future.
Thorlakson Feedyards Opened
Started composting manure
Nature’s Call was started. Began packaging compost and other garden products
Ben was president of Canadian Cattleman’s Association.
Bullpen Arena is built
Built state of the art soil blending and packaging facility.
Nature’s Call became a Class 1 Licensed Compost Facility with Alberta Environment.
Started pilot green bin program with City of Airdrie.
Tom won the Team Cattle Penning Open Class at the Calgary Stampede.
Nature’s Call became TNC
Opened Homegrown House and Pantry Inc.