There are three passions in Les Brost’s life: The Western Canadian landscape and its people, a commitment to public service, and the power of words and ideas. He grew up on the family ranch in the Cypress Hills country in southeastern Alberta, where he learned the ways of ranch, family and community life. The life lessons weren’t always easy — the best ones never are — and they molded and tested his character and inner strength.
Those years in the shadow of the Hills were formative in other ways. He learned to appreciate the wonderful qualities of rural people and the natural landscape, and developed his sense of stewardship to his environment and community.
That sense of stewardship led to 15 years of service as a public school trustee in southeastern Alberta. When he retired from trusteeship, his peers in the Alberta School Boards Association honored him with an Honorary Life Membership. As an active trustee, he learned a lot about how public organizations work and about the roles and responsibilities of elected representatives.
His interest in the agricultural industry led to six years of service on the Alberta Agriculture & Food Council. The Chairman of the Council and the Minister of Agriculture selected him to lead the Agrivantage Team, which charted a strategy for the future growth of Alberta’s agriculture industry.
He has been a professional writer for the past 15 years, crafting freelance opinion columns for newspapers and magazines. His work has appeared in the Calgary Herald and other Canwest publications, the Medicine Hat News, Edmontonians Magazine, and other publications. In 2002 & 2004, he was awarded the Gold Medal Award for writing Canada’s best agricultural / rural interest columns.
He is a past member of the Senate of the University of Lethbridge, and a current member of the Senate of the University of Alberta.
He is currently dividing his work time between his writing, his professional consulting practice, and doing volunteer work in his new community, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
He has created his own future epitaph he hopes captures the way he chooses to live life: “Les Brost was not an innocent bystander.”
- The Rural Roots Reader (2002)