GFM Network News


Big brown bats are one of nine bat species in Alberta.

The interconnections between species are deep and interwoven

COVID-19 has put bats into the spotlight, and research shows how deeply everything is connected

In the last column I introduced the concept of systems change for the benefit of human and animal health. Fortunately, there is an avenue to work with human and animal doctors, scientists and experts towards a healthy world and it is called One Health. One Health is defined as a “collaborative, multi-sectoral and transdisciplinary approach […] Read more

Not allowing a horse to carry itself properly can cause pain, injuries and other problems.

Forcing a horse’s head and neck into an unnatural position is harmful

Not allowing a horse to carry itself properly can cause pain, injuries and other problems

A visit to any local equine tack shop will showcase a striking array of tack and accessory tack available to place upon the head of a horse with the promise of improving horsemanship, fashion or a horse’s performance. Many of these devices are potent tools that have the ability to leverage and compound tensile forces […] Read more


In the last decade, for the first time, we saw influenza carried by birds transfer to pigs.

How did we get to this place at this time in history?

The spread of disease from animals to humans isn’t new, but reducing it will take a new approach

It’s a bewildering year and you may have wondered: Just how did we get to this place at this time in history? There are many theories that are specific to the origin and spread of the coronavirus, but few look at global history and the role of food and population change within the context of […] Read more

When vaccines are manufactured, they are checked for efficacy to determine if the manufacturing process has been successful.

The vaccine supply is more fragile than you might think

Beef 911: Supplies can run short for many reasons, so you need to be prepared for that possibility

A lot of disease prevention and maintaining productivity relies on vaccination, and we often don’t realize how much we rely on these vaccines until there is a shortage. With there only being a few large pharmaceutical companies, there may be few alternatives to turn to. With regulatory control being very strict and changes slow to […] Read more


If COVID has taught us anything, it is the value of food and the importance of family. – Brenda Schoepp.

Reflections from a long and sorrowful drive

Those who came before us have given us a gift and we must preserve it for future generations

It was a long and sorrowful drive home in September as I travelled to say the final goodbye to my dad. He was a man of honour, integrity and faith — and will remain forever our farmer and gentleman. It is men like him who along with their partners carved out a living strictly from […] Read more

Glyphosate exposure has been linked to chronic inflammation by injuring structural proteins called ‘tight junctions.’

Health concerns surrounding glyphosate use are increasing

The herbicide is being linked to chronic inflammation and disease in humans, and that has implications for horses

The implications for the widespread use of glyphosate-based herbicides in our environment has been increasingly mired in controversy despite regulatory assurances of safety. After close to three decades of use, there is a growing body of scientific evidence of unintended biological consequences, including implicating glyphosate use as a contributing factor to the rising incidence of […] Read more



COVID-19 has revealed how vulnerable the food supply chain can be. It is a shame when we have some of the best beef in the world and can’t get access to enough of it.

New slaughter regulations are a step forward

Beef 911: Changes to allow video ante-mortem inspection and on-farm slaughter make good sense

All through the year accidents can happen and the need for emergency slaughter can arise. Broken legs during breeding season, fighting, very rarely during transport or downer cattle make access to emergency slaughter imperative. Recently announced changes will allow a mobile butcher to video the animal and that can be used by an inspector for […] Read more


Laminitis has been found to be closely related to cresty necks in horses, and can even be predicted by the condition of the neck fat.

A ‘cresty’ neck is an indicator of illness and should be addressed

Neck fat is associated with several health issues, including laminitis and obesity

The observance of a cresty neck in a horse indicates some level of metabolic sickness and reflects more than just a fat horse. Although the fat or obese horse is burdened with a form of metabolic illness, the appearance of a cresty neck signals further metabolic complications along the continuum of diseases associated with obesity. […] Read more

Farmers need to lead in the food space by focusing on consumer trust and need, collaboration, and authentic representation.

Opinion: We need to open the farm gate wide

Consumers want to see in, and farmers need to know what is happening beyond their operation

The first half of 2020 was amazing for agriculture as Canadians were focused on food quality and security. Consumers were interested in being part of the solution and, at the very least, wanted more information about where their food came from. Local became in vogue and instead of standing in line at the checkout, many […] Read more