GFM Network News


There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but horses have weight limits

There are, however, some good guidelines and common sense goes a long way

To date there exists no scientific studies or simple mathematical equations that determine what is — or isn’t — too heavy for a ridden horse to comfortably carry. Current research would seem to suggest that once the combined weight of a rider and tack falls into the range of 15 to 20 per cent of […] Read more

Young folks are willing to be part of a long day, but maybe not the whole of it. This may require two people with a flexible schedule to fill one job description.

The all-too-common pitfall of successful businesses

Growth brings rewards but also stretches the founder — especially if he or she hasn’t developed their team

What does success look like to you? For many, success is measured in terms of net profit, wealth or an accumulation of assets. For others, it is the ability to put children through school, travel or to own a cabin. However measured, success is often tied to money and people. In my Nuffield travels and […] Read more



To truly sleep, a horse cannot be standing.

A good sleep is as important in horses as in people

Let sleeping horses lie

All land mammals require deep sleep for proper physical, mental and emotional functioning. Yet equine sleep is rarely considered as a significant contributor to the well-being of the horse. Perhaps this arises from the flawed presumption that horses can ‘sleep standing up.’ Unfortunately this misunderstanding can have serious implications to the well-being and welfare of […] Read more


Producers who pay attention to teat and udder conformation rarely encounter a cow with mastitis.

Now is a good time to check udders of cows and bred heifers

Paying attention to teat and udder conformation greatly reduces the odds of having a cow with mastitis

Before calving is a good time for scrutinizing the udders of cows and bred heifers. Occasionally chronic infected quarters (probably emanating from the year previous) are highly visible as large swollen quarters compared to the other three. They will often flare up a few weeks before calving as the colostrum is being formed. Usually the […] Read more

Too often, people view inquiry or asking for opinions or solutions as weak.

We’re often afraid to ask questions, but it’s a key skill

Being curious and asking lots of questions is a good thing but for some reason, we tend to hold back

The little boy was curious and always asking questions. Over and over again he would ask his increasingly impatient mother why, how come, how far, how long, when, where and what. But his grandfather would gently smile and say, ‘That is a wise boy; for you are only one question away from being a better […] Read more


Inducing cows is always a risk-and-reward scenario

Many factors need to be considered and no two cases are exactly alike

There comes a time in cow-calf production to induce cows to calve for a number of reasons. This may be because there is an abnormal pregnancy, the cow has a life-threatening condition, the pregnancy has gone on too long leading to health issues or other reasons. All require careful thought and examination as every case […] Read more

Canada must be seen as leaders in agriculture and food as well as food ingredient technology.

Agriculture must continue to be a technology leader

We need to foster innovative research in order to meet the challenges that we will face in the coming years

As I stood in the desert with my colleagues, I realized that competing both economically and in volume to their level of production would be impossible. The sand delivered 48 dry tonnes of forage in many harvests per year. More importantly, the long-term objective of turning the desert into food production was becoming a reality. […] Read more


The circle is not a horse’s friend as it can cause repeated 
strains that can become chronic conditions.

Modern-day horses face ergonomic hazards, too

Small pens, repeated movement and the training circle can all cause chronic injuries

Carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and texting thumb are all specific types of soft tissue injury that humans experience. This type of injury to the soft tissue (tendons and ligaments) is unique to modern-day lifestyle and/or work environments. They arise in response to repetitive movements which are often carried out in an unnatural or imbalanced […] Read more

There cannot be peace, prosperity, security, equality, ecology or an economy without food.

We know how to make agriculture more resilient

Encouraging use of proven techniques and improving infrastructure are key to sustainable food production

It was my grandfather who said to me, “Once in your life you need a doctor, lawyer, policeman or preacher, but every day three times a day — you need a farmer.” The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations uses this in a poster promoting the importance of farming and agriculture globally. […] Read more