GFM Network News


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


Your roots, my roots and your urban neighbours’ roots are firmly grounded in soil. Our future is under our feet.

Preserving highly productive soil is critical for tomorrow

In my hometown, across the province and around the world, top-quality soil is being lost to development

My hometown is Stony Plain. It is a great town, progressive, beautiful and welcoming: A place that honours the past and has no fear of the future. I love to go back to visit with my family and friends. I can stand in one spot for hours and simply talk to folks as they pass […] Read more

Treating cattle is not easy and many decisions need to be made.

Quick treatment of sick animals is often critical

Sometimes a wait-and-see approach works but often a rapid response is needed to prevent losses

Veterinary medicine, like human medicine, is very complex and difficult to master. Outcomes can rely on a quick, accurate diagnosis and followed up by a timely treatment. If we have made the right diagnosis, detected it early enough and treated with the appropriate product, then the odds of a successful prognosis will go up considerably. […] Read more


Many immigrants are trying to escape conflicts they did not start and never wanted.

Conflict drives them from home, but hope is what they bring

Many of our newcomers had to flee their own country and they value the peace and opportunity they find here 


While walking on the path, I met a group of students working on an outdoor assignment, enjoying the activity and chatting away. I love to find out the story behind people — starting with a joyous welcome to Canada and asking the inevitable question, ‘Where are you from?’ In this group there were people from […] Read more

Most arenas feature a surface, base and sub-base, all of which contribute to the experience of the horse.

What’s underfoot has a big effect on horse soundness

Footing surface impacts the quality of performance and can even bring a risk of injury

Horses are well adapted to move over a variety of terrain and their entire bodies benefit tremendously from doing so. Variable ground surfaces in a horse’s environment challenge and stimulate the healthy development of hooves, supportive connective tissues and musculoskeleture — all the while weaving in resiliency and soundness for the horse. Footing is a […] Read more


'When I felt alone, it was because I did not know how to let the fellowship and love of others in so that I could feel profound joy.' – Brenda Schoepp

Getting past the walls that we build around ourselves

Our lives change in profound ways when we reach out to others — and let them reach out to us

I am flipping through the photos of this past year. It has been an amazing time for me. Blessed at every juncture, I have been filled with light and love and pure joy. Despite huge and heartbreaking challenges, each day was worthy of this page, each moment a cherished memory. It was a lovely meshing […] Read more

Food policy should focus on the establishment of strong communities centred around identifiable, traceable food production and processing for local, domestic and export markets. – Brenda Schoepp.

As we rethink globalization, we need to think about communities

In many parts of the world, the current system is broken and doesn’t serve consumers or farmers

The world was once a scattering of small communities that through hunting and gathering, and later farming, were often self-sufficient. As systems of trade were built, dependent largely on the sea, goods and services had value and started to leave or be exported from these community hubs. In many cases, this brought an infusion of […] Read more


Mentoring of young veterinarians is key to retention at clinics.

What we can do to address the shortage of large-animal vets

More spots in veterinary schools and more support for new grads would go a long way

After talking with large-animal veterinarians, observing the number of ads for large-animal veterinarians, and taking part in a job fair at the University of Calgary’s vet school, it’s clear that there is getting to be a real shortage of veterinarians wanting to do either mixed- or large-animal practice in Western Canada. But strategies are starting […] Read more

Ground-level grazing of long-stemmed forages is the key to equine dental health.

Some feeds can be too easy to digest for horses

The mechanics of nibbling, chomping and crunching are important to horse health

There is a harmonic resonance that is audibly evident when a horse chews. This chewing sound soothes, calms and contents the nervous system of the horse, and most horse owners would agree that it also soothes the nervous system of the human. There are many reasons chewing is an important part of a horse’s life […] Read more