GFM Network News


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


Beef 911: The goal should always be to produce the healthiest cattle

We need to ditch the notion that high-risk cattle are somehow the most profitable

I’ve heard it said on the feeder side that high-risk cattle are the most profitable. The argument is that when you run the numbers and take into account morbidity, mortality and all other costs, these cattle have the potential to make the most profit at the end of the day. Of course the big factor […] Read more

This harvest, take a bit of time to do things differently

Instead of the usual go-go-go approach, think about how we can all learn to use time more wisely

I watched in horror a video on social media in which a farmer wrapped his preteen son in bale wrap. The child was in the machine! Later that week I coaxed an elderly man holding his electric saw down off a 25-foot extension ladder. At a lavender farm, I encouraged the owner to stop giving […] Read more