GFM Network News


Sensitivity to touch, swelling and heat in the area of the withers would clearly indicate a problem with the withers, however, more subtle changes must also be observed.

There’s a lot to be learned by reading a horse’s withers

This complex structure can reveal a lot about a horse’s soundness

Reading Time: 4 minutes The comfort and health of the horse’s withers is a central key to its performance and soundness. The withers are the part of the spinal column that lies in between the animal’s shoulder blades and includes the third to 11th thoracic vertebrae. Collectively these vertebra project upwards into an arch. Their uniquely prominent (tall) spinous […] Read more

Keep watch and take quick action when it’s sizzling out

Keep watch and take quick action when it’s sizzling out

You can help your horse beat the heat with a few simple steps

Reading Time: 3 minutes Extreme bouts of hot weather are particularly stressful for horses and for some, even more stressful than extreme bouts of cold weather. Thus it becomes particularly important to identify the individuals at a greater risk for heat stress and what factors can provide extra care for them when necessary. Those particularly prone to heat stress […] Read more


File photo of a roundworm larva. (Dotana/iStock/Getty Images)

Health Canada warns people not to take livestock dewormers

No evidence that drug is effective against COVID-19

“Concerning reports” of people in Canada seeking out veterinary-grade dewormers for personal use have led Health Canada to formally advise against doing so. News reports in Western Canada in the past week have described increased demand from non-farming consumers for veterinary-grade ivermectin, whether at livestock supply retailers or online. While ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug […] Read more

Nova Scotia Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow. (PCPartyNS.ca)

Rookie Nova Scotia MLA named agriculture minister

Greg Morrow sworn in Tuesday

A radio news director from eastern Nova Scotia has been tapped as the provincial agriculture minister for incoming Premier Tim Houston’s Progressive Conservatives. Greg Morrow, the new MLA for Guysborough-Tracadie, was sworn in Tuesday along with the other members of Houston’s 19-member cabinet. Houston’s Tories ousted Iain Rankin’s Liberal government in the Aug. 17 provincial […] Read more


Preparing the horse to learn

Preparing the horse to learn

A myriad of factors under the control of the human can affect the horse’s ability to develop

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Dorrance brothers, Bill and his younger sibling Tom, are widely known for their eloquent and effective communication with horses and are often credited as the founders of the modern-day revolution in horsemanship. The human/horse bond runs deep. Horses seek to appease or make peace with their domesticators and are willing learners. ‘Thought’ leaders and […] Read more

Livestock affected by wildfire smoke, too

Livestock affected by wildfire smoke, too

Reading Time: < 1 minute The extensive smoke from this year’s wildfires has prompted the American Veterinary Medical Association to put out an advisory for pets and livestock. “If you can see or feel the effects of smoke yourself, you also should take precautions to keep your animals — both pets and livestock — safe.” It urges animal owners to […] Read more


A healthy gut microbiome critical to horse health

A healthy gut microbiome critical to horse health

Immune, neurological, and hormonal systems can all be affected by this microbial community

Reading Time: 3 minutes Although invisible to the naked eye, the horse and human cannot exist apart from the biology and ecology of their microbiome and the microbiome is being heralded as the next most important bodily system. There is emerging evidence the gut microbiome — with its complex interactions of microbial communities including bacteria, archaea, parasites, protozoa, viruses […] Read more

Chrystia Freeland takes part in a news conference at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 31, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Chris Wattie)

Farm transfer tax treatment bill now law, feds say

Government to add amendments against tax loopholes

Despite a previous statement from her ministry, Canada’s finance minister says a bill standardizing the tax treatment of farm transfers is now officially on the books. However, while Bill C-208 is now in federal tax law, further amendments are en route to plug legal loopholes the bill may have opened. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on […] Read more


A 3-D illustration of Bacillus anthracis bacteria. (Dr_Microbe/iStock/Getty Images)

Anthrax kills southeastern Saskatchewan sheep

Spores forced up by changes in soil moisture

Dramatic shifts in soil moisture are again bringing anthrax spores to the surface on the Prairies, this time in a southeastern Saskatchewan sheep pasture. Lab results on Wednesday confirmed anthrax as the cause of death of one animal in a flock of sheep in the R.M. of South Qu’Appelle, about 50 km east of Regina, […] Read more

The Blair’s agro centre at Lipton, Sask. (Blairs.ag)

Co-op, Blair’s joint venture to sell one crop input centre

Regulator sees overlap between Co-op, Blair's at Lipton

A new joint venture formed to run seven existing crop input retail centres in central and southeastern Saskatchewan will settle for six. The federal Competition Bureau on Wednesday announced an agreement with Federated Co-operatives (FCL) and the ag retail arm of the Saskatchewan-based Blair’s Family of Companies toward approval of their proposed joint venture. Blair’s […] Read more