GFM Network News


Pivots that used to sink into the soil on Brendon Rockey’s farm was one of the signs that something was wrong with the soil structure, 
the Colorado potato grower told attendees at the Western Canada Conference on Soil Health & Grazing.

Cooking up a successful recipe for improved soil health

Brendon Rockey’s farm is far different than most, but his winning formula has lessons for other growers

In some ways, soil health conferences are like recipe swaps — with attendees always on the lookout for a mix of ingredients that will produce better results. One of those recipes presented at the sold-out Western Canada Conference on Soil Health & Grazing last month came from a Colorado potato grower who farms in high-elevation, near-desert conditions and no […] Read more

The 47,000-acre Deer Creek Livestock ranch is this year’s winner of Alberta Beef Producers’ environmental stewardship award.

Making environmental stewardship pay in many different ways

Environmental stewardship award honours southern Alberta ranchers who pride themselves on conservation

Deer Creek Livestock Co.’s land has changed a lot in the past nine years as the grassland has improved, the wildlife has increased, and the stocking rates have gone up. It’s the combination of improving both productivity and the environment in tandem that earned the operation the 2020 Environmental Stewardship award from the Alberta Beef […] Read more


CN and CP Rail moved a record 54.3 million tonnes of grain in the last crop year. Better performance has been accompanied by a willingness to listen to farm groups and grain companies, and that has made a significant difference, say two Alberta farm leaders.

Working on the railroad — and getting grain moving

Things aren’t perfect but railways and farm groups are slowly rebuilding trust after years of conflict

They’re not besties yet — but the relationship between farm groups and the railways has undergone a sea change over the last few years. After years of vociferous complaints about poor rail service, the federal government cracked the whip in 2014, ordering CP and CN Rail to move one million tonnes of grain weekly or […] Read more

Stephen Hughes of Chinook Ranch in Longview is Canada’s first flagship farmer.

‘A humble guy’ chosen as Canada’s first ‘flagship farmer’

In many ways, Stephen Hughes has become the face of the sustainable beef movement in Canada. He’s spoken at conferences, given numerous interviews, and appeared in videos and commercials for McDonald’s sustainable beef initiative. Now the fast-food giant has named the Longview rancher the first “flagship farmer” in Canada. But while he’s willing to stand […] Read more


There were so many unharvested acres in Alberta this year — 1.6 million — that Agriculture Financial Services Corporation put on a series of meetings across the province in November and December to hear concerns and answer questions from producers.

A normal crop year went out the window in 2019

It seems pretty much everyone had severe weather challenges this year, but they came in many forms

Weather always gets talked about, but usually there are other issues that mark the year gone by. But this was a year when the rain gauge and thermometer were front and central from spring to harvest. Or rather, what passed for harvest. With about 1.6 million acres of crops still in the field, the story […] Read more

The Year That Was: Fake meat takes off

Many ranchers view faux burgers as a threat, but others argue they’re a sign that opportunities abound

Faux burgers have been around for a while but in 2019, some sort of switch was flipped and all of a sudden everyone was talking about them. The pivotal moment came when the food-service industry decided to embrace Beyond Meat — which more closely mimics the look and texture of actual hamburgers, said Sylvain Charlebois, […] Read more


Fifty provincial agriculture ministry staff get layoff notices

Many of those losing their jobs are scientists and their work greatly benefited farmers, says a retired researcher

In the second week of December, about 50 staff at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry got a pre-Christmas delivery no one would want — they were laid off. Details have not been released but among those affected are engineers, agrologists, and managers. “This is just another example of where they have taken some significant steps backwards,” […] Read more



The caption on the slide behind Gary Stanford — ‘Mi explotación’ — means ‘My operation.’ Grain buyers, including ones listening to Stanford in Mexico City were keenly interested in the decisions he makes on his Magrath-area farm.

Quality counts and tweets have an impact, grain reps on trade mission learn

A whirlwind tour of Central and South America was an eye-opener for Magrath producer Gary Stanford

Your social media pictures and tweets can actually have an impact on the international grain trade. This was one of the many things Alberta Wheat chair Gary Stanford learned on a two-week New Crop Mission to Central and South America last month. “South American countries are very happy with Canadian wheat, because they have learned […] Read more

Was this the future that pork producers envisioned half a century ago when Alberta Pork was founded?

Alberta Pork celebrates 50 years — and looks back at many, many changes

It’s almost easier to ask what hasn’t changed in the pork sector in the last half-century

The changes just keep on coming as the organization representing Alberta’s pork producers marks its 50th birthday. The industry has been transformed again and again since Alberta Pork was formed in 1969, said executive director Darcy Fitzgerald. The top one is the number of producers. “We used to have a lot of farms with few […] Read more