GFM Network News

Demand was high but Innisfail Growers had lost their venue in Red Deer because of the pandemic. So they set up a drive-thru operation, which attracted long lines of customers.

Albertans coming together while keeping their distance

COVID-19 can't stem the flow of good will and generosity

Reading Time: 3 minutes Drawing a heart and putting it in your window or turning on the Christmas lights. Finding small containers so you can give away farm-milled flour to a food bank. Teaching kids how to grow a garden. Across Alberta, people are finding ways to give their neighbours and communities a lift in these troubled times. In […] Read more

Dwayne Beck is a frequent visitor to Alberta and while he has seen some progress over the years, the soil health guru says the province’s farmers face a looming disaster if they don’t change their approach.

Stop fighting Mother Nature — because you’re going to lose

Most farmers in Alberta still love tractors more than biology and are heading for big trouble, says Dwayne Beck

Reading Time: 3 minutes Like a voice crying in the wilderness, Dwayne Beck has been beating the drum of soil defence as the foundation for a healthier farming system for decades. To some, the longtime research manager of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm is a wise prophet and caretaker. For others, his message is radical and uncomfortable — something […] Read more

In 1923, the department of household economics boasted a state-of-the-art “nutrition lab.” Often dismissed as being about ‘cooking and sewing,’ the discipline of what is now called human ecology has always been much more than that.

A century on, ‘home ec’ remains as vital as ever

Reading Time: 4 minutes While much has changed in the last century, the study of home and family life remains relevant. This year, the University of Alberta marked the centennial of the founding of the Department of Household Economics. “There aren’t a lot of programs at the U of A that have been around for 100 years, so it […] Read more

Visitors to HGB Bison Ranch were surprised by the calmness of the animals and eager to learn details of how they’re raised.

‘Enthusiasm and happiness abound’ at Alberta Open Farm Days

Cute animals are a big draw but people ‘genuinely want to see what we’re doing,’ say farm hosts

Reading Time: 6 minutes The focus was on food and farming all over the province during Open Farm Days where Albertans showed they are interested in where their food comes from. More than 100 farms participated this year, including HGB Bison Ranch just south of Olds. It was a brand new experience for Heather and George Briggs, who were […] Read more

The Canada Gold feedlot near Iron Springs has the capacity to finish 200,000 lambs annually but sourcing lambs year round has been a major challenge.

Merger a game changer for the Canadian lamb sector

New company will produce lambs year round — and that could transform the Canadian sector

Reading Time: 4 minutes A merger of two major players in the Canadian lamb sector is designed to be a game changer for the industry. The deal brings together the country’s largest processor of federally inspected lamb (and also a major feeder) and one of the biggest sheep-farming operations in North America. North American Lamb Company will control lamb […] Read more

Questions from visitors make “you realize the other things you should be talking about and explaining,” says Andria Carlyon of Triple Lyoness Farm. From left are Briana Carlyon, Derrick Rimmer, Andria, Rod, Janet, and Jessica Carlyon.

Open Farm Days has quickly become an Alberta institution

The event’s popularity has soared, with a twentyfold increase in visitors since its inception six years ago

Reading Time: 4 minutes Farmers are stepping up to the plate to satisfy the growing appetite of Albertans who want to experience agriculture first hand. More than 100 rural operations are on the hosting list for this year’s Alberta Open Farm Days on the Aug. 18-19 weekend. Even those involved in agriculture may be amazed at the variety of […] Read more

The Brownfield and District Growing Project continues to thrive because it has been embraced by the whole community, young and old alike. This picture is from a video shot during last fall’s harvest. The video, which features swooping footage taken by a drone, can be found at the Foodgrains Bank’s Facebook page. (Google ‘brownfield growing project’ to find a link.)

How to hand over a labour of love to the next generation

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s not only family farms facing the succession challenge these days. Community efforts such as Growing Projects for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank are looking to the future to see if they’ve inspired the next generation to carry on the cause. One such venture finds itself in the middle of the process. The Brownfield and District […] Read more

David and Mary Beth Sibbald with sons Dylan and Adam at the family ranch near Cochrane.

‘I love to contribute’ is the motto of Cochrane rancher

Reading Time: 4 minutes When a young David Sibbald volunteered for the International Youth Livestock Committee of the Calgary Stampede back in 1990, he had no grand illusions about someday heading up an organization that today boasts 2,300 community volunteers and more than 1,200 employees. He was just committed to youth and agriculture. Those commitments haven’t changed, but now […] Read more