GFM Network News


Moving cattle is “a piece of cake” once they get used to a rotational grazing system, 
says rancher Morrie Goetjen.

Rancher finds success after realizing he had things backwards

Morrie Goetjen spent years focusing on his cattle, but he now says it’s healthier soil that is the key

What do a policeman and cattle producer have in common? Probably not much, unless you are Morrie Goetjen. The Calgary-area producer has been farming full time since the mid-’80s but since retirement has been able to really focus on his cattle operation. Goetjen has land both northwest of Calgary and northeast of Cremona. The two […] Read more

Feeding low-quality forage can cause all sorts of issues so it pays to have it tested, say experts.

Put your forage to the test – and money in your bank account

High-quality forage will save the cost of supplementing, and avoid costly calf losses

Letting cattle ‘pick and choose’ what they want to eat is no substitute for feed testing. The quality of forage needs to be matched to the animal’s needs — and those nutrition requirements are going to change throughout the year. And that’s why you should test your forages, say experts and groups such as the […] Read more


The test results are back —so what do they mean?

Test results should drive a feeding program, but you need to know what the numbers signify

Interpreting forage test results can sometimes be like trying to read a foreign language. But there’s a new translation tool — the aptly named ‘A Tool for Evaluating Feed Test Results.’ “The tool is designed to take feed test results and compare them to basic nutrition rules of thumb for different classes of cattle,” said […] Read more

Salad greens make for a tasty treat for cattle on Crooked Lake Farm.

Closing the loop: Food waste gets gobbled up on farms

Chickens eat sushi while washing it down with non-alcoholic beer

Sushi, sandwiches, broccoli, yogurt, and non-alcoholic beer. Sounds like things you might eat when in fact, it’s what I feed my chickens. Yes, you read that right. My chickens eat sushi and drink non-alcoholic beer on occasion. It’s all thanks to a program called The Loop and a local grocery store chain, Save-On-Foods. The Loop […] Read more


Having contact with your cattle — whether they’re on pasture or in a feedlot — can pay significant dividends.

Connecting the dots: Less stress = less sickness = fewer treatments for cattle

The time spent on acclimation is easily reclaimed with the benefit of improved herd health, says longtime vet

Low-stress handling has been around for decades, but the practice is becoming more widespread. “There has always been a bit of a trend,” said Dr. Roy Lewis, a well-known Alberta veterinarian who had a large-animal practice for many years. But while the techniques are commonly used in the handling of purebred bulls, on some cow-calf […] Read more

The website www.creatingconnections.info has a host of how-to videos on low-stress handling.

Building a little trust with bovines can produce big dividends

Low-stress handling isn’t new but it’s gaining new attention thanks to a (gentle) push from a major animal health company

Does the thought of working cattle bring to mind shouting, pushing unwilling cattle in directions they don’t want to go, and excessive prodding? It doesn’t have to be that way. The late Bud Williams started training producers and feedlot workers in low-stress handling methods three decades ago and today that work is carried on by […] Read more


Working with a vet allows you to be both proactive about herd health and have an exact plan to deal with common problems, such as foot rot or calf pneumonia, says Ian Murray, pictured with son Ty at his Acme-area ranch.

Livestock producers and vets need to communicate in the new VCPR world

The days when you could just phone a vet and ask for a prescription are now done and dusted

Producers, do you have a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship? As of Dec. 1, all antimicrobials used in animals will require a prescription from a registered veterinarian — and vets can only write a prescription if the four conditions that define a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) are met. Some producers may be wary of this new set of regulations, […] Read more

Four conditions must be met in a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship.

The nuts and bolts of a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship

A veterinarian needs to know your operation and you need to agree to his or her recommendations

The requirement for a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship for obtaining a prescription for an antimicrobial isn’t just a Canadian thing. “It’s much bigger than us, it’s a global initiative,” said Dr. Mike Jelinski, a partner in Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie. This whole initiative of tightening up on antibiotics came down from Health Canada because it is […] Read more


Northern Strands' fall protection system.

‘The ideas keep getting better’ for Agri-Trade’s innovations program

This year’s trio of winners keep you safe, protect your fuel tanks, and prevent spoilage in the bin

One of the highlights of Agri-Trade is the trio of innovative new products chosen by a panel of farmers and business people. “It is always difficult to get it down to three winners — however, this year we reached new heights with the largest amount of applications received for this program since its inception,” said […] Read more

With hundreds of ag equipment makers displaying their wares, Agri-Trade Equipment Expo lives up to its name. This year’s event runs Nov. 7-9, one day shorter than in the past.

Agri-Trade growing and shrinking at the same time

Popular Red Deer show is adding new features and spaces while moving to a three-day format

To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Agri-Trade is aiming to be bigger and better even while getting shorter. The former is already taken care of with the opening of Exhibit Hall at Westerner Park in Red Deer. “We are going to be the first event to take place in the new building,” said David Fiddler, Agri-Trade […] Read more