GFM Network News


Giving Alberta its own farm paper wasn’t a slam dunk — but it worked

A look back at the decision to start a new paper for the province’s farmers and ranchers

How come there’s never been a provincial farm paper in Alberta?” For many years, that question often came up when a group of farm writers got together over a drink. Though it has many readers across the Prairies, the Western Producer had its roots in Saskatchewan and had proven successful. The Manitoba Co-operator, with a […] Read more

New wheat-marketing system isn’t just a mess — it’s a great big mess

With Canada’s wheat selling at a discount to Russia’s, it’s time 
to admit the new open market isn’t working as it should

Critics of the Canadian Wheat Board used to routinely point to published price quotes for U.S. Dark Northern Spring (DNS) wheat from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and assume that was a benchmark price for all wheat sold in the world. If the board got less, it must have screwed up, said the critics. In fact, […] Read more


Doing a better job of turning grass into grain — and saying so

Growing more forage is the right thing to do. 
Is the beef industry prepared if it happens?

If you’re looking for proof that there is no such thing as bad publicity, beef may be a good example. For years it’s been painted as a public health and environmental villain, and recently there were more reports on how bovine frontal and rearward methane emissions are a major source of climate-altering greenhouse gas. All […] Read more

Looking below the surface for sustainable agriculture

Increasing world food production means having healthy 
soil able to effectively deliver water and nutrients

Some of the world’s top soil scientists and conservation agriculture exponents convened for the sixth World Congress on Conservation Agriculture in Winnipeg last month. The message from speakers was on one hand sobering, if not frightening — massive soil erosion continues around the world, and in both developed and undeveloped countries. The good news is […] Read more


Keeping the farm organizations in line

“Hardly a day goes by” may be an overused phrase, but not when it comes to the frequency of news releases from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada — we received 13 for the month of November. There’s nothing wrong with governments communicating with citizens, and some of the releases are pure business, such as brief notices […] Read more

We need at least four cell providers, but two railways are OK

Apparently grain companies reporting a weekly shortfall of between 1,000 to 2,000 cars isn’t evidence of poor service

Just as there’s good stress and bad stress, there’s good excitement and bad excitement. There’s the good excitement you get when watching the Grey Cup, especially if you’re a Riders fan. Then there’s the other kind of excitement (as in riled up) you got watching this year’s Grey Cup commercials about how the Harper government […] Read more


Morriss: Cell companies bad, railways good?

Just as there’s good stress and bad stress, there’s good excitement and bad excitement. There’s the good excitement you get when watching the Grey Cup, especially if you’re a Riders fan. Then there’s the other kind of excitement (as in riled up) you got watching this year’s Grey Cup commercials about how the Harper Government […] Read more

Please, let’s not ‘win’ any more beef trade battles

While we fight an unwinnable battle against COOL, the Americans are stealing our domestic meat market

Traceability is a fact of life for almost every other commodity that consumers buy; yet somehow we have not embraced traceability’s potential in the world of food. I cannot buy an iPhone that does not have complete traceability back to its basic components; yet what we put into our bodies is rarely traceable to source. […] Read more


Fighting desertification is part of Western Canada’s heritage

The lessons of the ‘Dirty ’30s’ are still valuable ones to pass on to farmers in other countries

When I went to the barber in Swift Current in the summer of 1937 to get a haircut and shave, he said the haircut was OK but he had quit shaving people. I asked “how come” and he said he couldn’t keep an edge on the razor anymore. With the terrible dust and the shortage […] Read more

The beef industry has bigger problems than E. coli

No collaboration The beef industry is suffering from too many 
organizations and not enough leadership

The fallout from the E. coli contamination at the XL beef plant is bad enough, but it will be even worse if this single issue diverts the industry from looking at some of its larger long-term challenges. Farmers got cranky enough about the Canadian Wheat Board, so imagine there was a Canadian Beef Board in […] Read more