GFM Network News


This 2016 photo showing feral and domestic pigs mingling is from www.wildpigscanada.ca, a website created by the University of Saskatchewan’s Wildlife Ecology and Community Engagement research group headed by Ryan Brook. The website has information on characteristics and behaviour, signs of the animals’ presence, and control methods.

Wild pig problem in the spotlight at pork conference

The number of feral pigs is growing here and playing a key role in the African swine fever epidemic elsewhere

(Editor’s note: The following is an abridged and edited version of two articles. The full versions can be found at meristem.com by clicking on the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar link.) Two presentations at the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar highlighted the threat posed by wild boars. Ryan Brook, a University of Saskatchewan associate professor and wildlife […] Read more

Aherne Prize winners announced

A low-stress restraint for pigs and a device to reduce pre-wean mortality were the co-winners of this year’s F. X. Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production presented earlier this month at the Banff Pork Seminar. The Hammock Swine Restraint Device was developed by Tess Faulkner and Gillian Greaves of South West Ontario Veterinary Services. It […] Read more


Alternative meat company Quorn has dozens of products in its faux chicken lineup. The product is made from a ‘mycoprotein,’ which is derived from a soil fungus fermented in vats and is high in protein and fibre.

There’s more vegetarians, but also more meat eaters looking for change

‘Flexitarians’ still want to eat meat but they also want to ‘feel good about eating,’ says marketing expert

The number of vegans and vegetarians is growing, but confirmed meat eaters will remain and possibly look at higher-end cuts of meat, says an international food-marketing expert. But the middle is where it gets interesting — with “flexitarians” looking for good sources of protein and willing to have a mix of plant and animal proteins, […] Read more

The Pig Cough Monitor employs microphones in the barn and an algorithm to detect respiratory problems in pigs long before symptoms of the illness would be noticeable to humans.

‘Smart barn’ technology is on its way for pork producers

Sensors and software monitor pigs — and workers — in real time and in new ways

There is no argument new smart technologies are coming in swine production, says an expert in monitoring and task automation in livestock facilities. Tom Stein, senior strategic adviser for Quebec-based Maximus Systems, gave nine examples of “smart barn” technologies already in use or on the way at the recent Banff Pork Seminar. “One must remember, these […] Read more



Cattle transportation is under increasing scrutiny and truckers need to know proper loading techniques, says Rick Sincennes.

Taking a proactive approach to cattle transportation

Understanding cattle behaviour and adjusting density according to cattle type are key to proper transportation

When cattle trucker Rick Sincennes started in the business more than 30 years ago it was a different world. Today animal welfare is a profile issue in the public eye, animal activists are putting pressure on producers and the people involved in cattle transportation have an entirely different level of responsibility for themselves and their […] Read more


University of Alberta-led swine study tackles next health frontier

Study focuses on using genomic tools to protect swine exposed to multiple disease threats

If Canada is going to maintain a successful position in the global pork marketplace, swine health and animal care promises to be one of the deciding factors. Sustainable production and competitive pricing will be priorities and swine health and welfare is both a social requirement and necessity for sustainable production. Porcine health management represents a […] Read more

The future continues to look bright for pork producers

While it’s not entirely smooth sailing, the ‘optimistic sentiment’ in the 
industry is well founded, two experts told the Banff Pork Seminar

The animal welfare issue won’t derail a positive outlook for Canada’s pork industry, says an American agriculture economist. “There is a very optimistic sentiment today in the entire pork industry — I think we’re going to expand pork production throughout North America,” Glynn Tonsor of Kansas State University said at the recent 2015 Banff Pork […] Read more


Richard Taillefer.

Getting new workers off to a good start pays off for hog operation

The cost of a trainer and a five-week employee orientation is far less than having to continually replace workers, says HyLife official

Anyone running a hog operation of any scale today knows the value of labour. Richard Taillefer, director of sow and nursery production for HyLife, a large hog production operation headquartered in La Broquerie, Man., told delegates at the recent Banff Pork Seminar in actual dollar terms how much employee retention means to their company. HyLife, […] Read more

Two U of A students given young scientist awards

Two student scientists were announced as winners of the R.O. Ball Young Scientist award at the recent 2015 Banff Pork Seminar. The award, named after researcher and former seminar director Dr. Ron Ball, recognizes graduate students who provide a best overall combination of good and relevant science, a well-written abstract, and excellent presentation. The first […] Read more