GFM Network News


Some parasite battles won, others still need fighting

Reading Time: 3 minutes The fight against parasites is nothing new, but once one is defeated, it seems another moves in to take its place. It’s an ongoing battle that Eugene Janzen, professor and the assistant dean of occupational practice at the University of Calgary College of Veterinary Medicine, remembers well. “I’m an old man, and when I was a […] Read more

XL Foods owner says plant co-operated fully with CFIA

Reading Time: 3 minutes XL Foods co-CEO Lee Nilsson says the company has done everything within its power to work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The plant at Brooks, Alta., which slaughters about 40 per cent of Canadian cattle, has been closed since Sept. 27 due to E. coli contamination, leading to 12 confirmed cases of illness […] Read more


Cattle industry braces for crisisin face of possible plant closure

TRUCK SHORTAGE There are not enough trucks to carry all the fat cattle south of the border right now

Reading Time: 3 minutes While better news may have arrived by the time this newspaper reaches the mailbox, the prolonged closure of the XL Foods beef plant at Brooks has had some wondering not when it will reopen, but whether it will reopen at all. “If it doesn’t reopen, that will devastate the Canadian industry. It’s disappointing this thing […] Read more

Cattle industry scrambles for additional capacity

Anxiety hangs over the cattle industry in Alberta and across Canada as the fall calf run gears up, the yearling run is on — and XL Foods’ Lakeside beef plant remains closed to slaughter cattle. "If it doesn’t reopen, that will devastate the Canadian industry. It’s disappointing this thing couldn’t move faster and with more […] Read more


“Hang on, all things will pass”: XL chief Nilsson

XL Foods co-CEO Lee Nilsson says the company has done everything within its power to work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). XL’s Lakeside plant at Brooks, Alta., which slaughters about 40 per cent of Canadian cattle, has been closed since Sept. 27 due to E. coli contamination, leading to 12 confirmed cases of […] Read more

Pet owners and sheep producers warned about tapeworm threat

UNSEEN THREAT Tapeworm eggs pass easily through many species and can lead to 
medical issues for humans and costly losses for livestock producers

Reading Time: 2 minutes Here’s one more reason to hate coyotes. The predators frequently carry tapeworms in their gut that can infect dogs and possibly humans. Tapeworms passed on by canine species can also result in sheep measles, a costly disease for sheep and goat producers. One type of tapeworm found in coyotes, Echinococcus multilocularis, is receiving new attention […] Read more


Much-maligned rattlesnake can be a rancher’s friend

ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY Rattlesnake bite only as a last resort. Their venom is made to secure prey, 
not hurt people, and some producers say they’d prefer to have snakes on their land than gophers

Reading Time: 3 minutes Feared by many and misunderstood by most, the rattlesnake has long been persecuted in every nook and cranny of its range from South to North America. In Canada, there are three species. The prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis), one of the most successful of the 32 species in the Americas, finds the most northern point […] Read more

Canada Beef celebrates first birthday

BOTTOM LINE President Rob Meijer says the priority is on generating the greatest return, not market share

Reading Time: 2 minutes So far, so good. That seemed to be the mood as 150 industry players recently gathered to mark Canada Beef Inc.’s first birthday. “We learned a lot on the fly,” said president Rob Meijer. “I think structurally our business plan and vision is sound. It probably holds stronger today than a year ago when we […] Read more


Hemp has room to grow, but nowhere to go

PROCESSORS NEEDED Though seed and oil processing is established, the hemp industry needs 
fibre processing to really flourish

Reading Time: 2 minutes The hemp industry in Alberta has potential, but is held back because of an incomplete value chain, says a recent report prepared on the emerging commodity. The study by Serecon Management Consulting for Alberta Agriculture says there is a sustained and growing interest in hemp production and hemp products in Alberta. In 2010, Alberta trailed […] Read more

Moose-country station records livestock-country movements

CHOKE POINT West Hawk Lake, Manitoba is the sole zone reporting 
point in the country because of its ideal location

Reading Time: 3 minutes The tree-covered resort area at West Hawk Lake on the edge of the Canadian Shield on the Manitoba-Ontario border doesn’t look much like livestock country, but it’s a key location in the event of an animal disease outbreak in North America. It owes that designation to an industry wake-up call after the European foot-and-mouth outbreak […] Read more