GFM Network News


Organic industry gets uncomfortable news

Reading Time: 2 minutes It was just a matter of time before the Achilles heel of organic food production was going to be exposed, and a recent CBC news report hit the issue right between the eyes. The report stated that 45 per cent of organic produce randomly tested by the CFIA showed traces of pesticides. Organic industry spokespeople […] Read more

Editorial: Straw man report challenges the industry to take action

Reading Time: 3 minutes As promised the straw man process delivered its final recommendations in a report at the end of December entitled, “Building a Stronger Canadian Beef Industry.” Now it’s time for the industry to turn straw into gold. None of the straw man team may look like the gold-spinning Rapunzel, but they certainly have provided the right […] Read more


Editorial: The time for EGS is long overdue

Paying landowners for the environmental work they perform would blaze a new trail for a better environment

Reading Time: 2 minutes Once in a while at livestock producer meetings, Ecological Goods and Services (EGS) is on the agenda. The idea was first broached around 20 years ago, but under different names. The venerable Western Stock Growers’ Association, who has championed the cause for many years, has called it Environmental Goods and Services. A past Alberta Environment […] Read more

Editorial: It’s been a good year for almost everyone

No year is perfect, but bumper crops across the province and other 
positive developments made for a pretty good year

Reading Time: 4 minutes When reflecting on the year just passed, you always hope it’s been good for all producers, and everyone else along the marketing chain. Alas, that’s rarely the case as our system continues to be based on the rewards and cruelties of supply and demand. Throw in the trials and tribulations of weather and we have […] Read more


Editorial: Day of reckoning looms as impact of refundable checkoffs hits home

Alberta Beef Producers has seen checkoff refund requests hit the 
30 per cent level, and that will not only impact it but also the effort to 
battle COOL and gain market access

Reading Time: 4 minutes It feels ominous, but a financial day of reckoning may be coming for the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP). It was predictable, but it seems to be coming a lot sooner than expected. It’s the consequence of the refundable cattle checkoff, a measure that was part of Bill 43, which is now almost four years old. […] Read more

The time for EGS is long overdue

Paying landowners for the environmental work they perform would blaze a new trail for a better environment

Reading Time: 2 minutes Once in a while at livestock producer meetings, Ecological Goods and Services (EGS) is on the agenda. The idea was first broached around 20 years ago, but under different names. The venerable Western Stock Growers’ Association, who has championed the cause for many years, has called it Environmental Goods and Services. A past Alberta Environment […] Read more


There’s no turning back, traceability is a fact of life

Reading Time: 2 minutes It would seem some issues within the beef industry continue to just simmer with occasional flare-ups. That would be the case with traceability. It caused a lot of consternation when the concept was first proposed, particularly as it was being imposed by the federal government by a certain deadline. If there is one common trait […] Read more

The battle over GM labels drags on, but most consumers couldn’t care less

Reading Time: 2 minutes A Washington state referendum requiring mandatory labelling of food products containing genetically modified ingredients was recently defeated, albeit by a somewhat narrow margin. Millions were spent by both sides in the campaign to convince voters of the benefits or not, of GM labelling.This battle has raged across the U.S. for years with the no side […] Read more


Straw men give new hope for cattle and beef sector

Kim McConnell, John Kolk and David Andrews have impressed even 
cynics with their thoughtful, focused and determined approach

Reading Time: 4 minutes If you haven’t heard about the straw man beef industry strategy by now, you will over the next year. That’s because the three straw men — Kim McConnell, John Kolk and David Andrews — have demonstrated steely determination to make sure this project to strategically revamp the beef sector does not die. They recently managed […] Read more

New NFU president says agriculture heading in wrong direction

Rimbey dairy farmer Jan Slomp says agriculture needs the National Farmers Union 
because it takes a long-term view and stands up for all farmers

Reading Time: 4 minutes Earlier this month, Rimbey dairy farmer Jan Slomp was acclaimed as president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), the voluntary member-based producer organization headquartered in Saskatoon. Recently, Slomp spoke with Alberta Farmer editor Will Verboven. Alberta Farmer: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself, your background, and your farming operation? Jan Slomp: I […] Read more