GFM Network News


A 3-D illustration of Bacillus anthracis bacteria. (Dr_Microbe/iStock/Getty Images)

Anthrax kills southeastern Saskatchewan sheep

Spores forced up by changes in soil moisture

Dramatic shifts in soil moisture are again bringing anthrax spores to the surface on the Prairies, this time in a southeastern Saskatchewan sheep pasture. Lab results on Wednesday confirmed anthrax as the cause of death of one animal in a flock of sheep in the R.M. of South Qu’Appelle, about 50 km east of Regina, […] Read more

Lisa Thompson. (Lisathompsonmpp.ca video screengrab via YouTube)

Ontario names new ag minister in shuffle

Lisa Thompson replaces Ernie Hardeman

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has drawn another aggie from his existing cabinet to replace Ernie Hardeman as his agriculture minister. Ford on Friday announced a major cabinet shuffle, dropping Hardeman, the long-time MPP for Oxford, from the cabinet table and naming Lisa Thompson as minister for agriculture, food and rural affairs. Thompson, who until Friday […] Read more


fort saskatchewan sheep

Shepherds (really) wanted

Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. is seeking shepherds' services for its unique tourist attraction

Reading Time: 3 minutes Fort Saskatchewan is looking for some new shepherds, as Kathy and Ralph Playton are hanging up their shepherd’s crooks. The Alberta city inadvertently created its very popular tourist attraction nearly three decades ago. “In 1992, the railroad moved out of town and it left a huge space of land that was very difficult to mow […] Read more

Uruguayan sheep shearer Federico Ventura catches a sheep to shear it in Villafale, Spain on June 17, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Juan Medina)

Uruguayan shearers flown in to relieve sweltering Spanish sheep

Expert shearers authorized to enter country amid COVID-19 pandemic

Villafale, Spain | Reuters — Brought to Spain on a special flight amid the coronavirus lockdown, some 250 Uruguayan sheep shearers race against time to shear millions of Spanish sheep as sweltering summer temperatures hit. The Uruguayan shearers come to Spain every year, where farmers value them for their skills, their speed and particular care […] Read more


The potential is huge but so are the challenges in the lamb sector, says Ryan Greir, 
an Alberta producer who is chair of the newly formed National Sheep Network.

Sheep industry starts new organization to tackle challenges

Alberta lamb producer chairs the newly formed National Sheep Network

Reading Time: 3 minutes Demand for lamb continues to grow — and the sheep sector continues to struggle to meet it. In fact, if more fresh Canadian lamb was available, demand would be growing even faster, says the managing director of the North American Lamb Company, the biggest player in the sector. “With a bit of marketing and new […] Read more

Agropur’s Fromagerie Damafro had been known as the developer of Quebec’s first-ever soft washed rind cheese, sold under the Saint-Damase brand. (OurCheeses.com)

Agropur halts talks with Quebec goat dairy producers

Agropur has gone back to Plan A for the fate of a major Quebec soft cheese processing plant after halting talks with the province’s goat dairy farmer association. Canada’s biggest dairy co-operative had announced in September last year it would close the former Fromagerie Damafro plant at Saint-Damase, Que. in April this year, but delayed […] Read more


More lamb being imported into Canada

More lamb being imported into Canada

Reading Time: < 1 minute More lamb is being imported because there’s less Canadian product coming to market, says a provincial livestock market analyst. While slaughter rates in federally inspected plants in Western Canada are up nearly 13 per cent this year, they’re down in Eastern Canada as well as in provincial plants in both the East and the West. […] Read more

Goats and sheep outdoor on a farm

Has the time come again for Canadian producers to go deep into sheep?

Sheep and goats are challenging beasts but they can offer a way into farming for new entrants


Reading Time: 3 minutes The revival of the small farm has created a new interest in sheep and goats. And although Canadians are not known to be big consumers of lamb, mutton or goat meat, there is a much greater demand than there is product. Canada only produces 40 per cent of the lamb needed for consumers. As the […] Read more


File photo of a Suffolk ewe infected with scrapie. (Jack Dykinga photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Two Alberta sheep flocks quarantined for scrapie

Two flocks of sheep in Alberta are under federal quarantine after a sheep that lived at both farms was confirmed June 21 with classical scrapie. A degenerative nervous system disease affecting sheep and goats, scrapie is one of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) family that includes Creutzfelt-Jakob disease in people, BSE in cattle and chronic […] Read more

Finding a cause for lameness in sheep

Finding a cause for lameness in sheep

Little research on sheep lameness has been done in Canada, but the incidence can be high

Reading Time: 2 minutes Not a lot of work had been done to figure out why sheep go lame, but some Alberta researchers are working to change this. “We would like to develop a strategy to diagnose lame sheep which can later be used to inform best management practices to treat these animals,” said Wiolene Montanari Nordi, at the […] Read more