GFM Network News



Canada’s population is changing culturally, and with it the need to satisfy a demand for more lamb and goat.

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


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


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

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

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


To get a consistent, year-round product, Canada Sheep and Lamb Farms breeds ewes year round. It weans lambs at the same age, feeds them the same diet, and at less than 200 days of age.

There’s opportunity in the lamb sector but only for some

CEO of North American Lamb Company says the future belongs to those who offer consistency

Gary Alexander delivered a message at the Alberta Lamb Producers annual meeting that many didn’t want to hear. “I will tell you right now that the sheep business, in my opinion, is a dysfunctional and declining business and I’m not saying that solely about the Canadian business,” said Alexander, president and CEO of the North […] Read more



Family of goat lovers lives off the grid

Family uses mainly solar power and a wind turbine while raising goats, free-range chickens, turkeys, geese, and hogs

Kids abound at Will O’ the Wisp Paddocks. Amy Leitch and husband Kevin have four of their own, along with numerous goat kids in their flock of 77 goats. “We chose Kiko goats which are from New Zealand. They’re bred from the best of the best and this is a breed that is known worldwide,” […] Read more

Agropur to shut Monteregie fine cheese plant

A Quebec cheese plant formerly known as a top maker of Camembert- and Brie-type cheeses is set to shut permanently in April after five years under Agropur’s ownership. Quebec-based Agropur, North America’s biggest dairy co-operative, announced Friday it will start winding down operations at its Saint-Damase cheese plant in January ahead of the April 2019 […] Read more


Icelandic sheep are hardy and do well in Alberta’s environment. 
The Somervilles have never lost one to a coyote.

A little bit of Iceland thrives in central Alberta

Icelandic sheep are rare in the province but the hardy breed does well in its new homeland

When Stuart Somerville first started researching Icelandic sheep on the internet back in 2009, he never realized he would fall in love with the animals. He and wife Kayla ended up purchasing two ewes and a ram and bringing them to their farm near Endiang, 150 kilometres southeast of Red Deer, in 2009. Somerville had […] Read more

The Canada Gold feedlot near Iron Springs has the capacity to finish 200,000 lambs annually but sourcing lambs year round has been a major challenge.

Merger a game changer for the Canadian lamb sector

New company will produce lambs year round — and that could transform the Canadian sector

A merger of two major players in the Canadian lamb sector is designed to be a game changer for the industry. The deal brings together the country’s largest processor of federally inspected lamb (and also a major feeder) and one of the biggest sheep-farming operations in North America. North American Lamb Company will control lamb […] Read more