GFM Network News


It has been a long, tough haul since the pandemic nearly cratered the cattle sector and feeders are only now getting close to break-even, says feeder association chair Greg Schmidt. But if not for the set-aside program, the financial pain would have been much greater, he said.

Disaster averted: Cattle set-aside does its job

'It could have been worse, a lot worse,’ says feeder association chair

Reading Time: 4 minutes It was a response to a crisis that threatened to overwhelm Alberta’s cattle sector — but seven months later the cattle set-aside program has come to an end. And it’s clear it’s been a success, says the chair of the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association. “I think the program did its job,” said Greg Schmidt, an […] Read more

More than 80 per cent of the land base at Round Rock Ranching is native range and cattle are selected for their ability to do well on that type of land.

The Big Squeeze: Alberta cattle sector struggling to get ahead

In this tight-margin business, a host of smaller factors pull down profitability

Reading Time: 5 minutes Alberta’s cattle industry may not be facing another near-fatal blow like BSE, but it’s hemorrhaging all the same. And this time, it’s a death by a thousand cuts, says a new study. Government regulations. Global trade wars. Rising land prices and ever-higher costs. Drought. Feed shortages. Head taxes and exclusion zones. There’s not one single […] Read more


Even though prices have dropped, the prospects for Alberta’s feedlot sector remain high, say feeders.

Despite current dip, cattle feeders optimistic about what lies ahead

With lots of cattle on increasingly pricey feed, margins are taking a hit, but optimism remains strong

Reading Time: 4 minutes The feedlot industry is experiencing a little dip right now, but the sector continues to chug along nicely. That’s why Doug Price opted to buy Western Feedlots at High River, which has been shuttered since 2016. “It was a fairly good-sized feedlot and we’re just tearing most of it down except the bunks and re-doing […] Read more

Cattle producers, feeders crafting industry plan

Cattle producers, feeders crafting industry plan

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta Beef Producers says it’s working with the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association on a “joint advocacy plan” for the province’s cattle sector that it will be putting forward to the new provincial government. “We will be seeking support for a globally competitive beef industry operating in a strong rural economy to provide sustainable food production, […] Read more


Most of the checkoff refunds go to feeders, but every producer will also be able to get back the $2 provincial beef checkoff after a mandatory levy was narrowly voted down in a plebiscite.

Non-refundable checkoff defeated, cattle group moving on

ABP leaders say they wish more had cast ballots but the issue is now in the rear-view mirror

Reading Time: 3 minutes *[UPDATED: Dec. 20, 2018] He’s disappointed to have lost the vote and wishes more cattle producers had cast a ballot, but the chair of Alberta Beef Producers says it’s now time to “move forward.” There were 1,874 votes cast in a plebiscite to make the $2 provincial beef checkoff non-refundable — with 51.3 per cent […] Read more

Janice Tranberg.

New CEO for cattle feeders’ associations

Reading Time: < 1 minute Janice Tranberg is the new president and CEO of both Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association and National Cattle Feeders’ Association. Tranberg takes over from Bryan Walton, who is retiring early in the new year. She most recently served as the executive director for Sask-Canola and prior to that was assistant deputy agriculture minister in Saskatchewan. Tranberg […] Read more


Beef checkoff plebiscite coming in fall

Reading Time: < 1 minute A plebiscite on a non-refundable cattle checkoff will be held this fall and the leadership of Alberta Beef Producers is urging its members to get out and vote. Currently, the provincial portion of the checkoff is voluntary and ABP refunds about $2.4 million yearly (mostly to feeders). If the checkoff is made non-refundable, most of […] Read more

Too many voices in the beef industry create mixed messages, says Rick Paskal.

Opinion: The beef industry needs to start speaking with a unified voice

Having at least 10 organizations representing the beef industry in Alberta is quite frankly a joke

Reading Time: 4 minutes Our farming and feeding operations have fundamental challenges and issues that are not being communicated in an effective manner to government. We have ongoing issues about hiring qualified managers and workers; with WCB compliance and enforcement; OH&S adherence; WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) education of our employees; an obsolete farm taxation model utilizing 25-year-old […] Read more


A province-wide vote on the non-refundable checkoff could be held as early as this fall.

End of refundable checkoff may be near

If successful, most of the $2 million refunded each year would go towards the creation of an industry development fund

Reading Time: 2 minutes The province has given the nod to a long-sought request for a plebiscite to make the cattle checkoff non-refundable. It’s hoped a province-wide vote on the contentious issue will be held this autumn, said Rich Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef Producers. “It’s a very positive step towards us being able to have a plebiscite […] Read more

Is your farm prepared for a disease emergency?

Is your farm prepared for a disease emergency?

New booklets lay out the threats to dairy, hog, and cattle operations and offer a blueprint for being ready

Reading Time: 3 minutes The first thing the Canadian Animal Health Coalition did after receiving a grant to better prepare for animal disease emergencies was to see if producer organizations had a crisis plan. The results weren’t encouraging. “We surveyed 130 organizations, all industry associations at different national and provincial levels across the country,” said Matt Taylor, one of […] Read more