GFM Network News


Consumers don’t understand the practices of crop farmers, but want to know they are sustainable, said Ted Menzies, chair of the committee developing a code of practices for sustainable crops.

Consumers want proof that crop farming is sustainable

Code of practice expected to be released for feedback this summer, says industry veteran Ted Menzies

Crop producers are practising sustainable farming, but consumers want proof — and that’s why a code of practice is needed, says a veteran industry leader. Consumers don’t understand that crop practices in Canada are sustainable, Ted Menzies said at the recent AGM of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture. “Maybe they don’t need to understand that,” […] Read more

Alberta’s big cities have an insatiable appetite for nearby farmland.

Do more to save farmland, say two new reports

U of A study says hundreds of thousands of acres have been lost while Senate committee calls for help for young farmers

A pair of new reports are urging government to do more to save good farmland from being lost to agriculture. And there’s a lot that has been lost already, according to researchers at the University of Alberta. “Analysis of satellite imagery shows that between 1984 and 2013, the amount of land in urban uses in […] Read more


Alberta Federation of Agriculture questions government move

The Alberta Federation of Agriculture wants to know why the province is dissolving the Agriculture Operation Practices Act Practice Review Committee. The move would eliminate “the pool of farmers and ranchers who can be designated to hold an inquiry should there be a nuisance complaint lodged against a farming operation,” said federation president Lynn Jacobson. […] Read more

Full lineup at AFA conference

Event runs from Jan. 21-22 in Red Deer

This year’s Alberta Federation of Agriculture’s AGM features presentations on emerging technologies; climate change; and farm labour and safety legislation. The event runs from Jan. 21-22 in Red Deer. Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier will speak Jan. 22 and lawyer Tom Ross will give a legal perspective on Alberta’s farm labour legislation. Other speakers include researcher […] Read more


“We want a process, we want it in writing, and we want a report coming out of that process showing that we told them these things and that they understand what we’re asking for.”  – Kent Erickson

Farm leaders aren’t happy, but willing to try again

The last round of farm safety ‘consultations’ wasn’t meaningful, but farm reps say 
they’re cautiously hopeful the next round will be

As far as Alberta farm leaders are concerned, “all bets are off” on whether producer groups will be consulted on farm safety regulations following the passing of the controversial Bill 6. “We were told right from the get-go with the new NDP government that they wanted to consult with us, and I guess that means […] Read more

You don’t have to go far to find hazards on a farm, and that’s why new workplace safety regulations are inevitable, say farm leaders.

Farm leaders say workers’ compensation coverage is a good thing

Mandatory enrolment could be announced this fall, but leaders 
say cost and paperwork won’t be onerous

Changes to farm safety regulations are expected soon — and that might not be a bad thing for Alberta farmers, says the president of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture. “Workers’ compensation or private insurance really is a great risk management tool for farms nowadays,” said Lynn Jacobson. “That protection against litigation is one of the […] Read more


The devil is in the detail when it comes to workplace rules

Farms aren’t like other workplaces and regulations need to reflect that, say farm leaders

Doug Chorney has some advice for Alberta farmers who are nervous about upcoming changes to health and safety regulations: “Don’t be scared of having the conversation.” “You’re better off having the conversation with government rather than just waiting for regulations to come in without your input,” said Chorney, past president of Keystone Agricultural Producers, Manitoba’s […] Read more

A woman is airlifted by helicopter, equipped with a cable and harness, from her flooded farm in Millarville in southern Alberta. She was stranded in the submerged tractor, as swollen waters from nearby Three Point Creek overtook the farm.

Flood simulation model promises a big payback

Insurers won’t issue flood insurance until they have a better way to calculate risks — 
and the flood simulation model does that

Agriculture is leading the charge into research which could ultimately mean flood insurance being available for all Albertans. As the massive flooding of 2013 highlighted, there is no insurance for such disasters. In fact, Canada is the only one of the G-8 nations without such coverage. ‘Why not?’ is the question that always arises when […] Read more


Farm group calls for more research dollars

The Alberta Federation of Agriculture wants the province to reinstate the cancelled Agriculture and Food Innovation Endowment fund

Plummeting oil revenues are blowing a big hole in the provincial budget, but the Alberta Federation of Agriculture says that’s all the more reason to increase funding for ag research. Attendees at the group’s annual general meeting last month passed a resolution calling on the province to increase, rather than cut, ag research funding, and […] Read more

Lynn Jacobson

Alberta Federation of Agriculture aims to offer ‘unified voice’ for farmers

Focus is on issues that can impact the day to day of a farmer’s operation

Nose to the grindstone’ is a good way to describe how the folks at the Alberta Federation of Agriculture have been working since the group’s rebrand in the summer of 2013. “We’re involved in agriculture in all of its different aspects,” said board chair Lynn Jacobson, who farms near Enchant. “We’re trying to give another […] Read more