GFM Network News


There was a time when having its own research operations was a point of pride for the Alberta government. But changing times, tighter budgets, and a move towards “farmer-led” research means the end of that era. Seen here is a photo from a Lacombe Field Day event in 2018.

Government exits the agricultural research game but questions abound

New publicly funded body launches drive for ‘farmer-led’ research but details still aren’t known

With a flurry of announcements — and a leaked layoff plan — the UCP government has made it clear that it’s largely exiting ag research. But what comes next is still up in the air. In mid-October, the province shifted several research programs to universities and colleges while also informing the union representing agriculture employees […] Read more

Universities and colleges to take over key provincial research programs

Schools will get transition grants to take on former government programs and researchers

The provincial government is transferring several research programs to universities and colleges. They are: University of Alberta Will receive $3.7 million for taking on four programs and their lead researchers. They are Sheri Strydhorst (cereal agronomy), John Basarab (beef genomics and feed efficiency), Marcos Colazo (reproductive management in beef and dairy cattle), and Valerie Carney […] Read more


One-hundred and thirty five positions in the Primary Agriculture division will be cut with an attempt at attrition when possible.

The axe comes down at Alberta’s Agriculture Ministry

Notification letter to union opens window 
on upcoming loss of 190 positions

The province is cutting 247 jobs at Agriculture and Forestry, according to a letter sent to — and then publicly released by — the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees. The letter provides some specifics of the “phased workforce transformation,” but also notes that its plans haven’t been completely finalized. It also says cuts will be […] Read more

Kelly-Smith Fraser, Kristine Smith and Aubrey Smith Fraser (front) of Nuhaven Cattle Co. with Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen.

Alberta agriculture shines ‘during these tough times’

Government touts record crop production, rebound in cattle sector, and food processing

The provincial governments says “record crops and strengthened cattle prices are leading Alberta’s economic recovery.” “Crop yields are estimated to hit a new record high in Alberta with farmers harvesting more than seven per cent above what is normal,” the government said in a news release. “Livestock market sales are estimated to also reach a […] Read more


The redeveloped Exhibition Park in Lethbridge will include a ‘festival lawn’ on its south side. While large events can’t take place during the pandemic, the project is an example of building for the future, the government said.

Exhibition Park gets provincial funding for redevelopment

Province is putting nearly $28 million into ‘an agri-food hub’ in Lethbridge facility

As part of its economic recovery plan, the Alberta government will put $27.8 million into “an agri-food hub” at Exhibition Park in Lethbridge. The agri-food hub is part of the centre’s larger redevelopment project, and “will serve as an anchor for growth of Alberta’s value-added food sector,” the government said. “This project will bring a […] Read more

The new agency’s mandate is to focus on research that produces direct benefits for farmers.

Province announces new ag research agency

The new Results Driven Agriculture Research will fund both pure and applied research for the crop and livestock sectors in Alberta

It’s back to the future for ag research in Alberta. After holding a series of consultations across the province as well as an online survey, the provincial government has created a new organization that “takes the best parts of previous research models.” That’s a reference to two former agencies — the Alberta Livestock and Meat […] Read more


Family farms remain exempt from OHS requirements, but farmers are encouraged to consider implementing safety on their farms.

Opinion: What does Alberta’s Farm Freedom and Safety Act mean for you?

Insurance, employment standards and OHS compliance are three areas producers need to consider

Farmers, we get it. Whenever a new agriculture-specific bill is adopted, you rightfully ask, ‘How does this apply to me?’ Rarely are there easy answers, especially when they come in the form of legislation that is long, wordy, and, let’s be honest, not that fun of a read. A recent example of this is the […] Read more

Bite-sized lowdown on ag economics

New series looks at economic trends in Alberta’s agricultural and agri-food industries

Producers can turn to a new series that looks at economic trends in Alberta’s agricultural and agri-food industries. Called ‘Explained in Brief,’ the fact sheets cover topics including farm economics and cost of production, economic impacts of crop and livestock diseases, and environmental and trade issues. “Agricultural economic topics can be complex,” said provincial research […] Read more


Producers and their farm workers urged to take workplace safety survey

The new government wants views and suggestions before introducing the Farm Freedom and Safety Act

Farmers, ranchers, and their workers are being asked by the provincial government what they would like to see in new farm workplace safety legislation. The United Conservative government says it plans to introduce the Farm Freedom and Safety Act this fall “to put choice back in the hands of farmers and have legislation that reflects […] Read more

Ag societies get their funding wish

Alberta’s ag societies got their wish in last month’s provincial budget — stable funding from the province. The government pledged to give the 283 primary and seven regional agricultural societies $11.5 million per year for the next three years. “This longer-term commitment ensures that agricultural societies can plan ahead and budget for the facilities, events, […] Read more