GFM Network News


SAIT researcher Glen Kathler applies an RFID-enabled ear tag at 
CL Ranches west of Calgary.

High-frequency tags: Easier data reading, happier cattle

Next generation of RFID readers can read cattle tags without having to use a squeeze chute

Using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track and collect information on cattle is fast becoming standard practice. However, the process can be painfully slow and inefficient. But researchers may have found a way to change that. A three-year project conducted by SAIT’s Glen Kathler tested the ability of ultra-high-frequency RFID tag readers to process […] Read more

Dave Chalack, board chair of ALMA, praised the agency’s staff and efforts at the agency’s last FutureFare.

ALMA reaches the end of the road

The agency’s eight-year legacy was celebrated, and future plans outlined at its last FutureFare conference

The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency held a final meeting cum celebration before its dissolution at the end of October. “It’s been a heck of a ride. This is emotional,” ALMA board chair Dave Chalack said to an audience of about 260 industry partners, board directors, and staff at the agency’s last FutureFare conference. The […] Read more


Is scrapping ALMA a mistake?

The dissolution of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency in last month’s provincial budget may be a step backward for Alberta’s agri-food processing industry. “I know ALMA was able to move fairly quickly in terms of responding to both opportunities and concerns and really apply resources in a very forthright fashion because of the way […] Read more

ALMA still taking proposals

The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency will soon disappear but the organization is still taking funding applications from businesses, researchers, and others in the industry “With our budget of $24 million, we encourage industry to continue submitting proposals and applications directly to ALMA throughout the transition,” president and CEO Gordon Cove said in a news […] Read more


Research on antimicrobial use and resistance to be funded

A total of $1.5 million available for 
projects that reduce antimicrobial use 
or combat resistance

Alberta Beef Producers and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency are seeking research proposals focused on antimicrobial use and resistance. The two organizations will be awarding $1.5 million in grants for research in the following areas: Identify and/or develop practical and economically viable modifications to current beef production practices that reduce the need for non-ionophore […] Read more

ALMA a casualty of provincial government cuts

Agency has proved 
its worth, industry leaders say

The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency is being dissolved — and its demise is being mourned by many in the industry. “We were surprised and disappointed,” said Dave Chalack, a rancher and veterinarian who is chair of ALMA’s board. “I know we had a great organization and one that has evolved in a significant and […] Read more


Two newly tagged cattle walk under an archway equipped with ultra-high-frequency RFID readers that record their data during field testing with SAIT RADLab industry partner CL Ranches.

Taking cattle tag reading to the next level

Forget reading one tag at a time, this technology can track every member of a herd going down an alley at once

Cattle producers could save themselves a fair bit of time and money — if they’re willing to make the shift from standard low-frequency RFID tags to a new ultra-high-frequency alternative. “The typical button tag has been around for a long time and works very well, but it’s in a low-frequency spectrum and the read range […] Read more

Using genomics to improve cattle

Delta Genomics is working with multiple industry groups on an initiative to make SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) panels more flexible, affordable, and less time consuming, without compromising accuracy. The panels are used to identify animal traits like feed efficiency and carcass quality. Eight partners are now using SNP technology for parentage on a regular basis, […] Read more


Hog producers aren’t planning on expanding their herds for at least another five years, says a new report.

Hog and cattle expansion will be slow

New report says both cattle and hog producers ‘cautious’ about expanding

A new report from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) says the cattle and hog sectors face challenges, but their economic prospects over the next decade ARE positive. The report predicts there will be a modest increase in the provincial cattle herd, partly because producers are “cautious” about additional investments. “The rapid improvement in […] Read more

Funding for forage research

Call for forage research proposals with $1 million in funding available

Alberta Beef Producers and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency have put out a call for forage research proposals, with $1 million in funding available. “Forage is the key driver of Alberta’s cattle industry competitiveness, accounting for two-thirds of costs,” Alberta Beef Producers said in a statement. The priority research areas eligible for funding are: […] Read more