GFM Network News


Tracking beef produced under sustainable beef protocols from ranches all the way to a store or restaurant is a big undertaking. VBP+ 
is using government grants to make its part of the tracking system more streamlined and cost-effective.

Sustainable beef pilot moving up to the next level

With more than a thousand ranchers and feedlots on board, the challenge is making the operation itself sustainable


A shot of federal funding for Verified Beef Production Plus will help make the running of the sustainable beef program itself more sustainable — while improving it for participating producers. The $602,000 federal grant will help the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot take a step up and become an ongoing program, said Shannon Argent, business manager […] Read more




Cattle traceability to pay off in Cargill pilot

UPDATED, Nov. 2 — A pilot program running through one of Canada’s biggest beef packing plants aims to test systems that can show consumers the exact path of their beef from ranch to restaurant — and reward cattle producers for their trouble. Cargill on Wednesday announced a new year-long Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration pilot, with […] Read more


BIXS launches buying club

The Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) has launched a buying club for those enrolled in its data collection system. The club will offer producers “deep discounts from retail partners,” said BIXS president and CEO Hubert Lau. There’s a $50 annual fee for joining the club but it’s not charged until a participant’s savings have reached $100, […] Read more

Database follows the money to the packing plant

Study of carcass data shows cattle from an elite breeding program were worth more than $200 a head than the average calf

Sharing data through the entire beef chain adds value that can translate to economic gains — although how much of that might go to cattle producers is a question yet to be answered. McDonald’s Canada, Beefbooster, and BIXSco — the company now running the Beef InfoXchange System — recently collaborated with Livestock Gentec to analyze […] Read more


Cargill to supply Alberta carcass data to BIXS

One of Canada’s biggest beef packers is set to supply the specs on beef carcasses processed at its Alberta plant to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s (CCA) BIXS information-sharing system. Cargill and BIXSCo, the CCA-backed operators of BIXS (Beef InfoXchange System), announced Thursday that the multinational agrifood firm will provide its past three years of beef […] Read more

The nitty-gritty of becoming a ‘verified sustainable’ beef producer

Alberta Beef Producers chair Greg Bowie, who was verified in May, explains what’s involved

Thinking of becoming a producer of ‘verified sustainable beef,’ but wondering just what it involves? There are 31 indicators (available at vsbpilot.ca) that cow-calf producers must meet to qualify for McDonald’s program — and at first glance, it can all seem overwhelming. But it’s actually not that challenging, says Greg Bowie, a seedstock producer from […] Read more


There are now genetic markers for traits such as feed efficiency, fertility, meat quality, and temperament.

Genomics proving its worth for purebred cattle

Genomically enhanced selection is catching on with purebred producers, but crossbreds pose more of a challenge

Purebred cattle have a leg up on their crossbred cousins — at least as far as genomics is concerned. “The purebred industries are the ones that are really using genomically enhanced selection indexes,” said Dawn Trautman, technology translator at Livestock Gentec. “In the purebred industry, you can get validated markers a lot faster because you’re […] Read more

“The effects would be huge for the industry if we did not use antimicrobials,” feedlot manager Bryan Thiessen says in a new video from the Beef Cattle Research Council.

Antimicrobial use could be slashed, say experts

Simple management changes, like pre-weaning vaccinations, can greatly increase immunity in cattle

The livestock sector could significantly reduce and in some cases, eliminate, antimicrobial use with simple changes in management practices, say veterinarians. And that would reduce the threat of antimicrobial resistance and boost consumer confidence in the cattle industry. “The key is to have animals that are properly vaccinated,” said Craig Dorin of Veterinary Agri-Health Services. […] Read more