GFM Network News


There is substantive evidence that regenerative farming is the future, as our current system will only ‘sustain’ for a short period of historical time.

Schoepp: To sustain is one thing, to regenerate is something else

Sustainable agriculture has been a step forward but it is not the end of the journey

Reading Time: 3 minutes For the past decade the focus on food and farming has been on sustainable systems. To be sustainable means to meet production needs without compromising the future, particularly our future natural resources. To farm sustainably is to ‘do no further harm’ or to maintain the current balance and to accept a level of accountability for […] Read more

Might future growth for Canada’s fruit and vegetable industries be found indoors?

Schoepp: Technology can be used to create new opportunities in Canadian agriculture

We can not only grow more veggies and fruits here, but also create new value-added sectors

Reading Time: 3 minutes Canada’s food guide encourages putting fruits and vegetables at the centre of the plate. But to do this the nation is heavily dependent on imports, particularly from California. In 2019, Canada imported US$4.3 billion of vegetables, fruits and nuts from California. In total, Canada imports nearly US$6 billion in fruits and US$4 billion in vegetables […] Read more


University of Guelph professor Evan Fraser, shown here in cartoon form discussing food security initiative “Feeding 9 Billion,” has been named co-chair of the new Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council. (Feeding9Billion.com video screengrab via YouTube)

Advisory council named to steer national Food Policy

Development of Canada’s Food Policy is taking a major step forward with the naming Friday of a new advisory council featuring industry, academic and government members tasked with guiding the policy. Public consultations on a “Food Policy for Canada” started in 2017, leading to the release of a 2018 report from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada […] Read more

There is no denying that the world remains hungry for protein, and in particular meat.

Schoepp: Who will win the battle for the plates of consumers?

The rise of meat created from plants or in a lab is a fascinating, and multi-faceted, affair

Reading Time: 3 minutes Who will win the plate on the battlefield of food animal versus plant- or cell-based meats? I have often wondered about the outcome of this raging war for the shelf, especially after I first noticed food animal companies investing in plant-based technologies. There is mounting evidence for the use of food animal over alternate meats […] Read more


And so it is with the journey as we begin another year.

Schoepp: A tedious task offers up some lessons on life

Those who came before us have given us a gift and we must preserve it for future generations

Reading Time: 3 minutes Surrounding my new rural house is a rock garden that stretches 30 metres long and is 10 metres deep. It’s steep and rugged and has not been tended to for several years. The task of pulling established grasses, invasive ground cover and weeds from this huge space seemed a monumental task. I began the process […] Read more

Big brown bats are one of nine bat species in Alberta.

The interconnections between species are deep and interwoven

COVID-19 has put bats into the spotlight, and research shows how deeply everything is connected

Reading Time: 3 minutes In the last column I introduced the concept of systems change for the benefit of human and animal health. Fortunately, there is an avenue to work with human and animal doctors, scientists and experts towards a healthy world and it is called One Health. One Health is defined as a “collaborative, multi-sectoral and transdisciplinary approach […] Read more


If COVID has taught us anything, it is the value of food and the importance of family. – Brenda Schoepp.

Reflections from a long and sorrowful drive

Those who came before us have given us a gift and we must preserve it for future generations

Reading Time: 3 minutes It was a long and sorrowful drive home in September as I travelled to say the final goodbye to my dad. He was a man of honour, integrity and faith — and will remain forever our farmer and gentleman. It is men like him who along with their partners carved out a living strictly from […] Read more

tractor on highway

This harvest, take a bit of time to do things differently

Instead of the usual go-go-go approach, think about how we can all learn to use time more wisely

Reading Time: 3 minutes I watched in horror a video on social media in which a farmer wrapped his preteen son in bale wrap. The child was in the machine! Later that week I coaxed an elderly man holding his electric saw down off a 25-foot extension ladder. At a lavender farm, I encouraged the owner to stop giving […] Read more


(Jeremy Woodhouse/DigitalVision/Getty Images Plus)

Schoepp: Pandemic an opportunity to rethink food distribution

A highly centralized food system isn't the only option; there's a place for local, too

Reading Time: 3 minutes First- and second-fiscal-quarter earnings for those selling groceries exceeded expectations as consumers stocked up during the pandemic. From small specialty stores to supermarkets, all have reported excellent profits. The idea of centralized retail grocery is relatively recent and yet most societies, regardless of global address, can now relate to shopping at a supermarket. In North […] Read more

Perhaps never before in Canadian history has there been such an awareness of the entire food system, and this is a pivotal point.

We can put food at the centre of our national economy

We have a new appreciation for food systems, and a chance to capitalize on our strengths

Reading Time: 3 minutes Nature is the great equalizer. In just three months she took the world from assured continuance along the path of globalization and commercialism to world recognition of one simple fact — we all need to eat. For many years, there have been calls to recognize the importance of agriculture. I have been in that camp, […] Read more