GFM Network News


Too often, people view inquiry or asking for opinions or solutions as weak.

We’re often afraid to ask questions, but it’s a key skill

Being curious and asking lots of questions is a good thing but for some reason, we tend to hold back

The little boy was curious and always asking questions. Over and over again he would ask his increasingly impatient mother why, how come, how far, how long, when, where and what. But his grandfather would gently smile and say, ‘That is a wise boy; for you are only one question away from being a better […] Read more

Many immigrants are trying to escape conflicts they did not start and never wanted.

Conflict drives them from home, but hope is what they bring

Many of our newcomers had to flee their own country and they value the peace and opportunity they find here 


While walking on the path, I met a group of students working on an outdoor assignment, enjoying the activity and chatting away. I love to find out the story behind people — starting with a joyous welcome to Canada and asking the inevitable question, ‘Where are you from?’ In this group there were people from […] Read more


'When I felt alone, it was because I did not know how to let the fellowship and love of others in so that I could feel profound joy.' – Brenda Schoepp

Getting past the walls that we build around ourselves

Our lives change in profound ways when we reach out to others — and let them reach out to us

I am flipping through the photos of this past year. It has been an amazing time for me. Blessed at every juncture, I have been filled with light and love and pure joy. Despite huge and heartbreaking challenges, each day was worthy of this page, each moment a cherished memory. It was a lovely meshing […] Read more



Stacey Simpson (left) and Brenda Schoepp are the 2019 recipients of 
Alberta Farm Animal Care’s awards of distinction.

Animal welfare advocates honoured

Alberta Farmer columnist Brenda Schoepp and beef producer Stacey Simpson are the recipients of the Alberta Farm Animal Care’s awards of distinction for 2019. The awards recognize individuals or groups who have made exceptional contributions in the field of livestock welfare, and who champion best practices and innovative ideas. Schoepp received the award for communication […] Read more

I have been blessed in the company of rural women

Rural women look to each other for help, inspiration, and empowerment

Perfect winter travelling weather on rural Alberta roads led me in November to the village of Plamondon. It might be a small place but her heart is huge, and it was a joy to laugh, cry, and simply ‘be with’ the more than 200 women in attendance. These days are gifts to me. To be […] Read more


There is common ground that bridges the urban-rural divide

A visit to a country fair — or the local elevator or feed store — is a chance for those conversations that bind us

“Oh, that is so cool,” the young woman exclaimed as she touched the cow on display at the local fair. Another man was blown away by the use of shampoo and conditioner on show cattle while yet another adult just kept saying, “Isn’t this amazing,” as she looked in the dewy eyes of a bovine […] Read more

Brenda Schoepp (l) and Jennifer Blair each took home an award at the recent Canadian Farm Writers Federation conference.

Double win for Alberta Farmer writers

Alberta Farmer columnist Brenda Schoepp and reporter Jennifer Blair have been honoured at the country’s premier agricultural journalism awards program. Schoepp won silver in the Press Column category for Temper Tantrums: There’s way too much drama on some farms, which ran in the Nov. 6, 2017 edition of the paper. Blair, a multiple past winner, […] Read more


Writing the story of our lives — one line at a time

There are different ways to view our lives, and the story we create from experiences, emotions, trials, and joy

We are born with an amazing curiosity that is exemplified in the child’s constant quest for the answer to why. Why does the water run that way? Why do I need to wear shoes? Later in life the questions get deeper and more worrisome as they move away from a sense of wonderment to one […] Read more

Communities are strong when their citizens are empowered

A strong leader is not enough — everyone needs to be involved and informed for communities to thrive

Community development is more than economic or social projects. It is the empowerment of people so they have resilience when faced with change and challenge. After completing my courses on rural community development with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations, I thought about what resilience might mean and how we can […] Read more