GFM Network News


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



A small conflict offers some larger lessons on finding solutions

The story of Sarah and Tom shows how easy it is for battle 
lines to be drawn and how they can be avoided

Sarah was mad at Tom for spending money on a new gun. She has been trying to manage on a tight budget for years and the kids needed new school boots with a long, wet spring just around the corner. Tom argued the money came from the portion of the budget they could both dip […] Read more


Farming is not a one-size-fits-all business

There is room for organic, conventional, and GM technology because each of them offers different benefits

I continue to witness arguments over different methods of farming. But considering the variety of farms around the world, and that most of them are very small compared to the Canadian average, combative conversation is really rather unwarranted and, in many cases, an uneducated dialogue. When one disparages farms that are organic or ones that […] Read more

Give yourself the gifts that make life so much better

These eight gifts can’t be bought, but are more precious than anything offered in any store

Encouragement is a much appreciated gift, and I have the pleasure of sharing this with young men and women around the world. From the farm in South Africa to the apple grove in Holland; from the backyard farm in the Philippines to the grain farm in Saskatchewan; and all places in between, there are passionate […] Read more