GFM Network News


A pilot program to promote sustainable beef has convinced her family to purchase more cattle produced that way for its feedlot, said Karleen Clark 
(second from left). She operates KCL Cattle Company with (left to right) husband Jared; Tanner and Celia Granberg (Clark’s sister); and their parents 
Les and Lisa Wall.

Producers can now take beef sustainability to the bank

Raising ‘certified sustainable’ beef earns producers a premium and McDonald’s is going all in

Four years after McDonald’s chose Canada to launch its landmark sustainable beef initiative, some producers and feedlots are happily cashing cheques for participating in that effort. And while the amounts so far have been fairly small, it’s a big plus for producers, say participants. “We started on that journey because we thought it was important […] Read more

Iconic photos like this one have given Canadian beef a strong global image, and the almost completed sustainable beef program aims to back that up with hard data.

Canada ready to make ‘bold statement’ with sustainable beef program

After years of effort and unprecedented industry collaboration, 
a national sustainable beef program is poised for rollout

The long process to create a Canadian ‘sustainable beef’ program is nearing the finish line. “We will be launching in December a national framework — this is go time,” said Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, a Calgary-area rancher and chair of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. The effort to make Canada a world leader in producing cattle […] Read more


Roundtable for Sustainable Beef wants your input

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef is seeking feedback on its sustainability indicators for beef processing to ensure sustainability challenges and opportunities for this sector are addressed. The indicators reflect what will be measured to verify sustainable practices. The consultation runs until Aug. 29, and a link can be found on the home page of […] Read more

Judging from the number of calls that one Alberta rancher receives about Sussex cattle, there a lot of producers who would like to have a purebred bull like the one reporter Alexis Kienlen saw in South Africa.

There’s a lot to love about Sussex cattle — but try finding any

Sussex cattle thrive in countries as diverse as England, South Africa, and Australia, but haven’t made it to Canada

I recently toured a South African farm that is home to the country’s most highly valued Sussex bull — a beautiful stud that recently appeared on the cover of one of the nation’s leading agricultural publications. South Africa is in the worst drought in 100 years, so bad that cattle farmers in other provinces have […] Read more


The quest to find concrete ways to measure the sustainability of Canadian beef production began in 2015.

One last chance to comment on sustainable beef ‘indicators’

The indicators are ways to measure 
objects such as ecosystem health and animal welfare

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef is seeking feedback on its revised “sustainability indicators” for beef production in Canada. The indicators are ways to measure sustainability objectives — such as ecosystem health and animal health and welfare. For example, one of the objectives is to maintain or enhance grasslands, pastures, and native ecosystems. Some of […] Read more

Public comments sought on definition of ‘sustainable’ beef

Committee seeks indicators which accommodate producers, consumers and the environment

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is seeking the public’s comments on the first draft of its sustainability “indicators” for beef operations. The indicators are part of the verified sustainable beef framework the organization is developing, and reflect what will be measured in terms of sustainability on individual operations. “The CRSB has developed indicators […] Read more


At Rocky Mountain Holsteins, farm manager Ron Churchill uses genomics to develop 
elite dairy breeding stock.

The perfect cow: Two different approaches to getting the best genetics

At CL Ranch, it’s all about breeding for observable traits, 
but genomics is the foundation for Rocky Mountain Holsteins

You won’t find a single Angus cow in Cherie Copithorne-Barnes’ herd. But then again, you won’t find any other specific breeds either. “One of the philosophies that we have here at CL Ranch is we’re not breed specific — we’re trait specific,” said Copithorne-Barnes, CEO of the 23,000-acre ranch near Calgary. “We are synthetic cross-breeders, […] Read more

It could be Dawson City or Cheyenne or any Old West town. In fact, the movie set located on the sprawling CL Ranch west of Calgary has been all of those places over the past two decades.

There’s no business like show business for Calgary-area rancher

CL Ranch has played host to dozens of movies and TV shows — 
and it’s made its farm business more sustainable

Rancher Cherie Copithorne-Barnes wasn’t dreaming about being in show business when she got a strange phone call in the early 1990s. “They asked if they could come out and bring us to a spot on our land,” said Copithorne-Barnes, CEO of CL Ranch just west of Calgary. “We stood up on the hill, and they […] Read more


Cherie Copithorne-Barnes has had a front-row seat as global giants like McDonald’s and Walmart move to selling ‘sustainable’ beef.

The new world of ‘sustainable’ beef

Rancher Cherie Copithorne-Barnes has dealt with the movers and the shakers in the sustainable beef movement – and they're not all the same

Who’s driving this bus? Amid ‘grocery wars,’ Jamie Oliver, ‘hormone free,’ Walmart, and a storm of related debate, this is the core question many producers and others in animal agriculture have about the new swath of expectations and ‘sustainability’ programs taking hold in the industry and the marketplace. One person with a unique, up-close perspective […] Read more