GFM Network News


Feds announce tax support for cattle producers

Measures will assist those hit by bovine TB outbreak and in areas affected by drought

Alberta and Saskatchewan cattle producers affected by bovine TB outbreak in 2016 and this year will receive additional tax relief. Farmers who received compensation under the Health of Animals Act from livestock destroyed due to the bovine tuberculosis outbreak in 2016 and 2017 in Alberta and Saskatchewan are eligible for livestock tax deferral provisions. These allow them to defer a […] Read more

When the herd is a province away, you need reliable water

Beiseker rancher has solar waterer for 100 cow-calf pairs he grazes across the Saskatchewan border

The phrase ‘remote watering’ takes on a new meaning on Duane Kent’s farm. Kent lives in Beiseker (northeast of Calgary) but also has a four-quarter pasture more than 500 kilometres away in Biggar, Sask. The site has no natural surface water and it would cost $30,000 to bring in electrical power. So he relies on […] Read more


Baljit Singh, dean of University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine, gave Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt (l) a tour of his school last month after Schmidt surprised the province’s vet community with his decision to pull funding from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

Veterinarian school funding decision creates controversy

School’s dean says it makes sense to consolidate in Calgary but association says it’s capping training in the midst of a 
vet shortage

The dean of the province’s vet school is defending the NDP government’s decision to consolidate veterinarian education in Alberta — but the association representing the profession says it’s short sighted. The province announced last month it will be pulling its $8 million in funding from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon to expand […] Read more

Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt (l) and Baljit Singh, dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary, tour the vet college’s Spy Hill campus.

Vets decry province’s plan to redirect school funding to Calgary

Province will pull funding from Saskatoon’s veterinary college to expand its Calgary counterpart

The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association says the province is making a mistake by pulling its $8 million in annual funding from the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine to expand the vet school at the University of Calgary. The association said it supports the expansion of U of C’s veterinary medicine program to […] Read more


Alberta cattle numbers are no longer falling — but herds are on the move

Some counties are seeing a major increase due to bigger herds, but crops are replacing cattle in other areas

While the Alberta cow herd has stopped shrinking, it has not yet rebounded. “The positive returns for the cow-calf producers over the last few years indicate the Alberta cow herd has finally stopped shrinking,” said Herman Simons, a farm business management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “In fact, the total beef cow numbers for […] Read more

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies so far this growing season (April 1 to Aug. 27). You can see just how dry it has been this year across the southern and central Prairies. A large part of this region has seen less than 250 millimetres over this five-month period, with large parts of Saskatchewan and southwestern Alberta seeing less than 200 millimetres. The only ‘wet’ area is in northwestern Saskatchewan and 
north-central Alberta where precipitation amounts are in the 400- to 500-millimetre range.

There are extreme rains, and then the deluge caused by Harvey

Some parts of Texas received more rain in 24 hours than 
Prairie centres have seen in their wettest-ever month


As fairly quiet weather continues across the Prairies, the big weather story recently has been Hurricane Harvey, which came ashore in Texas late on Aug. 26. Harvey rapidly strengthened in the 12-hour period leading up to landfall and came ashore as a borderline Category 4 hurricane, with top winds of 210 kilometres per hour. It wasn’t […] Read more


‘Public trust’ conference aims to find ways to win back consumers

The popularity of campaigns attacking conventional agriculture shows that the industry needs to do more, says organizer

Public trust is eroding in Canada, and farmers — along with others in the value chain — need to fight back, says the head of a new ag organization aimed at winning back confused consumers. “The whole industry needs to know a whole bunch more about consumers,” said Kim McConnell, an Okotoks-based marketing expert and […] Read more