GFM Network News


Scott Proudfoot took advantage of a forage seed rebate program to rejuvenate 
110 acres on his operation near Youngstown.

Fostering forage and grasslands in the Special Areas

The region has been hit hard by a multi-year drought so rejuvenating forage stands is a challenge

It’s a bitterly cold day with the wind blowing hard from the north and few trees to hide behind. Scott Proudfoot, though, has grown to cherish the wide-open spaces in the Special Areas of southeastern Alberta. “I’ve fallen in love with it out here. It’s one of the last places in the world you can […] Read more

Ranchers prefer conservation management agreements

Ranchers and farmers in Western Canada prefer conservation management agreements when it comes to protecting habitat, a survey of 200 producers by the University of Waterloo has found. These agreements are usually made with a conservation organization to undertake practices that benefit wildlife. Annual payments for habitat management were the preferred incentive. Market certification (having […] Read more


Ben Campbell, a rancher from Black Diamond, appears in “Guardians of the Grasslands,” which was filmed at the Waldron Ranch.

Film celebrates not just grass, but a special, overlooked habitat

Documentary shines a spotlight on grasslands and why they need to be protected and cherished

Not all superheroes wear capes — some put on work clothes and graze cows. Ranchers are the stars of a new mini-documentary called “Guardians of the Grasslands” and their mission is to protect this fast-disappearing habitat. Three-quarters of the country’s native grasslands have already been lost, and cattle are key to protecting those that remain […] Read more

Ducks Unlimited Canada sees first hand “the steps that the beef industry has taken to be a leader in sustainability,” Mickenzie Plemel-Stronks, the organization’s cattle industry liaison, said in announcing a three-year deal to work with Alberta Beef Producers on public awareness campaigns. She is pictured here with ABP’s Tom Lynch-Staunton.

Agreement shows how ‘cattle and conservation work together’

Ducks Unlimited Canada and Alberta Beef Producers to work together to raise public awareness

Ducks Unlimited Canada and Alberta Beef Producers have signed a three-year agreement to work together to “help Albertans gain a better understanding of how cattle and conservation work together.” The deal to work on joint public awareness campaigns is an acknowledgment their work on issues such as conservation, the environment and sustainable practices is complementary […] Read more


Shane and Laurel Hansen wanted to maintain a working ranch while ensuring it would be protected from development.

Preserving the land for future generations

Family wanted their operation to be a working ranch while preserving some key natural habitats

It wasn’t prime real estate a century ago, but the Hansen Ranch near Waterton Lakes National Park certainly is now. “When my family first came to this area in the 1920s, this was one of the last places people wanted to settle down,” said Shane Hansen, the third generation to work the land. “The snowfall […] Read more

Margaret and Tom Towers have been on a different path for more than three decades. Today, three other families have joined them at Tamara Ranch — pictured in this 2015 photo with the Towers are Mike Kozlowski (left) and Blake and Angela Hall (with their then-infant son Hawksley).

Land stewardship for the long term

“Regenerating the land is a step ahead of sustaining it,”
 says one Alberta producer

Tom Towers grew up on stories of plenty and lack. As a boy, his grandfather would tell him about a time when you could take a boat from the family farmstead into town — and in the next breath, about a time it was so dry, you could drop a crowbar down the cracks in […] Read more



Dylan and Colleen Biggs, along with their daughters Jocelyn (far left), Maria (centre), and Hanna (right), have carried on the family legacy of wetland conservation on TK Ranch.

Wetland conservation a ‘win-win’ in dry ranching country

Wetland conservation has changed a lot since TK Ranch began partnering with Ducks Unlimited in 1957

Making a living off the land in Special Areas No. 2 has never been an easy prospect. During the Dirty ’30s, farmers in this little pocket of southeast Alberta were among the hardest hit in the province. And in a dry year, the area isn’t much better off today. There’s very little topsoil, very little […] Read more


Stan Carscallen grew up on a ranch just south of Priddis, and as a young man rode across, and admired, the White Moose Ranch.

Easement creates ‘massive block’ of protected land

Preserved area of White Moose and OH ranches 10 kilometres long and nearly as wide

It’s the fulfilment of a long-term dream for rancher Stan Carscallen. “From the day our White Moose Ranch first acquired this breathtaking property in 1992, I knew that we needed to find a way to preserve it in its natural state,” said Carscallen. “We share a three-mile boundary on our south side with the OH […] Read more