GFM Network News


A series of floating islands in large tanks grow a variety of common wetland species to see which is most effective at removing water contaminants such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

Putting Mother Nature’s water filter to the test

It’s called phytoremediation and using native species as filters could be big for the feedlot sector

Reading Time: 3 minutes Walking through the wetlands at Olds College is an education unto itself: Native plants and trees line every path that loops around 20 constructed ponds where waterfowl swim and songbirds flit from cattail to cattail. But the wetlands are also home to something equally important — wetland research. “Managing resources like water is critical,” said […] Read more

Tailoring stewardship work to individual operations has been the key to the success of ALUS, says Vermilion-area rancher Sean McGrath, whose pilot project in 2010 created a surge of interest in the program in Alberta.

New grazing stewardship program for 6,000 Prairie acres

Program has a component to help ranchers adopt multi-paddock grazing and regenerative agriculture

Reading Time: 3 minutes After growing its acres by 20 per cent last year, ALUS has lined up two big sponsors for a new initiative called Grazing Forward that will fund stewardship projects on 6,000 acres of Prairie ranchland. “A&W Canada and Cargill will together provide $1.8 million to support ranchers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as they continue to […] Read more


The new $70-million grasslands conservation effort will allow hundreds of Prairie ranchers to do projects on their land, says Tamara Carter, a Saskatchewan producer recently hired as the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s director of prairie grassland conservation.

Grasslands conservation effort gets $70-million boost

Major grasslands initiative to fund 800 stewardship projects across the Prairies

Reading Time: 4 minutes There have been a lot of grasslands conservation efforts, but none as large as the Weston Family Prairie Grasslands Initiative. Five organizations are being given nearly $25 million by the Weston Family Foundation for what may be the largest grasslands conservation effort ever in Canada. And each of the five groups will be committing additional […] Read more

Preserving what remains of natural grasslands is a top priority for Tom Lynch-Staunton, who recently left Alberta Beef Producers to head up Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Alberta operation.

Moving from cows to conservation a natural fit

Stewardship is at the heart of both, says the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s top official in Alberta

Reading Time: 2 minutes Conservation has always been a passion for Tom Lynch-Staunton, and he’s found a new way to pursue that goal — moving from the beef sector to an environmental protection group. “I’m passionate about conservation and stewardship, that’s why I am in this role,” said Lynch-Staunton, who became the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s new Alberta vice-president […] Read more


Rod and Shelley Bradshaw, along with sons Kurt and Brent, farm near Innisfail and want to keep the quality of the land and water there high for future generations.

Stewardship projects getting ‘ticked off the to-do list’

ALUS Canada has seen a jump in interest in its conservation programs during the pandemic

Reading Time: 2 minutes The pandemic hasn’t just prompted more housebound urbanites to undertake property improvements — more farmers are also looking at conservation projects. ALUS Canada — which helps fund projects such as fencing riparian areas or protecting wildlife habitat — has seen more applications since COVID-19 struck, said Christine Campbell, ALUS Canada’s western hub manager. “We’ve actually […] Read more

The Waldron ranch is an example of how having cattle on the landscape can protect grasslands.

Conservation groups rally behind beef sector

If pandemic forces ranchers to exit sector, grasslands will suffer, say conservationists

Reading Time: 3 minutes Government needs to step up its support for the cattle sector — not just for ranchers, but to save the country’s most endangered habitat, say a coalition of conservation groups. Very little of Canada’s grasslands remain and the cattle sector is essential to preserving what’s left, conservation organizations told the federal environment minister in a […] Read more


Saving a jewel — and the setting it’s placed in

Saving a jewel — and the setting it’s placed in

Easement protects pristine valley — and the farmland above it

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s a little slice of paradise nestled in the Rosebud River Valley. Along its craggy cliffsides, golden eagles and peregrine falcons nest, while moose and deer leave their own marks on the native grassland that surrounds the river’s edge. But these lands are home to more than just the wildlife. On top of the river […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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 prefer conservation management agreements

Reading Time: < 1 minute 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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