GFM Network News


This is part of a publication on hormones put out by Alberta Beef Producers. It says, for example, that the amount of estrogen in a serving of beef is slightly less than the same-size serving of chicken or pork — and much less than a glass of beer or milk. But the message isn’t getting through to many consumers.

Even in Feedlot Alley, consumers don’t trust hormone use

The beef sector has long said hormone implants are safe, but most Lethbridge residents aren’t convinced

It’s a pretty disheartening finding: Nearly two-thirds of residents of Lethbridge — located in Feedlot Alley — oppose the use of growth hormones in cattle, according to a recent survey. “I would suspect that a lot of people don’t understand,” said Roland Cailliau, a cow-calf producer from Valleyview. “They don’t read and they don’t understand […] Read more

A new era of watchful food consumers

Consumers don’t just want to know more about how their food 
is produced — some want a very detailed report card

Last month, McDonald’s USA announced a “multi-faceted effort called ‘Our Food. Your Questions’” in which it invites people to submit their food questions via social media. “We’re proud of the food we serve our 27 million U.S. customers every day, yet we know people have unanswered questions,” said Kevin Newell, executive vice-president, chief brand and […] Read more


The success of farmers' markets brings its own set of challenges that must be addressed in order to stay sustainable.

Consumers are dissatisfied — and that’s why farmers’ markets are booming

More and more people are distrustful of big corporations, and farmers’ 
markets offer ‘food authenticity’ the big chains can’t match

As the warm weather winds down, farmers’ markets around the country are looking at yet another record season. Despite substantial food price increases in recent years, these operations, which typically sell food at a higher price, have generated more than $700 million in revenues this year in Ontario alone, and plans to open more are […] Read more

Safe transport is a key concern for consumers and the main reason for calls to the minister of agriculture.

Better animal welfare is also better for your bottom line

Consumers are beginning to demand higher animal welfare standards 
for livestock — but improving welfare isn’t ‘rocket science’

Animal welfare and beef cattle productivity are “inseparable,” says a federal research scientist. “Sick animals are not productive animals,” said Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein. “Incidences of sickness and lost performance are really heavily linked to welfare.” Stressors like castration, transportation, weaning, and handling have been linked to things like slower rate of gain, greater chance of […] Read more


Good record-keeping when treating livestock is a must

Thorough records are vital for showing that farmers are responsible stewards who follow the rules when treating livestock

In spring, cattle that seemed to be doing well all winter often become ill. Warm days and cold nights bring out the chronic conditions that were lying latent in the body. These cattle may or may not respond to medication. Old damage in the lungs or intestines may dominate or there could be resistance to […] Read more