GFM Network News


There is a lot of solid information to show consumers about the beef industry’s environmental footprint, but getting it to them is a challenge.

Beef sector redoubles its efforts to reach out to consumers

The goal is to use solid data and offer to the public in easy-to-digest ‘packages’

A new Beef Cattle Research Council article making the case that beef production uses water efficiently is the latest example of a renewed effort to reach out to consumers. The industry has recognized there is “a gap on the consumer communication side and somebody needed to do something,” said Reynold Bergen, the council’s science director. […] 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


Grants preserve grasslands and wildlife habitats

Provincial funding funds conservation easements to protect 13,000 acres from development

The Alberta Land Trust Grant Program is giving more than $7 million to support 24 different projects that will conserve 13,000 acres of private land containing watersheds, grasslands and wildlife habitats. The grants will support projects by the Alberta Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Legacy Land Trust Society, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the […] Read more



Ducks Unlimited Canada conservation specialist Bryon Wolters points out the benefits of conservation easements to provincial policy specialist Warren Robb (right) and farmer Shawn Jacula (centre) at a real estate workshop this fall.

This ain’t your grandad’s conservation easement

Easements are changing with the times, making it less restrictive for producers to protect their wetlands

Producers can find the right buyers for their marginal lands — if they know where to look. “There is a market out there now for some of these parcels of land that producers might have a hard time off-loading because they’re wet,” said Warren Robb, provincial policy specialist at Ducks Unlimited Canada. And his organization […] Read more

The high demand for forages is seeing many producers convert cropland to pasture.

Cropland conversion program seeing increased uptake

Program gives rebates on Proven Seed forages for producers putting cropland into grass

There’s increased interest in a program that offers producers a price break when converting cropland to forages, says Ducks Unlimited Canada. “Declining prices for wheat and other cereal crops, as well as a simultaneous increase in beef prices, are leading many landowners to seriously consider the move to increase their cattle herd,” said Craig Bishop, […] Read more


Ducks Unlimited shifts forage incentive for Manitoba

A program encouraging Prairie farmers to improve waterfowl habitat by flipping cropland into hayland or pasture will continue the same this spring, except in Manitoba. The DUC/CPS forage program, offered by Ducks Unlimited Canada and Crop Production Services (CPS) Canada, will still see growers in Saskatchewan and Alberta get a rebate of $100 for each […] Read more

Western Winter Wheat Initiative gets $1-million boost

Winter wheat in Western Canada is getting a boost thanks to The Mosaic Company Foundation, the newest member of the Western Winter Wheat Initiative. The foundation is giving the initiative $1 million over the next three years. “Now that The Mosaic Company Foundation is on board, we are able to continue supporting the growth of […] Read more


Barry and Charmaine Ronsko have restored wetlands on one quarter and purchased 
two others under another restoration program.

Making it better when it is wetter — and when it’s dry, too

Ducks Unlimited has two wetlands restoration programs drawing on $31 million in provincial funding

Whether floods in 2013 or drought this year, extreme weather has taken its toll on producers throughout Alberta in recent years. The good news is Mother Nature can help with that. And the provincial government is also chipping in, with $31 million in funding over three years to encourage farmers and other rural landowners to […] Read more

The Nose Creek watershed project is aimed at creating a new model for wetland restoration, says Shari Clare, shown here conducting a wetland fish survey using minnow traps.

What’s it worth? New project aims to nail down the value of wetlands

Innovative new project features a reverse auction in which producers ‘bid’ on the compensation they’d want for giving up acres

Wetlands often present a difficult choice for producers — keep them for their environmental value or drain them for the sake of the bottom line. Until recently, converting wetlands to croppable land was commonplace, and even encouraged by government projects that paid farmers to drain them. Wetlands advocates know it will take compensation to reverse […] Read more