GFM Network News


Scott and Elan Lees and their ranch managers have undertaken a host of stewardship efforts at Soderglen Ranches South.

Award-winning ranch builds conservation into its business plan

Soderglen Ranches South recognized for its environmental efforts with top stewardship award

Reading Time: 3 minutes Good stewardship is good business, say the winners of the 2021 Alberta Beef Producers Environmental Stewardship Award. “Environmental stewardship is simply a way of protecting the environment and our investment at the same time,” Elan Lees, business manager of Soderglen Ranches South, said in an email interview. “If we do it right, we may be […] 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


A canola council project looking at beneficial insects in wetlands, shelterbelts, and other insect habitats caused a Twitter firestorm when farmers thought the organization was partnering with Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Confusing canola council tweet ‘bugs’ farmers

Tweet suggested council and Ducks Unlimited were partnering in agronomy project on beneficial insects

Reading Time: 3 minutes A tweet that suggested the Canola Council of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada were working together on an agronomy project prompted a firestorm of angry comments. The tweet, posted on Feb. 1, was about a project on beneficial insects in wetlands, shelterbelts, and other insect habitats. The idea of the canola council and Ducks Unlimited […] 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


In a new documentary, Mickenzie Plemel-Stronks says grasslands are a disappearing ecosystem that urgently need to be protected — and that cattle are the way to do that.

Ducks Unlimited Canada goes all in to support cattle grazing

Conservation group wants public to know that cattle are key to saving grasslands

Reading Time: 2 minutes Even though they don’t walk like a duck or quack like one, the country’s leading duck organization is pretty fond of cows. “For years, the backbone of conservation in Western Canada has been our cattle-producing partners because of the need for them to have good grass and good water,” said Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Mickenzie Plemel-Stronks, […] Read more



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’

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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


Native grass prairies and sunset

Grants preserve grasslands and wildlife habitats

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

Reading Time: < 1 minute 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