GFM Network News


The benefits that cattle provide the 
environment and the health benefits 
of beef need to be promoted, Ryley 
Mappin says in his prizewinning speech.

We need to let people know that raising cattle is a good thing

Junior winner in Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition wants to 'bust a myth'

Ryley Mappin, 14, of Byemoor was the junior winner in the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition at the Calgary Stampede. He chose the topic: ‘Bust a myth in Canadian agriculture.’ “Oh give me a home, where the buffaloes roam, Where the deer and the antelope play,     Where seldom is heard, a discouraging […] Read more

Fish habitat clause sent swimming

Senate amendments to the recently passed Fisheries Act repealed the ‘Deeming Habitat’ provision opposed by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. The provision would have greatly expanded what could be deemed fish habitat to include any watercourse or water body with water flows able to sustain fish ecosystems.  It would have meant virtually all water bodies could […] Read more


The release of carbon dioxide is increasing in tandem with a wide number of other human activities and there is little evidence that agriculture is a major culprit.

Many sources of greenhouse gases are being ignored

Agriculture is singled out while major contributors receive little or no attention in climate change debate

As the discussion on climate change heats up, I find myself defaulting to facts that may surprise you. Climate change is not a new phenomenon. The definition is basically changes in wind patterns, temperature and precipitation that stretches over several decades. With that definition in mind, climate change has been an ongoing challenge for farmers […] Read more

A year ago, ALUS Canada invited officials from Alberta’s Agriculture and Environment ministries, and stewardship groups to Parkland County to see four flood and drought mitigation projects covering 650 acres — work funded by a $720,000 provincial grant. Last month, Manitoba raised the bar on funding this sort of work by setting up a $52-million endowment fund.

Manitoba puts $52 million in stewardship program — should Alberta be next?

More government funds for farms providing eco-services would be welcomed here — and put to good use

Is the idea of paying farmers for ‘ecological services’ finally ready for prime time? The Manitoba government is winning praise for setting up a $52-million endowment fund to create a province-wide version of a program that pays farmers for stewardship efforts such as protecting riparian areas and habitat restoration. The program will be based on […] 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

A drop in agriculture’s contribution to the economy was largely attributed to poor weather.

Agriculture continues to boost Alberta economy

Primary agriculture along with food and beverage manufacturing pumped $8.5 billion into Alberta’s economy in 2018, but was little changed from a year earlier. The GDP for the province’s primary agriculture industry declined 3.3 per cent to $5.2 billion, while food and beverage manufacturing rose 3.3 per cent to $3.4 billion in 2018, said Jean […] 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

Smoke from wildfires can definitely delay plant growth but the precise effect on crops and pastures is largely unknown because very little research has been done.

Impact of smoke on crops is more than a little hazy

Field crops are impacted but the science is scarce and the subject is very complex, say experts

After watching smoke choke the skies over their fields for three years running, producers in Alberta are increasingly asking what effect it’s all having on their crops. But unfortunately, little research has been done on the phenomenon. “It is so plant and environment specific,” said Jeremy Boychyn, research extension agronomist with Alberta Barley and Alberta […] Read more


This is just a tiny fraction of the 126 million plastic jugs that have been collected by Cleanfarms and recycled.

Cleanfarms raises the bar on recycling of ag containers

The stewardship organization wants to recycle 100 per cent of agricultural plastic jugs this year

In the three decades since Cleanfarms began collecting agricultural plastic containers, about 126 million plastic jugs have been recycled into new products instead of being disposed in landfills. The voluntary stewardship program in Prairie communities currently recovers about 65 per cent of the smaller plastic containers (23 litres or smaller) that are placed on the […] Read more

Officials check on a flooded home in the Constance Bay area in Ottawa on April 26. A grant of nearly $250,000 from the Intact Foundation for a quartet of flood mitigation projects was announced as communities in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick were battling devastating floods.

Farmers in three provinces tapped to help reduce flood risk

A $250,000 investment will see 46 farmers establish and maintain 365 acres of wetland projects

New funding for an innovative conservation program could help reduce flood risk in Alberta’s largest city. The charitable arm of Intact Financial Corporation — the country’s largest provider of property and casualty insurance — is giving nearly $250,000 in funding for ALUS Canada to develop natural infrastructure projects in four communities across Canada, including two […] Read more