GFM Network News


‘For years, I have written every minister of agriculture, education, and health — asking them to make farm safety education part of the elementary health and safety curriculum. Not one has shown any interest.’ – Marion Leithead

Opinion: An open letter to Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen

To be effective, farm safety education must be part of the regular curriculum in elementary schools

Following your appointment as Alberta’s agriculture minister, you were praised for being “smart, grounded, and ‘a stand-up guy.’” Let’s hope everything I’ve read about you will prove true. But based on past experience, I am somewhat cynical, as I have asked your predecessors to take action on embedding effective farm safety within the elementary curricula… […] Read more

When we rush to help, we can put ourselves at risk

When livestock get into trouble, we need to consider how quickly a rescue mission can go wrong


The abundance of new life on the farm at this time of the year leads to a lot of antics on the part of animals. It is wonderful to watch the babies get busy with play we call ‘horsing around.’ Calves and foals are romping, the first chicks are peeping, the piglets are squealing. Big […] Read more


Safety Day events have taught tens of thousands of children about the hazards and risks associated with farming and rural life.

Get a grant to hold a Safety Day event

There’s still time to apply for funding to put on a Safety Day event this year for children in your area. Each year, communities across Canada host Safety Day events — reaching approximately 17,000 young people annually. Participants learn about the hazards and risks associated with farming and rural life. The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association […] Read more

Safety improvements for bins was one of the biggest expenses at Will Farms, but the cost was covered by a provincial grant.

Safety is the new norm at Will Farms

Elaine Bellamy says not having a farm 
safety plan is a risk you simply can’t afford

Elaine Bellamy suspected she had her work cut out for her when the provincial government announced its plans to improve farm safety in the fall of 2015. So in January 2016, just as the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act was coming into effect, Bellamy attended a workshop on creating a farm safety […] Read more


The anhydrous ammonia training video offers step-by-step instructions on hooking up and disconnecting a nurse tank.

Online training for safe handling of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer

The popular fertilizer is a toxic and highly corrosive gas that needs to be treated with great care

Farmers can renew their training on the safe handling and use of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer through a newly updated safety manual and video put out by Fertilizer Canada. Anhydrous ammonia is classified as a dangerous good under federal regulations. It bears the number 2.3 (8) — 2.3 means it’s a toxic gas while the (8) […] Read more

Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services prepares for BeGrainSafe training and demonstrations in 
Rocky Mountain House this summer.

Grain entrapment danger hits home in Clearwater County

Recent open house offered a chance for the public to learn more about the risks of grain entrapment

It’s often said that to encourage change, you need to lead by example. And for the fire department in Clearwater County, it’s a premise that’s not only valued but also practised. “Whenever we get an opportunity to educate and engage with the public as a fire department, we always take it because it is our […] Read more


If it’s daylight and a rural resident comes along, things will probably be fine. But you can’t always avoid evening and night moves — nor can you count on drivers knowing how to safely approach farm equipment.

Big equipment and rural roads aren’t a great match

You can’t shrink your equipment but you can reduce the risk of a collision

When it comes to transporting agricultural equipment, bigger almost never means better. After all, equipment is getting larger but roads are staying the same size. There are also fewer drivers on the road who know how to respect and respond to these large, slow-moving vehicles. It’s a potentially fatal cocktail and farmers are getting worried. […] Read more

AgSafe Alberta has a series of guides to help producers review hazards on their farm and start dealing with them.

Safety is getting its turn in the spotlight

With new workplace regs in effect, there’s a lineup of producers wanting to make their farms safer

After a bit of a slow start, farmers are increasingly turning to AgSafe Alberta for help in reducing the risk of an accident on their operation. “It’s actually really busy — it’s gone from being very quiet to a wave,” said Jody Wacowich, the executive director of the non-profit society created by farm groups in […] Read more


The number of farm fatalities is going down, but much of that is due to safer equipment. And experts say 
the danger is increasing as aging boomers continue to farm, often using older, less safe equipment.

Canadian farms are getting safer — but not fast enough

Safer machinery is saving lives, but farms remain dangerous places to work, says expert

Farms across Canada are becoming safer, but danger still abounds. “We are seeing fewer entanglement injuries and fewer deaths from rollovers — that’s where the big gains are on the technology and engineering side,” said Don Voaklander, director of the University of Alberta’s Injury Prevention Centre. “The other stuff is kind of the same. Falls […] Read more

A culture of safety and wellness applies not only to you, but your farm team as well.

Does your farm have a ‘safety helmet?’ It should

Taking a few simple steps can create an awareness of safety that is vital on every farm

Under a perfect fall sky, my grandson and I zigzagged the streets and zipped down back alleys of Montreal to the skate park. As I watched my grandson, his seven-year-old bravado struck me. It was a side of this sensitive boy that I had not seen so boldly displayed before. Confident and courageous, he jumped, […] Read more