GFM Network News


Big brown bats are one of nine bat species in Alberta.

The interconnections between species are deep and interwoven

COVID-19 has put bats into the spotlight, and research shows how deeply everything is connected

Reading Time: 3 minutes In the last column I introduced the concept of systems change for the benefit of human and animal health. Fortunately, there is an avenue to work with human and animal doctors, scientists and experts towards a healthy world and it is called One Health. One Health is defined as a “collaborative, multi-sectoral and transdisciplinary approach […] Read more



(Agr.gc.ca/eng/youth-in-agriculture)

Agricultural Youth Council members introduced

Jobs for next generation also come online

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has named the 25 young people chosen to sit on the inaugural Canadian Agricultural Youth Council. Members of the council (see list below) are expected to offer suggestions on government priorities and identify problems and solutions for Bibeau. “That was quite a challenge actually, because we received over 800 candidates,” Bibeau […] Read more

Update your emergency plan and consider a wide range of ‘what-if’ scenarios, says Rebecca Husted, an expert in emergency planning for livestock. (Supplied photo)

Ahead of any emergency, plan for the worst

Disaster planning is not a pleasant task but it's vital that producers have a plan, expert says

Identify your resources and review your plan, says an expert in emergency planning for livestock. The COVID-19 pandemic is a very different type of emergency, said Rebecca Husted, a teacher of technical large animal emergency rescue. “Most disasters like fires and floods have people moving around, but in COVID-19, people are not supposed to move […] Read more


Added costs are the last thing farmers need after a hard year, says one farm group leader.

Lift carbon tax on grain drying, say farm groups

Fuels used for drying grain have not been exempted from the federal carbon tax

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farm groups have fired off urgent appeals for government financial help for producers struggling with a weather-disrupted harvest made worse by the imposition of the federal carbon tax on fuel used to dry grain. A coalition of Alberta commodity groups as well as the Grain Farmers of Ontario sent requests directly to Prime Minister Justin […] Read more

The government plans to cut its overall spending by $1.3 billion over four years.

First UCP provincial budget cuts agriculture spending

Government forecasts $34-million drop in ag research funding over four years

Reading Time: 3 minutes Government-led agricultural research will face cuts under the United Conservatives’ new provincial budget. The budget, released Oct. 24, will slash spending in the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry by $88 million, dropping the department’s budget from $987 million in 2018-19 to $879 million in 2019-20. Within the department, the primary agriculture division — which manages research […] Read more


Hauling grain to an elevator shouldn’t require weeks of overly onerous and expensive training, say some in the ag sector. But families of those killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash say government shouldn’t compromise when it comes to saving lives.

Province eases up on new Class 1 licensing rules but controversy persists

The Humboldt bus crash has thrust training of semi drivers into question but there’s no easy fix

Reading Time: 4 minutes The province is exempting drivers who recently sought to obtain a Class 1 licence from costly new training requirements — but the controversial issue is far from settled. “It’s kind of nice that they’re relaxing it for a few people — I hope they have more coming,” said Kendall Bevans, a Cardston-area farmer who has […] Read more



With winter coming to an end, rail service should improve — but that will come too late for farmers needing cash before seeding.

Farm leaders again ask government to act

But with spring road bans and seeding season approaching, any moves are likely ‘too little, too late’

Reading Time: 3 minutes “Too little too late.” That comment from the president of the Grain Growers of Canada likely sums it up for many producers across the Prairies. “While western grain farmers are pleased to see that the government and railways have recognized the negative impact that poor rail service is having on farmers, it shouldn’t take a […] Read more

Fund set up for family of James Hargrave

Reading Time: < 1 minute A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family of rancher James Hargrave, who died in a vehicle crash while helping to fight wildfires along the Alberta/Saskatchewan border. Hargrave, 34, was chairman of the Alberta Grazing Leaseholders Association and first vice-president of the Western Stock Growers Association. The Walsh-area rancher “was community minded […] Read more