GFM Network News


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

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

The 47,000-acre Deer Creek Livestock ranch is this year’s winner of Alberta Beef Producers’ environmental stewardship award.

Making environmental stewardship pay in many different ways

Environmental stewardship award honours southern Alberta ranchers who pride themselves on conservation

Deer Creek Livestock Co.’s land has changed a lot in the past nine years as the grassland has improved, the wildlife has increased, and the stocking rates have gone up. It’s the combination of improving both productivity and the environment in tandem that earned the operation the 2020 Environmental Stewardship award from the Alberta Beef […] 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

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



Grassland bird species provide a lot of value to livestock producers, say grassland habitat experts Curtis Hullick (left) and Christian Artuso.

The birds and the beef: The facts of grasslands conservation

Grassland bird populations down dramatically, but farmers often don’t appreciate their value

Birds are struggling to survive on Prairie grasslands — but they’re not the only ones in trouble. “The biggest species at risk in Manitoba is beef producers,” said Curtis Hullick, field manager for the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. “It’s important to have large blocks of habitat for the birds. But with the economic pressures of […] Read more

Barring serious rainfall soon, custom grazer Dale Engstrom warns, producers may need to make tough decisions about destocking.

‘Baby’ those pastures in a drought year

Grazers hit hard by last year’s drought could be in for another difficult year. “Hopefully this is not setting up to be a 2002 year, but it certainly looks and feels like that,” said Ed Bork, a rangeland ecology and management researcher at the University of Alberta. “That can change in the matter of a […] Read more



A south-facing hill that is nutrient deprived, and the same hill after a few years of manure from rolling feed out.


The third farm and a new set of challenges to overcome

The goal to quadruple carrying capacity in as many years was achieved, but soil building is ongoing


It was a dry year and the grasshoppers on our new farm were the size of jackknives. The carrying capacity was terribly compromised and the fact that sheep once prevailed was evident in the close-clipped grass. I found it a terrific challenge. Turns out this area north of Rimbey is great for rain and so […] Read more


“The Conservation Caravan” team travelled to five southern Alberta ranches to speak to producers about sustainability and stewardship.  Photo: courtesy Operation Grassland Community

Grassland preservation group takes message of rural stewardship to urbanites

Five southern Alberta ranches featured in stewardship and sustainability video

Anew initiative is trying to show urbanities that grasslands are pretty cool, and running cattle on them is a good thing. “The Conservation Caravan” is a short film featuring producers from five southern Alberta ranches who talk about sustainability, land use and the importance of good stewardship. Operation Grassland Community is behind the film and […] Read more