GFM Network News


Percentage of average precipitation in Western Canada for the 90 days ending April 5, 2021. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada map)

Manitoba forage, grassland growers burned by drought

MarketsFarm — An ongoing lack of precipitation, which is showing no signs of letting up in the coming months according to weather forecasts, is already causing problems for Manitoba’s forage and grasslands. Growers in the province have had to deal with three straight years with lower-than-normal precipitation. In 2019, multiple rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Parkland […] Read more

(File photo by Allan Dawson)

Beef sector aims for new 2030 targets

Organizations involved in Canada's National Beef Strategy have announced new goals for the beef sector for the next decade

The Canadian beef industry has new benchmarks to reach for in the next decade. The organizations involved in Canada’s National Beef Strategy — the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canada Beef Breeds Council, Beef Cattle Research Council, Canada Beef, The National Cattle Feeders’ Association, Canadian Meat Council and Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef have announced new 2030 […] 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

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

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



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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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


Gottlob Schmidt stands by the sign installed at the gate to his property. The 90-year-old Schmidt donated his farm to the province and it will become Alberta’s 76th provincial park.

Rancher’s generous donation is a gift for all Albertans

Reading Time: 2 minutes Gottlob Schmidt had a dream of preserving the land that he has spent so much time on. And the realization of that dream will benefit all Albertans with the creation of the province’s 76th provincial park. “It has always been my wish that someday I could leave this land to someone else,” said the 90-year-old […] Read more

horse and grasses

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


Reading Time: 4 minutes 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