GFM Network News



New program focused on well-being of rural youth

4-H Canada is launching a new two-year initiative “that supports the emotional and physical well-being of rural youth across Canada.” The first year of the 4-H Canada Healthy Living Initiative, which will launch in spring, will address mental health issues faced by rural youth. “Young people living in rural and remote communities are at greater risk […] Read more


The big brown bat is one of several species found in Alberta. Although the incidence of rabies in bats is low in the province, the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association strongly recommends people have their pets vaccinated.

Rabies case in farm cat prompts vaccination warning

Two people were recently bit by a farm cat that likely contracted rabies from a bat

A rabid farm cat that bit its owner and another person has prompted the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association to warn pet owners to vaccinate against rabies. The association said the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian received notification of the positive rabies test on Nov. 13. “This nine-year-old, indoor-outdoor cat was born and lived on a […] Read more

Do More Agriculture Foundation co-founders Himanshu Singh (left), Lesley Rae Kelly (centre), and Kim Keller at FarmTech last January.

Funding offered for ‘mental health first aid’ courses in farm communities

Course teaches people how to help those suffering from depression and anxiety or contemplating suicide

A new foundation focused on promoting mental wellness for farmers is offering funding for communities willing to put on ‘mental health first aid’ workshops. The two-day course offers training on how to help “a person having a panic attack, support someone who lives with depression and anxiety, and intervene when signs of suicidal ideation are […] Read more


Do More Agriculture Foundation co-founders Himanshu Singh (left), Lesley Rae Kelly (centre), and Kim Keller launched the new mental-health focused non-profit at FarmTech in January.

‘Do More Ag’ mental health initiative for farmers receives grant

A new non-profit focused on destigmatizing mental illness in the agriculture industry and offering resources designed specifically for farmers has received a $20,000 grant from Bayer Canada. The Do More Agriculture Foundation was co-founded by Saskatchewan farmers Lesley Rae Kelly and Kim Keller earlier this year. “The support from Bayer will allow The Do More […] Read more

For farmer Sean Stanford, talking about his mental health struggles has been hard — but a necessary step toward healing.

Ag industry urged to ‘do more’ about mental health issues

New organization aims to destigmatize mental illness in the agriculture industry by getting people to talk more, ask more, and listen more

Sean Stanford thought he was going to die. It happened one week last winter, and started with a pain in his chest. A heart attack, he figured. A trip to the emergency room turned up nothing. There was nothing wrong with him. And then the pain started again, worse this time. Another trip to the […] Read more


Baljit Singh, dean of University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine, gave Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt (l) a tour of his school last month after Schmidt surprised the province’s vet community with his decision to pull funding from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

Veterinarian school funding decision creates controversy

School’s dean says it makes sense to consolidate in Calgary but association says it’s capping training in the midst of a 
vet shortage

The dean of the province’s vet school is defending the NDP government’s decision to consolidate veterinarian education in Alberta — but the association representing the profession says it’s short sighted. The province announced last month it will be pulling its $8 million in funding from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon to expand […] Read more

Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt (l) and Baljit Singh, dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary, tour the vet college’s Spy Hill campus.

Vets decry province’s plan to redirect school funding to Calgary

Province will pull funding from Saskatoon’s veterinary college to expand its Calgary counterpart

The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association says the province is making a mistake by pulling its $8 million in annual funding from the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine to expand the vet school at the University of Calgary. The association said it supports the expansion of U of C’s veterinary medicine program to […] Read more



Biosecurity proves its worth in PEDv fight

Rather than slaughter recovered pigs, authorities move them to clean barns 
and then closely monitor them

Manitoba hog producers battling porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) aren’t out of the woods yet — but the situation has shown that biosecurity measures are effective. “We had not had any positive cases since July 14, but yesterday, one infected premises was confirmed positive based on samples collected from pigs,” Manitoba’s acting chief veterinary officer […] Read more