GFM Network News


Odette Menard, an agricultural engineer and soil conservation expert with Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture, speaks to a packed house during the Western Canada Conference on Soil Health.  

International Year of Soils ends with a bang in Alberta

Attendees at sold-out conference say it was a thrill to gather with people who ‘get’ soil health

Reading Time: 3 minutes If the International Year of Soils didn’t seem like a big deal — then you weren’t at the Western Canada Conference On Soil Health earlier this month. That is, if you could get in. “We originally planned for 250 people, and we had room for 300,” said conference co-chair Tom Fromme. “The facility was able […] Read more

Cutaway of Plant and Roots in Dirt

Farmer-led research groups shine spotlight on soil health

Improving soil is the key to successful farming, say groups 
behind the Soil Health Applied Research Alliance

Reading Time: 2 minutes Declaring ‘soil is bigger than oil,’ two Alberta farmer-led research organizations are teaming up to increase the focus on soil health. “Soil health is the foundation of successful farming — if we can maintain and improve the health of our soils, we will be successful farmers,” said Ian Murray, an Acme rancher and chair of […] Read more


farmer in a wheat field

Farmer-driven research in Alberta

Reading Time: < 1 minute When it comes to activities, the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) runs the gamut. “We do everything from annual crop research, to variety, fertility and silage trials,” said Janette McDonald, executive director of ARECA. “We then go into perennial crops and special crops. At least 50 to 60 per cent of our […] Read more