GFM Network News



Enrolment in Lakeland College’s agriculture sciences program has almost tripled since Josie Van Lent (r) (seen here with former student Sheena McKelvie) became dean in 2007.


The jobs are waiting for ag program graduates

Enrolment has soared in the past decade — and so has the number of unfilled jobs in the agriculture sector

A career in agriculture just wasn’t an option for Julie Mitchell when she was growing up. Or at least that’s what she thought. “I was really passionate about agriculture, but I didn’t think you could have a career in ag beyond being a farmer,” said Mitchell, who grew up on a cattle operation in Manitoba. […] Read more


A province-wide vote on the non-refundable checkoff could be held as early as this fall.

End of refundable checkoff may be near

If successful, most of the $2 million refunded each year would go towards the creation of an industry development fund

The province has given the nod to a long-sought request for a plebiscite to make the cattle checkoff non-refundable. It’s hoped a province-wide vote on the contentious issue will be held this autumn, said Rich Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef Producers. “It’s a very positive step towards us being able to have a plebiscite […] Read more

Members of the East Olds Dairy Farmers group were recognized for starting the Breakfast on the Dairy Farm event. From left are Larry Arvay, Theo Van der Gun, Martien Huyzer, Miranda Verhoef, Arie Van den Broek and presenter Lorrie Jespersen.

Breakfast on the Dairy Farm an award-winning idea

Over 3,400 people have attended the annual summer event

A group of Olds-area dairy farmers who developed an innovative consumer outreach program are this year’s winner of Award of Distinction for Communication from Alberta Farm Animal Care. “Six years ago the East Olds Dairy Farmers group, which is made up of several dairy farm families, developed the idea to host a breakfast for their […] Read more


Get the lowdown on plant growth regulators and crop varieties

PGR fact sheet looks at lodging and staging while crop fact sheets examine performance in Alberta

New fact sheets on plant growth regulators and crop varieties are now available. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are synthetic compounds that can modify plant growth and development by altering plant hormonal activity. While PGRs are popular in other regions of the world like Western Europe, their use in Western Canada is relatively new. “The plant […] Read more

Small-plot trials are designed to account for different variables, but producers put more trust in field-scale testing. Researchers are now developing protocols for conducting field-scale trials to see if they bear out the results from small-plot studies.

Scaling up: How to take small-size research from plot to field

Many farmers are skeptical of small-plot research results, 
but proper protocols are needed to scale up to a field level

Farmers are making some pretty big decisions off test strips — and that scares JP Pettyjohn. “We could flip a coin and pretty much come up with the same answer,” said Pettyjohn, a crop technology instructor at Lakeland College. “I don’t want an answer. I want the right answer.” Small-plot trials have been widely used […] Read more


New animal health clinic almost ready

Construction of a new animal health clinic at Lakeland College’s Vermilion campus should be completed by March, with the animal health technology and veterinary medical assistant programs set to move into the $8.2-million, 15,000-square-foot facility by September. The clinic has a larger lab space, separate cat and dog wards, a dental lab, a new surgical […] Read more

‘Build your cow herd’ workshops on tap

Workshops begin Oct. 23 and run to early November across Alberta

Wondering how to use genomics, deal with lower-quality feed, or about health issues faced by cattle producers in your area? Then you may want to attend one of 10 workshops being held across Alberta in late October and early November. The ‘Tools to build your cow herd’ workshops are being put on by Alberta Agriculture […] Read more


The Dairy Learning Centre is packed with a range of state-of-the-art technology.

College opens state-of-the-art dairy centre

The $9.5-million facility will be used by hundreds of students annually and also offer 
short continuing education courses

Anew $9.5-million dairy facility at Lakeland College will offer students cutting-edge learning opportunities in areas such as calf management, feed and nutrition, cow comfort, dairy-specific software, and manure management. About 500 people turned out for the recent official opening of the 46,600-square-foot facility at the college’s Vermilion campus. “The Dairy Learning Centre replaces Lakeland’s previous […] Read more

Susan Markus, beef specialist with Alberta Agriculture, is collaborating with the first livestock research class at Lakeland College on a project on feed efficiency in cattle.

The gap between genomics theory and real-life cattle production

Genotyping works well in the purebred world, but not so much in a commercial herd

Lakeland College’s student-managed farm’s research project brings together visual appraisal, phenotypic data from a residual feed intake test, and genomics to measure a herd of 50 heifers. “We wanted to take in visual and phenotypic data, and because we have so many tools with genomics, we wanted to add that as a third level to […] Read more