GFM Network News


Alberta ag minister Carlier downed in UCP win

Alberta’s incumbent agriculture minister was among the casualties as Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party defeated Rachel Notley’s New Democrats in Tuesday night’s provincial election. Oneil Carlier, the provincial NDP government’s minister of agriculture and forestry since May 2015 and deputy government house leader since February 2016, was unseated in his riding of Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland […] Read more

Research funding agency run by farmers closes its doors

Board votes to shut down Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund after funding dries up

After 17 years in operation, the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF) has shuttered its doors. “Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is changing the way it handles research and development,” said Doug Walkley, the organization’s former executive director. For the past three years, the ministry has been conducting a review of how it funds ag research […] Read more


“We’ve been striving for a long time to have a directed checkoff and this does allow people to have some choice,” says Ryan Kasko.

Long-running cattle checkoff battle may be coming to an end

An agreement on an industry development fund is key to a tentative deal between Alberta Beef Producers and cattle feeders

It’s not finalized yet, but the organizations representing cattle producers and feeders say they’re close to creating a fund to advance the province’s beef sector — and ending a nearly decade-long checkoff. “The Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund is a concept that would be able to be implemented with a non-refundable service charge,” said Rich […] Read more

Farmers on a committee dealing with workplace safety regulations argued that wearing a seatbelt while operating farm equipment doesn’t make sense much of the time. But the committee is recommending making buckling up mandatory.

Buckle up — workplace safety rules may be in for a rough ride

Mandatory seatbelt use is among several ‘pretty big’ regulations that don’t make sense, 
says the AgCoalition

Over the objections of its farmer members, a committee has recommended the province make seatbelt use mandatory in tractors, combines, and other farm equipment. Forcing farmers to buckle up is just one — although likely the most controversial — of 142 recommendations from four “technical working groups” established to turn Bill 6 into actual occupational […] Read more


Alberta rancher, advocate James Hargrave, 34

A leader in southern Alberta’s cattle ranching community died in a vehicle crash while helping fight wildfires along the Alberta/Saskatchewan border on Tuesday night. Cypress County officials have identified the firefighter as James Hargrave, 34, a volunteer with the fire station at Walsh, Alta., about 50 km east of Medicine Hat. Alberta’s Agriculture Minister Oneil […] Read more

UNHARVESTED ACRES: Farmers scrambling to avert a second wreck

If your crop is a writeoff you need an insurance assessment — but you need to get out on the land to get a sample first

Time is running out for producers trying to deal with unharvested — and unsalvageable — acres. And the situation could become a train wreck for many of them if the province’s crop insurer can’t speed up its assessments, say farm groups. “Within certain regions, I would say that dire is an apt description because there […] Read more


Jennifer Wood, new chair of the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation board, is introduced at a press conference by Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier.

New board put in charge of province’s scandal-plagued crop insurer

Many well-known faces in the ag community are on the new board of the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation

Ten months after dismissing the board of directors of the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation, Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier has finally named its replacements. And the board’s first action will be to find a new chief executive officer to replace one who was suspended with pay last June after the provincial auditor found a host of […] Read more

Ed Tollefson has 700 acres he couldn’t get off last fall — part of nearly one million unharvested acres province-wide that must be dealt with this spring.

The Big Wreck: One million unharvested acres

The financial hit will be huge and getting rid of those damaged crops 
could delay seeding and put this year’s crop at risk

[Updated: March 20, 2017] Ed Tollefson is worried he won’t be able to get 700 acres of snow-buried crop off his field before seeding this year. And the Valleyview-area farmer is not alone. Alberta producers have reported 967,569 unharvested acres to Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) — a massive area that would have cost those […] Read more


“Farming is more than a job. It’s also a way of life, and this government recognizes that.” Oneil Carlier.

Have your say on employment standards and labour relations regulations

Two reports — one for employment standards, one for labour relations — will be available for public comment until April 3

Alberta farmers have asked to have their say on proposed new workplace safety rules — and the provincial government says they will now have their chance. The NDP government is asking Albertans to give their views on two reports on proposed employment standards and labour relations recommendations. Feedback will be accepted until April 3 online, […] Read more

Dairy farmer Jordan Schuurman explains the energy-efficient changes he and his parents made to their dairy operation during a government press conference held at his family’s farm.

Province ups funding for energy efficiency projects on farms

Farm groups welcome additional funding but say ‘work 
still needs to be done’ to reduce impact of carbon tax

After installing about 100 solar panels on their dairy barn, the Schuurman family has reduced their energy bill by 60 per cent. And they plan to drive it lower still. “My personal conviction is that I want to be sustainable long term — I believe in climate change, and I have an opportunity to change,” […] Read more