GFM Network News


Hundreds of thousands of square metres of greenhouse space is being refitted to propagate and produce cannabis.

An unintended consequence of cannabis legalization

The money in cannabis has made it a highly attractive alternative to greenhouse plant propagators


When the Government of Canada changed the Criminal Code and legalized cannabis, it raised very few eyebrows in the agricultural community. It was debated as a crop on all levels and later recognized as an agricultural product. Where it was grown and by whom was left to other jurisdictions. It was viewed as an opportunity […] Read more

What I appreciate in the latest Canada’s Food Guide is the encouragement to get children involved in the process of meal preparation. – Brenda Schoepp

The new food guide can be an opportunity for the ag sector

Instead of being on the defensive, why not take a more constructive and educational approach?

I read with dismay that British grocer giant Tesco was cutting more jobs in its grocery stores from the fresh counter and replacing those employees with vending machines. I thought about how that put another league of distance between people and their food. Is it any wonder farmers feel there is such disconnect with the […] Read more


Almost everything we grow in Canada is exported in some form and this relies on rail, trucks, air transport but more importantly, transport by sea through warm water ports.

Infrastructure is the foundation of food security

Without functioning ports, economies can be crippled — as the British may soon learn to their sorrow

Grain farmers have experienced it: The worry about grain car accessibility and the multiplying losses when grain cannot be shipped or sits at port. Cattlemen know the importance of an open border. Almost everything we grow in Canada is exported in some form and this relies on rail, trucks, air transport but more importantly, transport […] Read more

Food and financial literacy needs to be taught in our schools so children can bring that knowledge back to their communities and homes.

It’s Home Economics 101 — and a lesson for our time

It’s time to bring back those skills that made the kitchen tables the centre of our homes

I made a quick evening stop at the grocery store while near Edmonton. It was late and cold. Tired moms filled the aisles, getting their shopping done. Men filled baskets with food for the next day. Babies cried. Children were restless. This was not an ideal end to a long working day. I thought about […] Read more


Is it time to shift the power from agricultural pricing based on USDA data to Canadian data?

Data is too important to be left in the hands of others

Canada relies on the U.S for critical agricultural data, and that leaves us extraordinarily vulnerable

Vulnerability is a word that I have taken to heart a lot in the past few years. We are vulnerable when we change, or seek change; vulnerable when we are left open to volatile weather or markets; and in agriculture, we are extraordinarily vulnerable when we are without data. The partial shutdown of the U.S. […] Read more

The Arctic is one of the best predictors of climate change and shrinking polar ice.

What happens up north also affects southern Canada

Melting polar ice and a warming north will have an effect on agriculture elsewhere in the country


Canada has the most extensive coastline in the world, and much of that is in the Arctic. That place we know near the North Pole is not however, governed by Canada alone. The Arctic is governed by eight nations: Canada, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, U.S. and Iceland. This group, known as the Arctic Council, […] Read more


I have been blessed in the company of rural women

Rural women look to each other for help, inspiration, and empowerment

Perfect winter travelling weather on rural Alberta roads led me in November to the village of Plamondon. It might be a small place but her heart is huge, and it was a joy to laugh, cry, and simply ‘be with’ the more than 200 women in attendance. These days are gifts to me. To be […] Read more

There’s a learning curve with new rules on medication

Now is the time to get up to speed on the ins and outs of the regulations on medicated feed and additives

Changes to Health Canada’s policy on medically important antimicrobials, which came into effect Dec. 1, include those medications administered in water and in feed. This change is in response to antimicrobial resistance and the assurance of a safe food supply. It will also, I feel, be a positive step to further assure accuracy in milled […] Read more


What are perceived as imperfections by some in fruits and vegetables, results in global losses as much as 50 per cent of the total grown.

When it comes to food waste, the system is broken

An astonishing amount of food spoils or is thrown out — it’s time to take action

Between my home and the Victoria airport is a big sign urging “Let’s reduce food waste.” If you are reading this column from your farm table, you may already be an expert at the preservation of food and the use of leftovers. Typically, we eat all we grow on the farm. In the store however, […] Read more

We need to engage at a level that builds a sense of community and belonging to empower people to their fullest potential.

We need to do more to attract women to agriculture

To gain their skills and passion, agriculture needs to tear down the barriers that stand in their way

There is a gaping hole in agriculture that needs filling with young, vibrant souls. It is not only for farming, but for all linkages in the food chain. There are 60,000 to 124,000 jobs that need filling. We need women to farm, process, market, advance, innovate, research, manage and create in the food space. What […] Read more