GFM Network News


A small parcel of less productive land seeded to pollinator-friendly plants drew an “amazing” number of native bees, said Rocky Mountain House producer Vance Graham, one of 38 Alberta participants in Operation Pollinator.

Alberta producers create a buzz on their farms with pollinator program

Program encourages farmers to seed an acre or two with plants that attract pollinators and build biodiversity

Vance Graham’s land is now more attractive to bees, and all he had to do was plant a few seed packets. Graham is one of 38 Alberta farmers who signed up for Operation Pollinator, a project run by Syngenta and the Soil Conservation Council of Canada. “They wanted it on an area of ground that […] Read more

More than 140,000 seed packets have been given out through the Proud to Bee a 4-H’er initiative.

Bees benefit from 4-H Canada pollinator program

It’s been another banner year for the the Proud to Bee a 4-H’er initiative. The 2018 edition of the program saw 135 4-H clubs from across the country participating and about 15,000 seed packets distributed. “It is wonderful each year to see the level of excitement and engagement our members have with this initiative,” said […] Read more


Purple prairie clover is just one in a long list of native species on Alberta’s rangelands that have 
‘co-evolved’ with native pollinators.

You want pollinators to make their home on your range

There are scores of native pollinators in Alberta — and the more you have on your rangeland, the better

There is a buzz on range- and pasture lands. And we really need to pay attention to native pollinators and the benefits that they provide, says a rangeland ecologist. “Pollinators are critical to rangelands themselves, and the plants that are there,” said Cameron Carlyle, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, who is not […] Read more

Operation Pollinator encourages producers to set aside one or two marginal acres for pollinator habitat.

Producers encouraged to create pollinator habitat

A program that helps producers create pollinator habitat and refuges is coming to Alberta. To enrol in the Operation Pollinator program, producers agree to convert one to two acres of lower-productivity land to establish a pollinator habitat. In exchange for dedicating the land, producers receive a provision of high-quality, pollinator-friendly wildflower seed, agronomic advice, and […] Read more


Award recognizes producers who help pollinators

Nominations open until August 12

Nominations are being sought for the 2016 Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award. Individuals or families in Canada currently implementing pollinator protection measures on their farm or ranch are encouraged to apply. The award recognizes farmers and ranchers who have made significant efforts in conserving natural ecosystems, fostering additional pollinator habitat, and protecting pollinators. It is […] Read more

Don Ruzicka, shown here in an eco-buffer, has planted 100,000 trees and shrubs on his farm.

‘Eco-buffer’ boosts pasture productivity for Alberta producer

Letting nature do its job got Don Ruzicka off a treadmill of 
clearing trees, draining wetlands, and poor returns

Some people look for signs — other people just find them. For producer Don Ruzicka of Killam, the motivation behind the past three decades of land management on his farm was quite literally a sign. Before he purchased his grandparents’ farm in 1983, Ruzicka worked in the logging industry. “The first day I flew into […] Read more