GFM Network News


This harvest, take a bit of time to do things differently

Instead of the usual go-go-go approach, think about how we can all learn to use time more wisely

I watched in horror a video on social media in which a farmer wrapped his preteen son in bale wrap. The child was in the machine! Later that week I coaxed an elderly man holding his electric saw down off a 25-foot extension ladder. At a lavender farm, I encouraged the owner to stop giving […] Read more

North American ammonium nitrate laws best in world, Nutrien CEO says

Winnipeg | Reuters — North America’s regulations for handling ammonium nitrate, a potentially explosive product used in fertilizer and in the mining industry, are the strictest in the world, the CEO of Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien said Tuesday. An ammonium nitrate stockpile exploded last week in Beirut killing at least 171 people, injuring 6,000 and […] Read more


Livestock auction marts to decide on next steps

Livestock Marketing Association of Canada pondering next move in face of pandemic

You may want to call first to see if it’s open, but many auction marts in Alberta were still having sales on Tuesday morning. The Livestock Marketing Association of Canada has a conference call set for this evening to discuss COVID-19 safety measures for staff, customers and buyers, said Chance Martin, an LMAC director and […] Read more

Safety training has become a passion for Hanneke Camps — and it’s a process that’s continually evolving, she says.

‘Common sense’ isn’t an alternative to communication

Never stop talking about dangers and safe practices, says safety-minded Alberta producer

A farm, particularly during a busy season, is at best barely controlled chaos, with vehicles, equipment, employees and even kids all competing for the same farmyard real estate. So how do you bring order to that chaos and keep everyone safe? Ask Hanneke Camps and she’ll tell you communication is the key. Although everyone talks […] Read more



A culture of safety and wellness applies not only to you, but your farm team as well.

Does your farm have a ‘safety helmet?’ It should

Taking a few simple steps can create an awareness of safety that is vital on every farm

Under a perfect fall sky, my grandson and I zigzagged the streets and zipped down back alleys of Montreal to the skate park. As I watched my grandson, his seven-year-old bravado struck me. It was a side of this sensitive boy that I had not seen so boldly displayed before. Confident and courageous, he jumped, […] Read more


Keep your young workers and children safe at harvest

Don’t assume workers know ‘the basics’ and 
build a separate safe play area for young children

Harvest is the peak season for agricultural-related injuries and fatalities, and new and young workers have a higher rate of injury on the job. “Always take the time to first go through the activity of training the youth, even if it feels repetitive or redundant — this will ensure they learn and practise the safest […] Read more

Creating a good safety plan means listening to producers and building it up over time, says Reg Steward. 

‘Realistic, simple and doable’ is key to farm safety plan

Alberta AgSafe modelled on B.C. program that makes listening the cornerstone of its approach

A safer farm begins with three questions, says a longtime farm safety consultant in B.C. What’s the problem? What have you done about it? How can you prove it? “We’re pretty good at ‘a’ and ‘b’ – we recognize the problem and we try to fix it, although sometimes we take shortcuts or monkey-fix it,” […] Read more


The wording of workplace safety regulations could cost producers a lot of grief and money if not done right, says Kent Erickson, chair of the AgSafe Society of Alberta.

The devil is in the wording when it comes to farm safety regulations

Farmer input needed before new OHS rules are enforced, says AgSafe Society chair

Progress has been made in getting the provincial government to adopt sensible, practical workplace safety rules for farms, but there’s still work to do, says the chair of the AgSafe Society of Alberta. “There’s some language in the technical wording of the legislation that can be hard to explain and figure out how they practically […] 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