GFM Network News


‘There is no going back to normal after this,” says Olds College student Michael Frankiw.

Pandemic brings trials and triumphs for ag students

Despite the difficult launch to their careers in the industry, students see bright future ahead

Brianna Dyck was supposed to be celebrating her college convocation the first weekend in June. But with post-secondary institutions shuttered by the pandemic, graduation was a small family affair. “My family has done a great job of trying to make it a big deal, but it feels like the school year should still be going […] Read more

The vast majority of irrigators have adopted precision ag technology and more will follow as costs fall, says University of Lethbridge economist Lorraine Nicol.

Precision agriculture means less is more for irrigators

Technology has boosted yields while cutting both water use and inputs, says University of Lethbridge survey

Very few studies have examined precision agriculture in Canada, but a new one from University of Lethbridge researchers has put some numbers on the benefits. And they’re big — both in terms of reducing inputs and in boosting yields. Last fall, economists Lorraine Nicol and Chris Nicol surveyed irrigators in the Taber Irrigation District and […] Read more


A big scholarship and a helping hand

They’ve already won a $20,000 scholarship and now the four winners — two from Alberta — of a prestigious 4-H award have a mentor to help them achieve their career goals. The mentorship program is a key part of Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction scholarships. Emmett Sawyer, who grew up on a mixed farm near […] Read more

College launches ag entrepreneur program

Students to be paired with local industry partners

Lethbridge College has a new program for students interested in agriculture, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Agriculture Entrepreneur in Residence (AgENT) program will launch in September by pairing students with local industry partners to solve real-world problems that affect the agriculture industry. All college students are eligible to join the extracurricular AgENT program. At the beginning […] Read more


If it is happening in research, it is happening here in Alberta

The list of research centres is long and varied — and all of them 
are part of our competitive advantage


Alberta is a hive of exciting and interesting research activity that is a benefit to agriculture and society. From bees to bovines, we employ world-class scientists who work with enthusiastic producer groups. Livestock (under the federal definition) includes bees, and the National Bee Diagnostic Centre is in Alberta, a partnership between the Grande Prairie Regional […] Read more

The phase-out of coal and remediation work in the oil and gas sector (such as contamination testing shown below) are creating jobs for agrologists.

Business is booming for agrologists in Alberta

Given the economic woes of Alberta in the past couple of years, David Lloyd has a pretty convincing pitch for anyone considering a career in agronomy. “Since the downturn in the economy, from Jan. 1, 2015, we’ve added 150 to 200 new members a year,” said the CEO and registrar of the Alberta Institute of […] Read more


There’s huge money to be made by finding and selecting more efficient cattle, says Erasmus Okine, 
an expert in areas such as residual feed intake.

Get ready for super-efficient cattle — and a better relationship with consumers

Top researcher says big data and genomics are game changers, 
but winning the trust of consumers is equally key

In the ever-changing landscape of Canadian agriculture, efficiency is the new watchword. “If we can increase efficiency of production by about five per cent in Alberta, we can save producers about $100 million a year — even if only one-third of livestock producers adopt those efficient improvements,” said Erasmus Okine, vice-president of research at the […] Read more

From left to right: Cor Van Raay, Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier, Bob Prestage, and Dr. John Kennelly.

Trio of builders newest members of hall of fame

Dr. John Kennelly, Bob Prestage, and Cor Van Raay are the newest inductees in the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame. Kennelly was chair of the University of Alberta’s department of agricultural, food and nutritional science and later dean of the faculty of agricultural, life & environmental sciences. One of the dairy industry’s most respected experts, […] Read more


This group of students recently won top prize at an international competition by creating a new type of gene-based fungicide. From left to right are Seme Mate, Andy Hudson, Graeme Glaister, Taylor Luchanski, Rhys Hakstol, Suneet Kharey, Chris Issac and Michelle Kwan.

New gene-based fungicide could combat fusarium

Their method? Target the gene that allows the pathogen to reproduce and ‘knock it down’

A team of University of Lethbridge students has developed a potentially game-changing product that could wipe out a widespread problem for cereal growers — fusarium graminearum. “It’s a really pertinent local issue, but it’s also a global issue, so it expands the potential impact (of our project,)” said Graeme Glaister, a fourth-year neuroscience student at […] Read more

Buffalo beans are toxic, but that’s a good thing when looking for compounds that could fight cancer.

Cancer-fighting drugs in your pasture?

University of Lethbridge researchers have already found one native plant — buffalo beans — that offers early promise

Plants you see every day in your pasture could contain valuable components for cancer-fighting drugs. Scientists from the University of Lethbridge recently found that buffalo beans, a plant commonly found in pastures in the south, contain compounds that may be beneficial to people fighting cancer. “We’ve always been interested in my lab in looking for […] Read more