GFM Network News


New dean of agriculture named for U of S

Soil science prof Angela Bedard-Haughn takes over Aug. 15

One of Western Canada’s major post-secondary ag institutions will get a new hand at the wheel this summer. The University of Saskatchewan announced Wednesday it has named soil science professor Angela Bedard-Haughn as the dean for its College of Agriculture and Bioresources for a five-year term starting Aug. 15. Raised on a family farm in […] Read more

Courtney Taylor (right) is presented with her Leadership Excellence Award of Distinction by Stefanie Nagelschmitz, chair of Canadian 4-H Foundation.

Albertan wins $20,000 4-H scholarship

Alberta’s Courtney Taylor is one of four winners of 4-H Canada’s Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction. The $20,000 scholarship is awarded to students who “demonstrate 4-H values in the way they live their lives” and have become exceptional leaders through the program. Recipients are also paired with a mentor to help guide them in their […] Read more


A new $2.35-million research program aims to create new approaches for managing bovine respiratory disease and other production-limiting diseases, says Dr. Cheryl Waldner.

New research will produce tools you can use, says cattle health expert

The new five-year $2.35-million research program will first tackle bovine respiratory disease and Johne’s disease, as well as antimicrobial resistance

A major new research program will help cattle producers manage two key diseases in their herds — and they can expect to have new tools in their hands in just a few years. “We’re looking at new approaches for managing important issues like bovine respiratory disease and other production-limiting diseases such as Johne’s disease,” said […] Read more

CDC Copeland and AC Metcalfe are the undisputed heavyweights of Western Canada’s malt barley scene, accounting for 78 per cent of malt acres this year. But both are two decades old and new varieties such as CDC Bow — which has improved standability and lower beta-glucan content — may challenge that duopoly.

Better barley: There’s a long wish list for brewers and feeders

Yield is No. 1 for growers but elements such as ‘Lox,’ beta-glucan, and acid detergent fibre are key, too

Ask most barley producers what they want in a variety and the answers won’t surprise you: Better yield, standability and disease resistance. But when it comes to buyers, it gets a little more complex. Both foreign and domestic customers — especially beer makers, but also feeders — are looking for traits few people even thought […] Read more


A large male wild boar — which can top 600 pounds — in a rare daytime photo. The animals tend to be nocturnal.

Wild pigs a growing problem not many seem to care about

Alberta is the only province with a control strategy — but it’s still in the pilot program phase

Since their numbers are unknown and the wily animals are rarely spotted, it’s been easy to ignore the problem of wild pigs. But given their potential to spread disease, that’s a mistake, says the country’s leading — and pretty much only — expert on wild boars. The animals — whose population has mushroomed in the […] Read more

Wheat breeder Curtis Pozniak is on a quest to figure out what makes wheat wheat.

Wheat breeders get a cheat sheet

‘Breeder chip’ doesn’t make the process faster but ups the odds of hitting pay dirt

Plant breeding is strictly a numbers game — but researchers have found a way to improve the odds with help from a new tool called a ‘breeder chip.’ “Breeding is like a lottery. The more tickets you buy, the greater the chance of success,” said Curtis Pozniak, a professor of plant sciences and wheat breeder […] Read more


The four researchers chosen for the program offer a range in experience in fields including food safety, beef cattle production, forage nutrition and sustainability.

University of Calgary researchers chosen for beef mentorship program

Initiative helps scientists better understand the needs of the beef sector and how it adopts research

Two University of Calgary researchers, along with a pair of Saskatchewan scientists, have been selected for the 2018-19 Beef Researcher Mentorship program. The program pairs researchers with beef industry leaders and provides them with a travel budget so they can attend industry meetings, producer workshops, and farm tours. The goal of the program is to […] Read more

Animal science professor Red Williams, 93

Memorial services will be held “at a later date” for renowned Prairie animal science professor Charles “Red” Williams, who died Monday at age 93 leaving a legacy of work in livestock care and ag extension. Williams, born in Regina and raised on farms in Saskatchewan and Alberta, served in the Second World War on the […] Read more


Data from the Western Canadian Cow-Calf survey provides valuable insights into lowering open rates in your herd.

Don’t risk a wreck in your cow’s reproduction this spring

Breeding timing makes a difference in open rates and so do vaccinations and copper deficiency

If you want to make sure that you get calves on the ground, pay attention to body score, when you calve, and vaccinations. That was the message from Cheryl Waldner, a professor in large-animal clinical sciences at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. “You need to get the cattle cycling […] Read more

Nitya Khanal is one of a new crop of researchers working on developing new forage varieties.

Forage research programs boosted by new hires

Peace Region scientist Nitya Khanal says there’s lots of catching up to do, 
but there are big payoffs for producers

After many years of decline, forage research is on the upswing. And that will produce a payoff for livestock producers, said forage researcher Nitya Khanal, who was hired in 2015 at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research station in Beaverlodge. “As of last year, we are revising this program and we are looking forward to recovering […] Read more