GFM Network News


Many political and farm leaders in rural communities howl about the evils of “big government” and “socialism” even though big government social programs keep their communities from disappearing.

Comment: ‘Why are you giving extreme voices so much attention?’

Taking a break from a long-standing tradition is a sign of the divisive times

Around this time of year, I usually feature comments from readers whose views differ from those found here the previous 50 or so weeks. At least that’s how it has been for at least 25 years. Not this year, however, because I received a reader email Dec. 9 that asked me to stop highlighting these

Over 10 years, the federal government is offering millions of dollars in agriculture-related incentives to assist producers in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

Comment: Farmers should get on board with green future

Not fighting climate change is no longer an option

Ottawa’s recently announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the cost of carbon over the next 10 years was met with predictable outrage from many in the agriculture sector. Already frustrated over having to pay for carbon uses, many farmers see the expanded plan as a crippling tax that ignores previous efforts made

It was a year for the history books, indeed, and certainly filled with major food-related stories.

Comment: The top 10 food stories of 2020

It was an action-packed 12 months for the agriculture and food sector

The year 2020 was as unusual as they get, with no shortage of stories. Some flew under the radar because of the pandemic, but this list is based on how some food-related stories will probably have long-term implications, whether they were related to COVID-19 or not. At number 10, the apparent end of Tim Hortons’

Comment: Stepping up to help Prairie farmers

Provinces need to do their part to fund improvements to AgriStability

Farmers face many risks these days – the impacts of a global pandemic on the supply chain, the trend towards protectionism in trade, and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, to name a few. Solutions on how to deal with those risks vary considerably, depending on who you ask. As the prime minister’s special

Taxes and food rarely mix well together. If it doesn’t hurt those who provide us with food, it will eventually hit consumers, one way or another.

Comment: Households are getting sandwiched

Many Canadians are stuck between rising food prices and stagnant-at-best wages

Canada’s Food Price Report 2021 was released recently and brought some disconcerting news to Canadians. We could see food prices go up by as much as five per cent in 2021, the highest increase ever predicted by the authors, a group of 24 scholars from four different universities. For a family of four, the food bill could go


The year captured in verse — without one single curse

Despite all the woes of the year just past, our resident ‘poet’ finds much to be thankful for

We usually review the past year fondly, but in this one’s instance Some of 2020 we’d just as soon view far back in the distance While for many farmers the year was one of the best For others harvesting and preparing our food, it was a year full of stress Even if they could go

Comment: Howard’s priceless gift of simple giving

Sometimes those with the least material things have the most true wealth

The Christmas tree was a scrub cedar hacked from the edge of the woods that bordered the farm. Big-bulbed lights, strung in barber pole fashion, generated almost as much heat as the nearby wood stove. Yellowed Christmas cards, saved over the years and perched like doves in the untrimmed branches, served as ornaments. “I believe

Dairy farmers have a marketing budget exceeding $130 million a year. It is a monster of an organization, and very few Canadians can appreciate this.

Comment: Santa Claus loves milk, especially Canadian milk

Trade compensation given quickly with few strings attached will be an expensive and wasteful exit strategy

In haste, Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau chose a Saturday, hours before a long-awaited economic update, to offer more non-COVID-related compensations to supply-managed farmers. Compensations were expected, but how it was done was a little strange. Few in the industry knew what was going on before the announcement. When giving money away, governments would want as much


Comment: Direct payments to U.S. farmers may dry up under Biden administration

The president-elect seems lukewarm at best towards strings-free payments to farmers

Reuters – U.S. farmers will likely see a familiar face at the helm of the Department of Agriculture come January, but the lofty government assistance programs they have got used to could be a thing of the past. President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary, a move seen as safe but welcoming

Consumers aren’t seeing autonomous vehicles driving up to their homes quite yet, but that day is not far in the future.

Comment: Battle of the middle mile

Automating food delivery between distribution hubs and stores a glimpse of the future

Loblaw is partnering with Gatik, an autonomous vehicle provider from the United States, to launch the first autonomous food delivery fleet. This is a solution for the “middle mile,” which will assure links between distribution centres and stores. Consumers will not see autonomous vehicles driving up to their homes yet, but that day will surely