GFM Network News


Bill Grueul, CEO of Protein Industries Canada, addresses reporters January 10 as Jim Carr, Prime Minister Trudeau’s special representative for the prairies, and Merit Functional Foods co-CEO Ryan Bracken look on.

Supercluster pumps $9.5 million into Winnipeg plant

Merit Functional Foods to open world’s first canola protein-processing facility late this year

A Merit Functional Foods canola and pea protein-processing facility near Winnipeg is slated to be up and running by the end of the year with the help of financial investment from Protein Industries Canada, the company announced at a news conference January 10. “Our plan is to build processing closer to production, adding value to

Vegetable farmer Justin Girard shows the twisted metal remnants of one of the portable

Year in Review: Local food producers struggle ahead

Lack of supply chains, business risk management programs, and clear regulations are keeping local food from reaching its full potential in Manitoba, say producers, experts

Manitoba has a way to go before it’s a friendly place for small food and drink producers, several articles demonstrated throughout the year. Be it crippling regulations, lack of risk management programs for small farmers, or simply lack of local supply chains, several factors say Manitoba’s local food system has yet to fully mature. “It


Theatre board chair Sharon Currie speaks to the roughly 40 people at the ribbon cutting on Dec. 20.

Pilot Mound celebrates opening of new community theatre

It's Lights! Camera! Action! as Tivoli Community Theatre pulls back the curtain

Roll film! Pilot Mound’s brand new Tivoli Theatre is open—after what can only be described as a fundraising marathon. “It’s just amazing. It is kind of a little surreal that it’s here now,” said Gisele Harding, a theatre board member. “Kids will have a place to come.” On Dec. 20, board members cut the ribbon

Terri Decock and Devon Woodward attempt to pose with sow Dacotah, who is more interested in the camera.

From city slicker to pig whisperer

Faces of Ag: After the roly-poly porkers captured Terri Decock’s heart, she went from hobby farmer to Canada’s second-largest KuneKune breeder

“Babies!” Terri Decock calls. “Come see!” The blanket door to the red barn lifts. Fifteen ginger and spotted pigs dash into the snowy yard to mill around Terri’s feet and nudge a giggling reporter with their upturned snouts. They are KuneKune weanlings. The medium-size, roly-poly breed was originally raised by the Maori people in New

Alum a useful tool to combat toxic algae

The chemical has been used in the U.S. to clear lakes of algal blooms but hasn’t seen widespread acceptance in Canada

It’s no magic bullet, but aluminum sulphate can significantly reduce toxic algal blooms in lakes, American scientist John Holz told conservationists at a Winnipeg conference on December 3. “It is a common tool,” said Holz, whose company HAB Aquatic Solutions, has done 104 applications of the product, also called ‘alum,’ in the U.S. Holz spoke


Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, deputy minister of agriculture and resource development, speaks at the 2019 MCDA conference in Winnipeg, December 4.

Watershed districts waiting on funds to bring in new municipalities

Expansion has been on hold while the program is modernized, the province says

At least five municipalities are waiting in the wings to join watershed districts, some for at least three years, but provincial funding is maxed out. Conservation district members pressed Deputy Ag Minister Dori Gingera-Beauchemin and her staff for answers during a Q-and-A session at the recent Manitoba Conservation Districts Association conference in Winnipeg. Half of

Disappearing natural habitat threatens bees’ diet

Maintaining pockets of nature among cropland allows bees to thrive on a balanced diet, says beekeeper Ian Steppler

Cropland’s encroachment on nature threatens to starve bees and pollinators, beekeeper Ian Steppler told those at a Manitoba Conservation Districts Association conference on December 4. “Where we find a balance within our countryside between agriculture and nature is where we find tremendous growth and prosperity,” Steppler said. Why it matters: Bees and other pollinators are

A flooded field in the RM of St. Andrews, March 2017.

Province on track to proclaim watershed regulations

The province says it is on track to proclaim regulations that would transform conservation districts into watershed districts, but that didn’t stop district members from pressing for a promise. Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, deputy minister of agriculture and resource development, held a Q-and-A with Manitoba Conservation Districts Association members during their annual conference in Winnipeg on Dec.


Students from Carman Collegiate present on how they taught elementary aged kids about watersheds and conservation at an MCDA conference in Winnipeg on Dec. 4.

Manitoba students turn conservation teachers

High school students developed lesson plans for elementary schoolchildren

Students from Pilot Mound, Swan Valley and Carman won recognition and cash for teaching kids about watershed conservation in the first Healthy Watersheds Student Project competition. “It’s a pleasure to watch these kids,” said Cliff Greenfield, manager of Pembina Valley Conservation District as he announced the first-place winners at a Manitoba Conservation Districts Association conference on Dec. 3. The assignment asked Grade 8 to

Timely records of pig movements are becoming even more important as livestock diseases sweep the globe.

PigTRACE hog traceability program to get an overhaul

Five years after participation became mandatory, not all producers are reporting movements, Manitoba Pork says

The accuracy of PigTRACE, Canada’s industry-led, live animal traceability initiative, is being re-evaluated as the threat of African swine fever looms. “Is it good enough to have 80 per cent of the reports in at seven days or should we have that done sooner?” Manitoba Pork general manager Andrew Dickson asked producers at a meeting in Portage on October 30.