GFM Network News


Susan Stewart provokes gales of laughter during her Monday keynote on healing stress with humour.

Farm Women’s Conference brings laughs and lessons

After a tough year of farming, Manitoba’s farming women lightened up with funny and empowering speakers

Agricultural women came together for a little levity and learning after a rough year of farming at this year’s Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference. “People are going through tough times all the time, and this year was especially hard,” said conference organizer Jody Jury. “People need a little bit of laughter and they come together for a bit of a good

Manitoba commodity groups choose name ahead of merger vote

The groups are hosting webinars to educate members of proposed plans

If members vote to amalgamate five Manitoba commodity groups, they’ll go forward under a new name: Manitoba Crop Alliance. “When we looked at the definition of the word alliance, which is an association formed for mutual benefit, we felt that summarized the intent of the amalgamation. We are stronger, together,” said Myron Krahn, Manitoba Corn


Manitoba agriculture minister Blaine Pedersen (l) said Loaf and Honey’s raw milk cheese-making process does not consistently produce a safe product. Dustin Peltier (r), seen here inside his cheese storage room, along with partner Rachel Isaak have decided to forgo any further attempts to comply due to financial burden.

Agriculture minister Pedersen responds to cheese makers

Unvalidated production practices pose a risk to consumers, the minister said

Ag Minister Blaine Pedersen responded to Trappist cheese makers’ allegations that department staff blocked their approval, saying the province’s duty is to protect consumers. “Loaf and Honey has been unable to demonstrate through microbiological testing that the method it is using to produce raw milk cheese consistently produces a safe product,” said Pedersen in an

Robert (Bob) McNabb, with wife Elaine, was inducted into the Canadian Conservation 
Hall of Fame on November 13.

Manitoba zero-till pioneer inducted into conservation hall of fame

Robert (Bob) McNabb called for greater passion for soil, aligning profit with ecology

Manitoba farmer Robert (Bob) McNabb called for greater passion for soil as he was inducted into the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame in Winnipeg, November 13. In his acceptance address, McNabb called on those gathered to approach soil conservation with the same passion as teenage, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. “If we could get on

Brooks and Jen White farm about 
7,500 acres near Pierson, Manitoba. 

Regenerative agriculture by accident

Faces of Ag: Brooks and Jen White stumbled into regenerative agriculture before they knew what it was — now it’s the foundation of their farm

Brooks and Jen White want a smaller farm. It may seem like a strange ambition, but that is an actual part of their five-year plan — to be smaller in acreage than they are now. “For me, what regenerative ag means is becoming more profitable on a smaller scale — on fewer acres,” Brooks said.


Dustin Peltier and Rachel Isaak say the province has blocked them at every turn in the process of bringing their traditional, Trappist-style cheese to market.

Artisanal cheese makers cheesed off

‘Complex, inconsistently interpreted regulations’ have left one couple near bankruptcy and other small food processors in limbo

A Manitoba couple says red tape has killed 100 years of cheese history and put them near bankruptcy. Husband and wife team Dustin Peltier and Rachel Isaak, along with Peltier’s parents Gary and Silver Peltier, say the province has blocked them at every turn as they’ve attempted to bring their traditional, Trappist-style cheese to market

The case of the disappearing food act

Inspectors and food producers alike seem to struggle to interpret regulations on food production. “No one in the industry would say there’s a lack of regulation,” said Dave Shambrock, executive director of Food & Beverage Manitoba. Actually, there are many sets of overlapping regulations, he said. In 2009, the NDP provincial government appeared to be

Taylor (left) and Harleigh (right) with 
their show heifers on their family farm 
near Elm Creek.

4-H family rolls out mobile ag-education display

Faces of Ag: Teenagers Taylor and Harleigh Carlson developed a mobile educational 
livestock display as a school project

When Taylor and Harleigh Carlson were little, they’d sit in the barn and read books to their cows. That was their job. The cattle got used to having kids around, which made them easier to halter-break and train for cattle shows. Taylor and Harleigh were practically born into 4-H and cattle showing. Their dad Trevor


Stressful season nears completion

Talk about your stress and be proactive to get a better outcome

One of Gerry Friesen’s lowest moments came in 2005 when, after a serious accident put his brother in the hospital, the entire weight of the family hog operation fell on his shoulders. A neighbour dropped by one day and asked, in typical fashion, how he was doing. Usually Friesen would say he was just fine.

British Columbia has had a farmers’ market coupon system since 2007, and has reported good success.

Market coupons aim to give less fortunate local food access

The system, to be administered by Direct Farm Manitoba, is modelled on a system British Columbia has had since 2007

A program that would give farmers’ market coupons to low-income families will help people and build a market for small food producers, Direct Farm Manitoba says. “I believe this program is a fantastic tool to help pitch in and address food insecurity by helping restore local food economies,” said Justin Girard, who heads the steering