GFM Network News


Canada’s mink farms brace for COVID

Producers have had time to increase biosecurity efforts at the farm level

Canada’s 40 mink farms are operating under heightened biosecurity requirements after reports of COVID-19 jumping from humans to mink in Europe. Alan Herscovici, an industry spokesperson who operates the website Truthaboutfur.com, said early reports out of Denmark and other European countries gave Canadian producers some time to prepare. “These farms have always had a certain

Editor’s Take: Un-plandemic

It’s an old axiom: if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Nowhere, it would appear, is this truer than when it comes to battling the COVID-19 pandemic. As our Geralyn Wichers reports for the front-page story in our Nov. 26 issue of the Co-operator, Manitoba processors who had plans in place to


U.S. president-elect Joe Biden, seen here at the rally kicking off his campaign in May 2019.

Manitoba farm leaders watching U.S. closely

POLITICS | Trade, international relations and the tone of the conversation all of interest

POLITICS | Trade, international relations and the tone of the conversation all of interest

Manitoba’s agriculture sector is taking a wait-and-see approach to the prospect of a Biden presidency in the U.S. Bill Campbell, president of the Keystone Agricultural Producers, said the key thing he’ll be looking for is clarity on trade, when speaking to the Co-operator the week after the vote. “Trade will be the primary interest of

Editor’s Take: Keep the baby

For decades now, Canada’s supply management system has been under attack from both outside the country and within. Internationally it’s a perennial target in trade negotiations, and particularly the dairy industry. That sector, over the years, has endured the ‘death of a thousand cuts’ as every time Canada has inked a trade deal, it’s seen

File photo of U.S. President Donald Trump taking questions from reporters in March 2019. The U.S. election held on Nov. 3, 2020, has not given the 45th president a second term in office.

Editor’s Take: Electoral train wrecks

I was texting with a retired farmer acquaintance this week about the U.S. election while he was deer hunting in the sandhills of western Saskatchewan. Like a lot of Canadians, he wanted to follow the unfolding events, even though he wasn’t in a reliable cellphone service area. So I’d agreed to keep him filled in



Editor’s Take: Passing the buck

At some point or other, most of us have received a non-vitation. That’s the ‘invitation’ to an event designed to assuage the guilt of the host while making it crystal clear at the same time we’d actually be as welcome as a red-headed stepchild. ‘Oh, hey Charlie. Yeah, that’s right, I’m having a little get-together

Editor’s Take: Time for an Agpec trade agreement?

It would seem times are about to get tough for ‘trading nations’ as Canada has styled itself for the past few decades. That designation makes sense, and in many ways is inevitable. After all, we’re talking about a land mass of nearly 10-million square kilometres, the second-largest country in the world. And on that enormous


The U.S. was already dramatically outspending Canada with its latest Farm Bill. But now it’s thrown repeated ad hoc programs at the sector under the guise of offsetting the effects of a trade war and the coronavirus.

Editor’s Take: The new normal of subsidies

Many would say Canada’s suite of agricultural business risk management programs is falling short of blunting the whipsaw of the markets. Now, it faces being further overwhelmed by non-market forces. That was the gist of a recent policy note issued by the Agri-Food Economic Systems think tank, authored by respected agricultural economists Al Mussell and

Editor’s Take: Precedents and partisanship

[UPDATED: Oct. 1, 2020] Manitoba’s Municipal Board has, for the first time, overruled an RM council decision regarding a development application. If the fact that a politically appointed board can override the decisions of a duly elected local council isn’t raising eyebrows, it should. We only have to look south at what has taken place