GFM Network News


Having contact with your cattle — whether they’re on pasture or in a feedlot — can pay significant dividends.

Connecting the dots: Less stress = less sickness = fewer treatments for cattle

The time spent on acclimation is easily reclaimed with the benefit of improved herd health, says longtime vet

Low-stress handling has been around for decades, but the practice is becoming more widespread. “There has always been a bit of a trend,” said Dr. Roy Lewis, a well-known Alberta veterinarian who had a large-animal practice for many years. But while the techniques are commonly used in the handling of purebred bulls, on some cow-calf

If properly designed and maintained, older pens and handling facilities generally don’t 
need upgrades for sustainable beef certification.

Cattle handling facilities don’t have to be fancy to be good

Certification for sustainable beef requires having proper handling facilities, but most ranches have those

Thinking of producing certified sustainable beef, but worried your cattle-handling equipment is not up to standards? Don’t fret. “At entry level, if you have cattle it’s pretty hard not to have facilities that are working,” said rancher Stephen Hughes. The third-generation Longview, Alta. rancher has been part of the Certified Sustainable Beef Production (CRSB) initiative


Purple prairie clover is just one in a long list of native species on rangelands that have ‘co-evolved’ with native pollinators.

You want pollinators to make their home on your range

There is a buzz on range-and pasture lands. And we really need to pay attention to native pollinators and the benefits that they provide, says a rangeland ecologist. “Pollinators are critical to rangelands themselves, and the plants that are there,” said Cameron Carlyle, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, who is not only

These animals will weigh less at the end of their journey. But how much weight they lose will depend on how they were treated.

Think about shrink, say livestock experts

Training your cattle to stay calm and properly preparing them for the stress 
of transport pays big dividends

Practising low-stress handling techniques has its benefits — it may actually help reduce shrink during transportation. “It’s about how we set animals up to interact with humans — any time you interact with them you’re training them how to respond and what to expect from humans,” said Christy Goldhawk who did her doctorate work on

Taking a bit of time to create a grazing plan will pay good dividends for years, says rangeland specialist Pete Deal (centre in cowboy hat).

Have a plan before turning your cattle out

Bountiful, nutritious forage doesn’t happen by accident — here’s how to plan for success

A grazing plan might save you more than you think. Whether it’s a simple or detailed plan, a few key components will not only save your grass, but maybe save you a few dollars in the long run. Adjusting your stocking rate will allow you to get good-quality forage and vigorous regrowth. “Managing the amount


Vaccines can have a major payback, as much as fivefold for the BVD vaccine, says beef economist Kathy Larson.

Spend a little now and make money later

Reduced death loss, fewer open cows, and reduced shedding 
are major benefits from a proper vaccination program

The adage goes, ‘It takes money to make money.’ It is no different in the beef industry. “Low-cost producers do not cut corners on pasture, bulls, and herd health,” said beef economist Kathy Larson of the Western Beef Development Centre. “Spending less on these items often leads to reduced herd productivity and thereby raises your

Top tips for vaccinating livestock

Storage, the injection route, and when you administer a vaccine 
are all key, says 
Dr. Nathan Erickson

Time it right A vaccine needs to match the immune response of the cattle to the vaccine and the period of greatest risk. “So for BVD, the risk period is the first three months of gestation, while IBR, lepto, and vibrio, they tend to be a little bit later in gestation — around four months,”