GFM Network News


Mark and Yanara Peters were happy to restart what they’re hoping will be an annual tradition this past fall.

Manitoba potato growers keep on giving

Despite a challenging year this farm family keeps an important tradition alive

For Mark and Yanara Peters, 2019 had been a year full of challenges. Yet despite a less than average potato crop on Spruce Drive Farms, a dozen miles northwest of Portage la Prairie, the couple chose to keep a new tradition alive on their farm. Sine 2016 they’ve donated more than 120,000 pounds of potatoes

Our family farm is across that golden field of blooming canola, within the bluff of trees. My husband’s great-grandparents and their family came from Scotland and settled here more than 90 years ago.
June 2019 marked 30 years of it being my home. Thirty years of farm life, and learning and adapting to challenges and rewards. I fell in love with my farmer and this vast, beautiful prairie landscape. We raised our two children here, cultivating values that have enabled them to follow their dreams.
One day last summer on my way home I pulled over to take this photo. I’ve taken many in and around our yard, but never from this distance or perspective. This photo evokes many memories and emotions. Among them are gratitude and pride in being part of a family farm, caring for the land entrusted to us by our ancestors, growing food for Canadians and people around the world, all while making a living on the land we love.

PHOTOS: Celebrate Canada’s Agriculture Day with farm photos

A way to share the joys and challenges of farm life with other Canadians

February 11 is Canada’s Agriculture Day, intended to showcase all the amazing things happening in our industry. It’s a time to create a closer connection between consumers, our food and the people who produce it. Sharing what you love about Canadian agriculture can be as simple as posting a photo. For me, a social media


Three gifts at Christmas for you

I don’t think anyone in agriculture will dispute 2019 was a year for the record books. The challenges kept mounting throughout the growing season – all of them beyond our control. Drought followed by untimely, excessive rains and snowfalls. A long, difficult harvest with conditions causing many crops to be left in the field. Poor

It’s been a hard harvest season for a lot of Manitoba farmers.

Timing is everything – especially in farming

Manitoba finally got some moisture – right when farmers didn’t need it

Well September, you sure weren’t yourself this year. The warm, sunny, dry, harvest days you usually provide happened ever so briefly the first week you were here. Then the rains, which we had longed for all spring and summer, came pouring down, bringing a sudden halt to harvest for the remainder of the month. What

Stewart Akerley and his current LTG Garden at La Verendrye School in Portage la Prairie.

Keep CALM and garden on

This elementary school teacher takes joy in teaching his students about food production

From the moment you step into his classroom, Stewart Akerley’s unbridled energy, passion and enthusiasm for teaching is evident. My husband and I first met this Portage la Prairie School Division elementary teacher when we volunteered for Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) in March 2015. This was also Akerley’s first year of participating in Agriculture


Sisters Tracy Wood(l) and Taralea Simpson(r) say their new farm-stay 
retreat has been widely met with enthusiasm.

Agvocating through experience

Farm-stay business offers both a retreat and up-close view of a working farm

Tracy Wood and Taralea Simpson knew they found the perfect spot when they discovered a 95-acre wooded river lot just outside of Portage la Prairie was for sale. Having long dreamt of owning their own farm-stay, bed and breakfast business, the sisters officially opened “Farm Away Retreat” last month. With their roots deeply embedded in

Comment: You don’t have to be alone with farm worries

There are resources to help those whose mental health can be determined by the level of the rain gauge

I thought I was doing fine. Not too worried or concerned. I kept telling myself it would all work out, and if it didn’t we’d be OK. We’ve always had a crop. We would this year too. It wouldn’t be a bumper crop. Not even an average one, but after being married to a farmer

No matter the type of plant breeding used over the last 10,000 years, the goal has always been the same – genetic improvement.

Opinion: Clarifying ‘What’s in a name?’

Science has always led the way in agriculture, and continues to do so today. Yet advances in plant breeding are being met with skepticism, fear and vehement opposition by many consumers. Perhaps we aren’t listening closely enough to their concerns. Because we understand the science, we assumed they would too. We’ve failed in telling our


Mark and Yanara Peters say a community potato giveaway has been fun and fulfilling.

Building their community one potato at a time

Mark and Yanara Peters are turning a potato giveaway into an annual event in Portage la Prairie and beyond

How does it feel to give away 35,000 lbs. of potatoes in just under five hours? “It was awesome… a lot of fun,” recalls farmer Mark Peters with a wide smile. Peters and his wife Yanara, of Spruce Drive Farms, grow certified seed potatoes 12 miles northwest of Portage la Prairie. On Saturday, October 14,

Don’t forget agriculture when considering careers

Dear Graduate, It’s finally here – high school graduation. A long-anticipated, exciting time, perhaps filled with a bit of trepidation of what the future holds. Do you have a clear vision and goal of what you want to do and where you want to go? If not, why not consider a career in agriculture? You