GFM Network News


Where is AAFC’s wheat-breeding program headed?

After closing Winnipeg’s Cereal Research Centre, the federal government has
invested $85 million in a new wheat research program in Saskatoon

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has led Canadian wheat breeding for more than 100 years, but recent actions by the federal government have some wondering about its future role. A year ago, Ottawa announced it will close AAFC’s venerable Cereal Research Centre on the University of Manitoba’s Winnipeg campus because it would cost too much

Hundreds of jobs cut at Agriculture Canada

Farmers question the 
federal government’s 
commitment to publicly funded agricultural research

by Allan Dawson Almost 700 Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) employees across Canada, including 55 in Manitoba, have been notified their jobs are on the line. Their unions say the notifications are part of a plan to eliminate an estimated 400 jobs as the federal government tries to cut spending. The Brandon Research Station’s beef research


Cargill to idle its Plainview, Texas, beef plant

chicago / reuters / U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. said Jan. 17 it will idle its Plainview, Texas, beef-processing plant on Feb. 1 due to tight U.S. cattle supplies brought on by years of drought in the Southern Plains states. “The U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952. Increased feed costs resulting

Puratone, Big Sky in receivership

Industry observers are worried processors could soon be scrambling for hogs as two of Canada’s largest producers tipped over the financial ledge last week and governments refused to ride to the rescue. “Obviously the challenge that we currently face is producers are exiting the business,” Jason Manness, director of procurement at Maple Leaf Foods said

U.S. drought pushes Big Sky Farms under

Canada’s second-biggest hog producer, Big Sky Farms, has entered receivership as the North American hog industry struggles under the bruising costs of animal feed. Big Sky Farms, based in Humboldt, produces roughly one million pigs annually and accounts for 40 per cent of Saskatchewan’s total hog production. Under receivership, an outside party controls a company


CP trains rolling again

reuters/staff / CP trains were rolling again after Canadian Senate passed back-to-work legislation May 31. “There will be a period to catch up on backlog and that is something we’ll be doing once we’re operating again. We’ll be doing that as quickly as possible,” CP spokesman Ed Greenberg said. The Teamsters Union launched its strike

Pfizer cuts jobs at Brandon plant

There will be no impact on the 26 remaining equine ranching operations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan despite plans by U.S.-based drug giant Pfizer to cut 50 jobs from its Brandon pregnant mares’ urine collection and processing facility by 2013. “The focus of the restructuring is a result of operational efficiency initiatives and to best position



Shell, Iogen scrap plans for Canada biofuel plant

Reuters / Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Iogen Corp. have scrapped plans for a commercial-scale biofuel plant in Manitoba, spelling the loss of 150 jobs and raising questions about widespread and near-term use of fuel made from agricultural waste in Canada. The Iogen Energy joint venture had been studying building a plant to make ethanol

Supporting existing businesses a successful strategy for job creation

Business development expert says supporting innovative local entrepreneurs 
is the best way to boost a community’s economic fortunes

Helping existing businesses grow, rather than chasing big companies or fostering startups, is the best way to boost a community’s economic fortunes and create jobs. That’s the core of an economic-development approach dubbed “economic gardening,” business-development expert Robin Phelps told participants at the recent Capturing Opportunities conference. “You need the startups, but what about these