GFM Network News


Anthony Wilcox, along with his dad and grandpa, raise purebred Simmental and Speckle Park cattle near Treherne.

Their ‘Speckles’ are showing

Faces of Ag: For Anthony Wilcox, cattle shows have always been a family affair

Anthony Wilcox bought his first Speckle Park cow for a simple reason: his wife liked them. “I thought that they were really good looking,” said Ariel Wilcox. Speckle Park, a breed developed in Saskatchewan, is known for its black and white, dotted pattern. The smaller-framed animals are generally hardy, good mothers and produce quality carcasses,

Terri Decock and Devon Woodward attempt to pose with sow Dacotah, who is more interested in the camera.

From city slicker to pig whisperer

Faces of Ag: After the roly-poly porkers captured Terri Decock’s heart, she went from hobby farmer to Canada’s second-largest KuneKune breeder

“Babies!” Terri Decock calls. “Come see!” The blanket door to the red barn lifts. Fifteen ginger and spotted pigs dash into the snowy yard to mill around Terri’s feet and nudge a giggling reporter with their upturned snouts. They are KuneKune weanlings. The medium-size, roly-poly breed was originally raised by the Maori people in New

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.

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

Plant breeder and researcher Doug Cattani was recently recognized by the province 
for innovation in sustainability.

Kernza plant breeder recognized

Faces of Ag: Doug Cattani has spent his career working on perennial grasses

And to think, he could have been an accountant. Plant breeder and researcher Doug Cattani received provincial recognition in October for his work in developing perennial grains. Since 2010, Cattani has worked with Kernza, the trade name for organically produced intermediate wheatgrass, which is being developed for grain production. As a perennial grain, Kernza causes


Together, Will and Jen grow loads of harvested beets from his and wife Jen’s organic vegetable CSA garden.

Online food fight grows into ag advocacy for local producer

Faces of Ag: Will Bergmann uses social media, his restaurant and relationship building to tell the story of agriculture to those who most need to hear

It started with fighting people on Facebook. Will Bergmann was figuring out where life would go. He’d gone to school for education, but he wanted to return to the land his family had farmed for generations. In the miasma of fights over GMOs and the evils of Monsanto, Will saw the potential in the platform

Digvir Jayas.

Farming, poetry and math carved path for agricultural researcher

Faces of Ag: Award-winning grain preservation researcher Digvir Jayas’s fierce work ethic and mentorship abilities began under his grandfather’s tutelage on a farm in India

As a boy, Digvir Jayas got up early. His grandfather got up at 4 a.m., got ready for work, and woke him up to go to their farm in the Indian countryside. It was a small farm by Canadian standards. They raised cattle and water buffalo and planted two to three rotations of crops per

Harley Siemens at his farm site near Rosenort.

Young egg farmer an ambassador for agriculture

Faces of Ag: Harley Siemens invites people into his free-run facility so 
they can see how his hens live, and how they produce the eggs they eat


Harley Siemens is proud of his farm. It’s evident in the way he shows off every detail on a tour through the sparkling-clean layer barns, something he’s done many times. There’s good reason for that. The Siemens’ two free-run aviary barns, near Rosenort, were his brainchild. Before they broke ground in 2017, Harley crisscrossed the


Sam Connery-Nichol in one of her strawberry fields near Portage.

Family is everything for young vegetable farmer

Faces of Ag: Since taking over the farm, Sam Connery-Nichol’s family has expanded to include her staff and 40 to 60 temporary foreign workers

Sam Connery-Nichol’s truck is a grey Chevy Silverado with over 600,000 kilometres on it and rust around the wheel wells. She could probably get a new vehicle — one that’s easier to park in town — but she refuses to let this one go. It was her dad’s truck. Jeff Connery died in 2012 shortly

Clare (left) and Jill (right) Martens farm cattle and seed crops with their dad and uncle near Boissevain.

Sister pair empowered by family to be women in ag

Faces of Ag: Sisters Jill and Clare Martens are tackling farm management and what it means to be a woman farmer in 2019

There’s a sign in one of the Martens family’s farm buildings that says “Jacob Martens and Sons.” “It’s kind of like an icon in my mind of what has changed in one generation,” said Clare Martens, 25. “Now it could say ‘Ben Martens and Daughters.’” Clare and sister Jill, 22, farm alongside their dad and