GFM Network News


Alvin Iverson has been a familiar face for field day attendees at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm, near Carman.

People, relationships the highlight of a long career

Faces of Ag: Alvin Iverson retired in January after managing the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm since its inception

Since the ’90s a lot of new knowledge and agricultural solutions have come out of the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm at Carman. But looking back at his career there, that’s not what Alvin Iverson thinks of. “It’s exciting to see new research and development and learn new things,” he said. “But in the end

Erin Armstrong is interim executive director of the Barley Council of Canada.

Foray into ag opened opportunities unknown

Faces of Ag: Know what you want in a career — and what you don’t want, Erin Armstrong told the Advancing Women in Ag conference

As she approached university, Erin Armstrong thought agriculture had very little to do with her. “I’m not a farmer,” she told a farming friend who encouraged her to study agriculture. She said something similar to a biology teacher who said the field might have a place for her — a young woman looking to go

Walker with business partner Brett Locke. 

Synergy Seeds a local success story

Faces of Ag: Kristie Walker shared lessons learned from her leap into entrepreneurship with the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference

Kristie Walker remembers calling her parents the day she quit her job to start a seed retail business. She remembered “the phone just kind of going quiet,” she told her virtual audience at the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference. She told her parents, “Well I kind of have a plan, but not really, and no

“I’ve always been proud of what the Provincial Exhibition puts back into the city of Brandon — economic impact and grassroots things, the education that it puts for urban kids.” – Kathy Cleaver.

Cleaver scoops national award

Faces of Ag: Kathy Cleaver’s involvement with the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba is a long list, and now it includes a national award from the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions Roll of Honour

For anyone involved with the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba over the last few decades, it’s likely hard to imagine the organization without Kathy Cleaver. Cleaver’s name has been a consistent presence within the committees of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, the organization that brings three major Brandon ag fairs to fruition year after year. From

Mike and son Sky harvesting finished castings from a ridge row of manure.

‘Accidental business people’ find niche in worm-made fertilizer

Faces of Ag: A veteran ‘worm farmer’ and his childhood friend set out to offer environmentally friendly fertilizer — years later, business is booming in unexpected ways

It began 35 years ago with a quarter-pound of worms sent in the mail from Kentucky. Mike Jacques bought them to help develop soil for his greenhouse and the Northern Sun Farm Co-op, a small, off-grid community near Sarto in southeastern Manitoba. The soil in the area was sandy and needed some organic input. Jacques


Laura and Ryan Plett juggled hunting and fishing guide careers with their livestock operation until two years ago.

Laying foundations with Sawmill Creek Livestock

Faces of Ag: Laura and Ryan Plett of Stead, Man., have spent over half a decade growing their livestock operation from scratch

Laura and Ryan Plett know all about building something from nothing. Their farm, tucked into the bush near Stead, on the southeastern tip of Lake Winnipeg, is largely forested. Pasture expansions mean pushing farther into the bush. Grazing is marginal. The Pletts’ herds, now hundreds of head strong and combining cattle and sheep, was grown

Sarah Jensen of Arborg is one of two Manitoba names among the 2020 Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Mentorship Program finalists.

Veterinary student gets CYL nod

Faces of Ag: Sarah Jensen of Arborg is one of 16 young Canadians singled out for mentorship through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association this year

Sarah Jensen can’t single out one moment that decided her on a career as a large-animal vet, but she has early memories of tagging along with the veterinarian making calls to her home in the Interlake. “I think it was a combination of factors,” she said. “One, growing up on a cattle farm and watching

Vernette and Jim McIntosh pose with “Ruby,” a Miniature Hereford cow, on their farm near Poplarfield, Man.

Miniature Herefords capture hearts (and stomachs) in the Interlake

Faces of Ag: McFinn Acres is home to a menagerie of farm animals, but miniature cattle are front and centre

From the moment you drive onto Jim and Vernette McIntosh’s yard, you’ll know one thing: They love animals. Ten dogs, ranging in size from a Great Pyrenees to a little, grey terrier, bound over for a friendly greeting. An elderly goat named Goober shuffles over to make your acquaintance while a tom turkey struts across


Owner Tim with Grandson Hayden.

Local honey farm wins big in London

Faces of Ag: The Wendell family pitches their honey on quality, purity and Prairie goodness

A Manitoba-Saskatchewan honey farm has brought home high honours from the 2020 London Honey Awards. Wendell Estate Honey, which practises both conventional and organic production, entered the only Canadian honeys to receive platinum awards in the competition, appearing alongside honey from Greece, Italy, Spain and the U.K. To reach platinum status, the honey must score an

Boyd Abas on his farm near Fisher Branch.

“In this together” says Interlaker

Faces of Ag: Like many operations in the area, the Abas family farm began with the “homesteaders” act

The Abas farmhouse sits beside a branch of the Fisher River several miles north of the town of Fisher Branch. As pelicans cruise over the water, Gus the farm cat snoozes below a bench on the porch. Grapevines cling to a trellis, which bisects a large vegetable garden beside the house. Nearby, orange and yellow