GFM Network News


Export-oriented farmers need to boost lobby effort

Dairy farmers have done a great job influencing politicians, says a former Canadian ag trade negotiator

Export-oriented farmers should emulate dairy farmers if they want to get their policies implemented, says Mike Gifford, Canada’s former chief agricultural trade negotiator. “If you want to influence politicians you basically have to spend money to lobby,” Gifford said during the Fields on Wheels conference Dec. 15 in Winnipeg. “That’s where the supply management sector,

A 40,000-bushel grain elevator at Mentmore, southwest of Neepawa in what is now the Municipality of North Cypress-Langford, was built in 1927 on land donated by Thomas Drayson. Operated by the Mentmore Co-operative Elevator Association, the first agent was Ken McDougall of Russell, who later purchased the local store. A crib annex was built beside the elevator between 1957 and 1959. The facility closed in December 1978 as the railway line was abandoned. The tracks were removed in June 1979. In the fall of 1980, the annex was moved to Franklin and, the following spring, the elevator was sold to Drayson descendants who used it as storage for their seed business. It appeared to be unused when this aerial photo was taken earlier this year.

PHOTOS: This Old Elevator: September 2017

The Manitoba Historical Society wants to gather information about all the grain elevators in Manitoba

The Manitoba Historical Society (MHS) is gathering information about all elevators that ever stood in Manitoba, regardless of their present status. Collaborating with the Manitoba Co-operator it is supplying these images of a grain elevator each week in hopes readers will be able to tell the society more about it, or any other elevator they know of.


Farm leaders welcome high-profile panel’s praise

The federal Advisory Council on Economic Growth recently singled out 
the agri-food sector as a key growth opportunity

The leaders of farm organizations across the sector are basking in the praise of a high-profile federal advisory board. The Advisory Council on Economic Growth accorded the sector high profile in a recent report on Canada’s economic prospects. The report’s recognition of the agri-food sector should be especially valuable in raising its profile across the

Dairy sector gets $350 million from feds

The investment is intended to offset losses expected in the sector when CETA is implemented

Dairy farmers and processors are welcoming a $350-million investment in their sector ahead of the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement coming into force. The $250 million over five years, available through the Dairy Farm Investment Program, will assist farmers to update their equipment to improve productivity, said an announcement from Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay. The money would

Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Agriculture minister backs freer domestic trade

Canada loves international trade but has domestic barriers

Dismantling internal trade barriers will make Canada more competitive and is a priority for the federal government. Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay told the Senate during his scheduled appearance for question period he’s been hearing about the issue since he was first elected in 1998, and it’s past time for change. “We’re big on international trade


U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator Darci Vetter told reporters in Washington, D.C. April 25 that the U.S. government is pushing Canada for regulatory changes so American wheat exported to Canada is graded on the same basis as Canadian wheat.

U.S. pressuring Canada on grain grading

Grain companies say current regulations are no impediment

U.S. officials say this country’s grain-grading system is to blame for why American farmers living close to the border can’t take advantage of higher Canadian wheat prices. But Canadian officials deny claims by U.S. administration and U.S. Wheat Associates that Canada’s quality control system discriminates against imported U.S. wheat. Canadian officials concede imported U.S. wheat

Canadian meat-processing plants are regularly inspected by USDA representatives. A letter about a 2014 report was recently published on the USDA website highlighting concerns.

USDA letter on food plant inspection critical of CFIA

The letter published on USDA website resulted from a regular audit of 
Canadian food plants and government facilities

A U.S. audit critical of Canadian meat plants has made headlines nearly two years after the fact, even though the Americans found no food safety problems and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it has addressed concerns noted about its capacity to properly inspect food plants. When the 2014 report by the USDA’s Food Safety

Becky Parker

Engaging youth in agriculture

Strategist says start building enthusiasm in the classrooms to avoid labour shortage in the industry

Becky Parker is a young woman with a vision and passion — to engage and educate youth about agriculture, the agri-food sector and its many career opportunities. She is a project and partnership strategist with Ontario Agri-Food and Education and a Nuffield scholar researching models of ag career education. Parker shared a startling fact recently


Debate on agriculture generates few sparks

Trade, research spending and farm labour issues dominated the discussion

The National Agriculture Leaders Debate generated few sparks Sept. 30 in what seemed more like lengthy academic discussions than a rousing conflict of ideas from candidates in the Oct. 19 election. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and his New Democrat and Liberal critics — Malcolm Allen and Mark Eyking — got in a few jabs over

Federal candidates need to understand the challenges facing today’s hog industry

Market access, labour and financing issues threaten to undermine its future

Over 7,000 pig farms in Canada produce 25.52 million animals a year and generate over $13 billion in economic activity, making the country’s swine industry the fourth-largest source of farm cash receipts of any agricultural commodity. In 2014, over 1.14 million tonnes of pork and pork products valued at over $3.7 billion were exported to