GFM Network News


These portable, solar-powered automatic gate release timers are allowing farmers to graze cattle faster through smaller paddocks, while decreasing labour demands.

Using sun power to open gates

Neil Dennis could see the advantages of intensively grazing small paddocks by moving his cattle often — but going to the fields every two hours to move the herd was time consuming. Now he gets the sun to open those gates for him with the help of a portable solar-powered automatic gate release timer sold

Be the grill master this spring

Prairie Fare: Foil Vegetable Packets

What should I grill for dinner tonight?” my husband asked the other day. I began naming a variety of possibilities. Then I paused and grinned. Buying him a grill for Father’s Day was the best gift I ever bought myself, our three kids and even our three dogs. We all enjoy the benefits of delicious


Editorial: Time to quit fighting COOL

Maybe we missed it, but somehow we expected there would be more of a buzz when McDonald’s announced that it had chosen Canada for its first-ever project to source sustainable beef. We saw no industry or government releases welcoming the announcement, which seems a bit odd. After all, McDonald’s is North America’s largest beef buyer.

Surveillance and BSE testing are more important than ever, CFIA official Craig Price said at the recent Alberta Beef Industry Conference.

Message to cattle producers: Don’t cut back on BSE testing

The latest BSE case only increases the need for Canada to test 30,000 animals yearly

Keep calm and carry on testing. That’s the message going out to producers following the latest case of BSE in an Alberta cow. “At times like this, it’s as important, if not more so, to continue with surveillance and be vigilant,” Canadian Food Inspection Agency official Craig Price told attendees at the recent Alberta Beef

Beef producers and A&W remain at odds

A&W continues to purchase beef from the U.S. and Australia to meet the need 
for hormone- and steroid-free product

Tension was palpable in the room full of Manitoba beef producers as the representative from A&W restaurants communicated the reasoning behind the company’s ‘Better Beef’ campaign. “In recent years the beef industry has been inundated with bad-news stories and we find consumers reluctant to choose beef,” said Trish Sahlstrom, vice-president of purchasing and distribution for


Brett McRae is a young producer who owns and operates Mar Mac Farms with his family just outside of Brandon, with 210 head of purebred Angus and Simmental cows and 1,000 acres of grains and oilseeds.

Young beef producer gaining knowledge through mentorship

Brandon-area farmer will spend eight months with an experienced grazing manager in Alberta

Brett McRae is a passionate young producer who shared a glimpse into the mindset of the beef industry’s upcoming generation during the recent Manitoba Beef Producers annual general meeting. Twenty-seven-year-old McRae is the fifth generation to raise cattle on his family’s 100-year-old farm. Mar Mac Farms is located outside of Brandon, operating with 210 head

MAFRD farm extension specialist Tod Wallace discusses new international markets during the 36th Manitoba Beef Producers annual general meeting in Brandon earlier this month.

A look at international opportunities for beef

Shipping beef to the EU requires adherence to strict protocols, 
but the premium may make it worthwhile

Breakout sessions and informal discussion at the 36th annual general meeting of Manitoba Beef Producers in Brandon earlier this month focused on the possibilities of capitalizing on the European Union and Asian markets. “The markets are changing and as producers we need to adapt. Whether you want to go to the EU, China, or you’re

Calvin Vaags, owner and operator of True North Foods, stands outside the soon-to-be only federally certified beef-processing plant in Manitoba.

True North on the verge of official federal certification

At full capacity the plant will be able to kill 1,000 cattle per week

Manitoba is within weeks of having a modern federally certified livestock slaughter plant, says Calvin Vaags, owner and operator of True North Foods near Carman. “We are currently operating right now as a provincial plant but we are actively working towards our federal certification and it shouldn’t be that far away. I am estimating a


Is building the Canada beef brand worthwhile if cattle just head south?

Programs like verified sustainable beef are part of the effort to create a premium Canada brand

Will initiatives like verified sustainable beef and BIXS have value if Canadian cattle just get shipped south? The lower dollar is likely to see more feeder and slaughter cattle end their days on American soil and an overreliance on the U.S. market isn’t a good thing, say industry officials. But current efforts to build the

What’s good for producers may mean pain for meat packers

Cargill and JBS plants in Alberta need more cattle, but a low dollar makes 
it harder to get them and also has some negatives for feedlots

A low dollar means double trouble for Alberta’s big packers — and puts stress on feedlots, too. “In 2015, with smaller cattle numbers and bigger exports, we’re going to see some pressure on our packing plants and feedlots to stay better utilized,” said Brian Perillat, senior analyst and manager with CanFax. Despite its shrinking herd,