GFM Network News


Data hackers coming to a farm near you

Recent attacks on computer systems show that agriculture isn’t immune to hackers

Agriculture pays little attention to computer system security, but it will be an increasing threat as farms gets larger, technology use increases and global actors look to disrupt food systems. That means that agriculture is well behind other important sectors of the economy in protecting its computer networks, says a cybersecurity researcher. It’s a reality

Francois Labelle, seen here with his miniature donkeys, says the grain industry was the source of a long and interesting career for him.

Labelle looks back on pulse sector career

A serendipitous summer job redirected his career path

Francois Labelle thought he was going to be a horticulturist when he started a degree in agriculture in 1974, but his day job for the last 42 years has been in the grain business — mostly pulses crops. As a student, Labelle, who retired as executive director of Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers July 15,


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

A first batch of 60 Starlink satellites — each about the size of a table and weighing about 500 pounds — were stacked atop a Falcon 9 rocket and put in orbit in May 2019. More batches have been deployed and SpaceX plans to put thousands in place in a low orbit just a few hundred miles above the Earth’s surface.

Out-of-this-world rural internet speeds still a long way off

Famed entrepreneur Elon Musk plans to bring affordable, high-speed internet to rural Canada, but experts are wary

Glacier FarmMedia – SpaceX is shooting for the moon with the promise of reliable high-speed internet for rural Canadians — but farmers might want to keep their expectations a little more grounded, at least for now. Last month, the space exploration company owned by Elon Musk (of PayPal and Tesla fame applied for several Basic

Broadening network can ease hiring process

KAP and CAHR seminar suggests several places for farmers to post jobs and seek employees

With farm labour an ongoing issue, producers might consider moving outside their comfort zones when posting jobs. “Resources such as Manitoba Employment Centres, Métis and Indigenous hiring organizations, Immigrant Service Centres have always been available to employers in Manitoba,” Stephanie Cruikshanks told the Co-operator. “However, agriculture has underutilized these resources as tools.” Cruikshanks, an industry


Despite government-mandated quarantine and safety measures, hundreds of temporary foreign workers in Ontario have contracted COVID-19 and three men have died.

Ontario headlines on COVID-19 don’t tell the Manitoba farmworker story

Farmers who employ foreign workers say they are unfairly tainted by comparisons to modern slavery

Two Manitoba farmers say the media has misrepresented the situation of international workers and the farmers who hire them. “All of us employers are trying really, really hard to keep these guys safe because we depend on them, and they depend on us,” said Sam Connery, who farms near Portage. “They depend on us for

Peer groups give context, relationships, accountability

KAP, Backswath Management plug peer groups for producers — especially ‘emerging’ farmers

Joining a producer peer group can provide key relationships, insight into farming issues and professional development, according to a webinar hosted by KAP and Backswath Management. “Peer groups can help you to create context for any one or any number of ‘what if this happens, what if that happens? What about this opportunity, what about

Canola stubble pokes out of the hills in Chad Berry’s direct-seeded potato demonstration.

Spud growers let soil lie

Under the Hill Farms is testing minimum-tillage potatoes on a field scale

Potatoes aren’t usually the poster child for minimal tillage. The reality of the planting, hilling and digging cycle usually means plenty of black dirt, some of it airborne. But dramatically reducing tillage is exactly what Chad Berry, of Under the Hill Farms near Glenboro, is trying to do. Berry’s farm, in association with Simplot Canada,


Temporary farm workers say they have little ability 
to maintain social distancing on Canadian farms.

Advocacy group says migrant workers deserve better

COVID-19 has shown how vulnerable these employees can be, a new report says

COVID-19 has exacerbated the vulnerability of temporary foreign workers, says a report from Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC). “The federal government has given nearly a billion dollars to agri-food businesses, while migrants who actually grow the food are falling sick and dying,” said Sonia Aviles, an MWAC organizer, in a June 8 news release.

Ellen speaks to dieticians, chefs and food writers at an event in Toronto.

Canola advocate honoured by Dietitians of Canada

Faces of Ag: Trained as a teacher, Ellen Pruden has become a bridge between dietitians, chefs, food writers and the agricultural community

Canola Eat Well director Ellen Pruden is being recognized for her work bridging the gap between dietitians and agriculture. “Ellen has used her personal ties to Canadian agriculture to create unique and innovative opportunities for dietitians to learn about the complex world of farming and food production and has given us confidence to share that