GFM Network News


This aerial photo from the early 1960s shows the consolidated school in the field behind the village of Basswood.

A pile of memories

Bulldozed snow mountain creates Tower of Babel for Basswood schoolchildren

I cannot imagine a better winter “toy” for Grade 3 farm boys than a bulldozed 14-foot-high mountain of snow in March. It literally was a pile of fun. Plus it may have had a few aspects in common with the ancient biblical “Tower of Babel.” Early March 1969, delivered a sudden blizzard and with it,

Presenting — and voting on — policy resolutions, as seen here in a 2017 file photo, is an important part of KAP and other advocacy groups. Reg Dyck is making sure his students know how the system works.

An education in engagement

Ag in the Classroom resolution ‘educational’ for ag diploma students

There are problems. And then there are problem solvers. Reg Dyck teaches a course encouraging the latter. “It’s easy for farmers to bitch and complain,” Dyck, who farms at Starbuck and teaches ‘Issues in Agriculture and Food’ as part of the University of Manitoba’s diploma in agriculture, said in an interview Feb. 10. “Each of


Colin Penner with son Everett. 

Young farmers call for better rural childcare

Lack of care can make it hard to get work done — and presents safety hazards for kids and parents

Young Manitoba farmers have asked KAP to lobby for better rural access to childcare. “If I didn’t have that support from another family member then I’d be home and I couldn’t work,” said Sam Connery-Nichol, who seconded the resolution. “You can’t get a lot done with an eight-month-old wandering around, crawling,” she added. Connery-Nichol farms near Portage la Prairie with her

A grainy still from an old movie shows Aunt Ellen behind the counter of Havakeen Lunch.

Family history found

Interlake’s ‘Havakeen Lunch’ lives on in film

Have you ever had the chance to reach behind and grab on to the past? No, I am not talking about fumbling into the back seat to find an old Manitoba Co-operator. I do mean finding unexpected history, and enjoying it. Several years ago, younger brother Tim mused about an old National Film Board movie,

The European honeybee, vital to pollination and the honey industry but not suitable for all crops such as seed alfalfa or some fruit or greenhouse crops.

A multitude of bees are your tireless workers

You might be surprised to find out just how much extra canola a few more pollinators can bring to your bins

Canola growers like what happens when they enlist hives of honeybees to help tend their crops. According to figures presented to the Manitoba Agronomist Conference earlier this winter by Melanie Dubois of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, pollination increases production by as much as 46 per cent. And the quality of the seed set is significantly


The “Salad Queen” was a key fixture at many Salad Month events, including the parade.

‘Salad Month’ was a big deal in 1965

Archival video shows salad parade, ‘Salad Bowl’ football game, and virtues of Manitoba vegetable production

A “Salad Bowl” football game, a horse race, a “Salad Queen” and a parade of vegetable-covered floats — just a few of the big events Manitoba held to promote its vegetable industry in 1965. “In this province, the food business is big business,” says the 1965 video “The Salad Bowl.” The promotional film, produced by

Marcel Hacault retires from his position as executive director of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association this March. He’s spent 16 years in the role.

Hacault reflects on decades in ag leadership

Marcel Hacault saw the hog industry through years of upheaval before moving on to agriculture safety

His dad told him not to farm. Marcel Hacault decided to do it anyway — in any way he could. “I think that was pretty common,” Hacault told the Co-operator. Farming wasn’t a popular occupation when he was a young man. Hacault grew up on a mixed farm near Mariapolis, in south-central Manitoba. They ran

Farmers Edge CEO Wade Barnes says the company’s agriculture roots make it a better fit for the agriculture sector than Silicon Valley companies that are jumping in now.

The great disruptor

Wade Barnes is straddling the digital/agriculture divide — and reimagining agronomy

Wade Barnes says he knows what the agronomy of tomorrow looks like. It’s a proactive system that uses data to model crop development, helping farmers make decisions every step of the way. The power of data analytics will fuel every step, from what variety to plant based on soil moisture, disease and pest pressure and


Don Flaten.

The head of his class

Don Flaten became one of Western Canada’s first agronomists — and he’s been training them ever since

When Don Flaten looks back over his career, one of the standout memories was a doubt-ridden walk across the parking lot at the University of Manitoba in 1995 as he transitioned from administrative duties to teaching. “I didn’t cross that parking lot with a lot of confidence that day. I really wondered if it would

Farmers are making the best of the winter of COVID by building bigger and better backyard rinks.

Home ice advantage: Backyard rinks a winter oasis

A grassroots movement to resurrect the outdoor rink has got rural Manitobans back on skates despite pandemic restrictions

Ordinarily the skating rinks of rural Manitoba would be bustling community hubs. There would be the scrape of skates along the ice, the crack of a hard shot and the thud of the pucks along the boards. But today they’re ghost towns, as COVID-19 restrictions have closed and locked their doors. The parking lots are