GFM Network News


Part of the delegation from Kenya stops for a photo during sustainable agriculture and food security day at the Global 4-H Summit.

4-H finds fertile ground to tackle food security

Vertical gardens and composting are among the 4-H projects to help African families produce their own food

North American 4-H may have branched into everything from babysitting to robotics, but elsewhere it’s still back to the basics — producing enough food for the family. Shannon Benner, CEO of 4-H Canada and chair of the Global 4-H Network, estimates that about 60 per cent of programs worldwide are focused on agriculture or food

Depleted soils not only compromise fertility, they contribute to global climate change.

Human security at risk as depletion of soil accelerates, scientists warn

Change is needed so that valuable, non-renewable fertilizers are recycled

Steadily and alarmingly, humans have been depleting Earth’s soil resources faster than the nutrients can be replenished. If this trajectory does not change, soil erosion, combined with the effects of climate change, will present a huge risk to global food security over the next century, warns a review paper authored by some of the top


“I call it the tsunami of agriculture. It’s this big, giant, silent wave that’s going to hit people but they don’t even know they’re going to get hit and there’s no warning signs being flashed off.” – Elaine Froese, certified farm family coach and succession planning expert.

Farm succession plans lacking, poll shows

Just 30 per cent of farms have done formal succession planning

Most farmers expect to retire and hand over the farm to family, but few appear to be doing anything to ensure it happens, according to results of a newly released Ipsos Reid poll of Canadian farmers. Just 30 per cent of 455 farmers polled for the 2015 Canadian Agricultural Outlook Survey said they are doing

Manitoba leads country in farm receipts gain

Increasing farm cash receipts don’t tell the 
whole story, as the cost of inputs like fuel and fertilizer continue to rise

Farm cash receipts are up in Manitoba for the first nine months of 2013. Way up. According to numbers released by Statistics Canada, Manitoba has seen an increase of 14.7 per cent or $500 million — the largest increase in Canada — over the same period last year. Farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totalled



Rural Secretariat closure worries rural advocacy groups

The federal Conservatives must rethink their decision to close down the Rural Secretariat or create something to replace it, says the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The last 13 remaining employees at the Rural Secretariat were recently given their notices, spelling the end of the 15-year-old agency, which had a staff of 92 just a year

Enhancing farm enterprise

The following is an excerpt from Seeds of Success: Enhancing Canada’s Farming Enterprises, a new Conference Board of Canada report by Erin Butler and James Stuckey. The report included a set of recommendations about how to improve farming business in Canada to achieve greater business success. The full report can be found at: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=5529  Maximize

A report worth reading

We’ve been somewhat skeptical of some of the recent efforts by the Conference Board of Canada to wade into the food and farm policy realm, but we were pleasantly surprised by the newly released report Seeds of Success: Enhancing Canada’s Farming Enterprises. From our perspective, authors James Stuckey and Erin Butler, do a stellar job


Municipalities need 3,000 people to prosper

Municipalities need at least 3,000 residents and a hefty tax base in order to prosper, according to a new study by Brandon University’s Rural Development Institute. The study used census data from Manitoba to look at factors such as population gain, an expanding tax base, favourable demographics (such as a rising percentage of females aged

The crisis deepens in the West Australian wheat lands

One economist says that if rural Australia were a member country of the euro zone, 
international financial markets would be refusing to finance the sector

The closer West Australian farmers get to seeding time, which is any time after the end of April, the more intense the debate becomes whether the eastern Wheat Belt will ever be the same again. Now there are reports of farmers abandoning their land and walking off. Enough is enough for some. The old men