GFM Network News


Michelle Schram, with her young son, on the farm she co-runs with husband Troy Stozek near Cartwright.

Women more likely to run non-conventional farms: report

EQUALITY | Access to land, social capital and difference in interests, skills may account for the trend

While women are less likely than men to farm in Manitoba, inequality appears to be lower for women in direct marketing or non-conventional farms, according to a recent report from the University of Manitoba. “There is a dynamic that women face that young men don’t face entering farming, but I also think that that’s changing

COVID-19 has pushed governments to consider food autonomy as a priority and support local supply chains. But buying local produce is easier said than done.

Comment: The local food paradox

Governments are interested in food autonomy but price remains very important

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting supply chains and impacting food purchasing habits, our relationship with food was different. Quite different. The pandemic has pushed governments to consider food autonomy as a priority and look more at local supply chains. Discussions are about producing food in Canada, all year round, while offering products to consumers


Mobile butcher Gerrit vande Bruinhorst works on a beef carcass.

Have gun will travel

Coronavirus at meat plants builds demand for mobile butchers

Reuters – Slaughtering cattle is a solitary, but personal business for Gerrit vande Bruinhorst, 55, the mobile butcher of Picture Butte, Alberta. On this day, vande Bruinhorst, a .303 rifle in hand, arrives early at a customer’s ranch. He wears boots, coveralls and a rubber apron to catch any blood. With one shot to the forehead, the 1,300-pound Black Angus steer

Michelle Shram and Troy Stozek have seen increased sales of their grass-fed beef and lamb.

An uptick in online sales may help Manitoba farmers

E-commerce shift could spell opportunity for local producers

On May long weekend, St. Norbert opened its outdoor market to the least fanfare in recent memory. Market co-ordinators had prepared to limit shoppers, but that proved not to be necessary. According to a Facebook post, they never reached capacity as crowd-leery folks stayed away. While the physical market continues to operate, more and more

Direct Farm Manitoba calls for changes to meat regulations

Direct sales of meat have increased, but the capacity to ramp up production isn’t there, producers say

Direct Farm Manitoba is calling on the province to increase capacity for local meat sales in light of recent meat plant closures. Direct sales of meat like beef and roasting chickens have risen since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Manitoba, said Phil Veldhuis, Direct Farm Manitoba president, but producers have limited ability to capitalize on the


These young visitors enjoyed meeting farm animals at Aurora Farm during the 2015 Open Farm Day. That’s now a thing of the past during the ongoing pandemic.

Aurora Farm delivers groceries in an effort to adapt to COVID-19

The experienced farm and market box seller is adapting its operations due to the coronavirus

A farm built on up-close-and-personal on-farm experiences is retooling in the social distancing age. Aurora Farm, near St. Norbert, had lured urbanites with a petting zoo and ‘goat yoga’ featuring baby goats. Now due to COVID-19, it’s pulling the plug on those events for the foreseeable future, and launching a grocery delivery service. Owner and

Customers wait in line to get into the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market on March 21, part of safety measures the market enacted.

Farmers’ market moves online amid demand for local food, adjusting to COVID-19

Organizers seek to balance safety while helping small producers sell product

Shoppers at St. Norbert Farmers’ market can now opt to buy online and pick up instead of browsing in person. The move comes as part of efforts to maintain public health regulations while making local food available during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a market for food and household goods, it will remain open despite recent

Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek farm beef, lamb and bees near Cartwright.

Small food producers innovate to survive

Creativity, humour and social distancing combine to get food to customers for one meat producer

Direct-marketing farmers and food producers are finding creative ways to get meals on their customers’ tables and maintain a sense of community. “You guys are all amazing and you convinced us that we will get through this crazy time. Enjoy your food, stay home, stay safe, stay classy,” Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek of Fresh


Letters: Buying local no disaster

I believe buying Canadian food is a great idea. Hence I was troubled by Sylvain Charlebois’ article in the January 30 Co-operator, which noted Feds’ Buy Canadian food campaign could be a disaster. The federal government is pursuing CETA the Canadian European Trade Agreement which could result in French cheese being more available than Manitoba

Vegetable farmer Justin Girard shows the twisted metal remnants of one of the portable

Year in Review: Local food producers struggle ahead

Lack of supply chains, business risk management programs, and clear regulations are keeping local food from reaching its full potential in Manitoba, say producers, experts

Manitoba has a way to go before it’s a friendly place for small food and drink producers, several articles demonstrated throughout the year. Be it crippling regulations, lack of risk management programs for small farmers, or simply lack of local supply chains, several factors say Manitoba’s local food system has yet to fully mature. “It