GFM Network News



This past year has been a tough one. First a pandemic, then drought. Make sure you seek help if stress is weighing you down.

Comment: Getting through a crisis

Recently I was chatting with a few ranchers over supper after a beef cattle tour about potential long-term effects of this drought. We discussed how it might affect businesses linked to the beef sector (truckers, processors, etc.), and whether it would eat into the “infrastructure” that supports our industry and our rural communities. We weren’t […] Read more


Comment: BSE purgatory flanked by drought

Comment: BSE purgatory flanked by drought

After 18 years, we are crawling out of BSE purgatory, having been deemed “negligible risk” by the World Health Organization (OIE). Unfortunately, drought has bookended the BSE period for many beef farmers and ranchers. For me, the onset of BSE has always been linked to the drought of 2001 and 2002. The second year of […] Read more

Comment: Eye on the future

Comment: Eye on the future

I think we’ve all heard the saying “throwing good money after bad.” This is the concise, down-to-earth description of the sunk cost fallacy, a decision-making concept loved by people interested in economics and psychology alike.  The sunk cost fallacy explains the human tendency to keep investing money, time or other resources into something that is […] Read more


Comment: The power of acknowledgement

Comment: The power of acknowledgement

We may need to drop the 'win the argument' mentality more often

Well, it sure has been a long haul with this pandemic, hasn’t it? I wonder what the world is going to look like in six months. Will we all remember how to socialize in real life once we re-emerge from these cycles of lockdowns and semi-lockdowns? Will we regain ground on the mental health front? […] Read more

Climate change is a real problem that we’ll all have to deal with, one way or another.

Comment: The problem or the solution?

March saw a flurry of press releases and articles related to climate change, the environment and agriculture. Notably, the Weston Family Foundation allocated $25 million to preserving grasslands over the next five years (see News Roundup). A pilot project for a carbon offset protocol that encourages grassland retention is also underway. This carbon offset protocol […] Read more


Comment: Still America first

Updated March 11 Depending on your political persuasion, you likely watched President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January with relief, worry or some mix of the two. Will we see a more protectionist U.S. government? Will Biden restore capacity at the World Trade Organization (WTO)? What will the mood be of our largest trading partner and […] Read more

How can producers improve their own farms and ranches so they can thrive in these challenging times?

Comment: Continuous improvement?

Canadian producers as a whole have become more efficient over the decades in almost any way you can think to measure. One example of those gains is a study conducted by researchers at the University of Manitoba, Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Those researchers examined how beef production changed from 1981 to 2011. […] Read more


Comment: Your most important asset

Comment: Your most important asset

About 15 years ago, I was sitting in a classroom at Royal Roads University on Vancouver Island when the professor said something that shifted my priorities. Bev McPhee was the professor who changed how I saw things. McPhee had a lot of experience in the corporate world, and her insights were very welcome to those […] Read more

Comment: Farewell to 2020

There are events in a person’s life that are so pivotal, nothing is the same afterwards. They might be personal, such as falling in love, having children, or, on the negative side, a tragic accident. There are also life-altering collective events. In 1918, my great-grandmother’s two older brothers, just returned from the First World War, […] Read more