GFM Network News


Comment: Keep your pencil sharp

“The most important tool on the farm is the pencil.” That was the best farming advice Mike Buis ever received, and it came from his grandfather. Buis recently conducted a virtual tour of his family’s Chatham, Ont., beef farm for the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation. Coincidentally, a day or two before the Buis Beef tour, […] Read more

China is reshaping the global cow herd with aggressive buying.

China reshapes global beef markets

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

World events have made it increasingly difficult to figure out where the bubble in the level really is. We saw hundreds of Canadians on television protesting the detention of two Canadian citizens by the Chinese Communist Party for 1,000 days. The allegations are supposedly unrelated to political events everyone knows they are connected to. Yet […] Read more


There will always be some things that are beyond your control, but try to be in the glass-half-full camp.

Building resilience

Do you have the tools to recover from or adjust to adversity?

Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, at least it is not as bad as ’02.” Or perhaps, “This is even worse than ’02.” The situations vary in their severity but everyone in Western Canada is experiencing some degree of drought. And nobody in this business wants to think back to what happened after the drought of ’02. […] Read more



The upcoming generation is filled with talent, intelligence, creativity, enthusiasm, passion and a different way of thinking. We need to make sure we are not getting in their way, but helping guide the ship.

Rethinking what we know

“If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.”

There is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein that goes something like this: “You cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it.” This seems to make a lot of sense, but how does one go about moving to a different level of thinking? The speed of change seems to be […] Read more

California restauranteurs are concerned that a meat staple of many dishes such as the one seen here is going to be gutted from their menus come January.

Disappearing bacon — what’s next?

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

Reality can bite for voters ruled by emotion rather than informed decision-making. But this time, it could take away something to bite into. Restauranteurs in California are getting very concerned that a meat staple of many dishes, especially in breakfast-centred restaurants, is going to be gutted from their menus in January. Beginning then, much of […] Read more


Dittmer: Senate hearing elicits critical facts and logic

Dittmer: Senate hearing elicits critical facts and logic

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

A Senate hearing on your industry is always dangerous. It’s especially dangerous now for the U.S. cattle industry. Two Senate bills would mandate that each major packing plant procure 50 per cent of its cattle weekly by negotiated cash. The furor in the industry about such a drastic move, the remembered pandemic spectre of empty […] Read more

Negotiated cash report, packer struggles

Negotiated cash report, packer struggles

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) reported on the first quarter of monitoring the share of U.S. cattle bought through negotiated cash vs. other procurement methods. Not too surprisingly, there was good news and bad news, for those favouring more negotiated cash sales. The regions that customarily sell more finished cattle through negotiated cash sales […] 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

The more government piles on regulations, the bigger the advantage for bigger operators with deeper pockets leaving smaller operators disadvantaged or driven out of business.

Are we headed for government-run packers?

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

You folks up north might remember when President Obama and the labour unions took over General Motors. People started referring to GM as Government Motors. Well, we’ve got folks who want to turn our packers into quasi-government packing companies. After all, if the government is going to tell packers how to buy cattle, how many […] Read more