GFM Network News


A renegotiated NAFTA was supposed to bring an end to steel and aluminum tariffs on member countries. So why are they still in place?

Enough is enough on tariffs

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

I’m not sure what’s happening in Canada but in the States, the steel and aluminum tariffs the U.S. put on Canada are not being mentioned at all. A search of the media stories does not show anything much up in Canada either. How can it be that something that important between two neighbours is escaping […] Read more

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, shown here at a Nov. 1, 2018 press conference, considers the steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration imposed against Canada illegal.

USMCA frictions continue

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

After months of negotiation, it looked like maybe it would get easier. Yes, getting the USMCA through national legislatures would be difficult and the steel and aluminum tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs were still in place. But negotiations on steel and aluminum tariffs were ongoing and intense, we were told. Yet up until the night […] Read more


Unfinished business

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

I had a discussion recently with a trade expert from the Canadian Consulate in Denver. The occasion was a celebration of the conclusion of the USMCA. Our discussion revolved around getting rid of the steel and aluminum tariffs the U.S. had put on Canadian and Mexican exports of those products. That is the key to […] Read more

La bendición

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

There is a little sign in the garden of my friend Gabriel in Cuba. It reads “La bendición” or translated — the blessing. I met Gabriel while training in permaculture food production in Cuba. We seemed to know each other from a past life and were immediately close friends. His beautiful family radiates their love […] Read more


Resurrection of GIPSA Rule a bad idea

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

I’m sure you all are tired of bad ideas from south of the border. So I’m sad to report that one of our fringe groups down here has partially resurrected one of the most self-destructive ideas to ever come out of government, in collusion with attorneys and livestock industry malcontents. Those of you with memory […] Read more

What business models should we expect from the supply chain to assure the reduction of waste and beef packaging?

75 million cows missing

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

Food waste is real and as global trade increases, so does the waste. The relationship between food waste and trade is complicated. Food rots because of transportation or infrastructure issues and is the victim of corrupt governments. It is taken by war lords and destroyed by tribal enemies. It is tossed from ships or held […] Read more


Who do you think you are?

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

The business of agriculture is getting it from all sides. Some folks liken farmers, ranchers and cattle feeders to monsters who are destroying the land and even more so the air. Society has a way of defining those involved in food production by what they do and not who they are. When someone asks us […] Read more

Eureka! At last, we have a renegotiated NAFTA

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

While it seems like forever to us, these kinds of diplomatic trade battles usually take several years to settle, not just a little over a year. Of course, President Trump wasn’t around before now, pushing people’s buttons and impatiently demanding results like a business tycoon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a major point that the […] Read more


Willing to ask

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

Author Naomi Klein wrote: “Politics hates a vacuum. If not filled with hope; someone will fill it with fear.” Many can likely relate to this statement in the current political environment. From American politics, specifically on trade and immigration — to pipeline threats and promises, the art of filling the vacuum with fear is alive […] Read more

U.S. President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in Topeka, Kansas, on Oct. 6, 2018.

Down to the bitter end

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

I’ve talked to a lot of cattlemen across America in the last year. To a man, or woman, they are not comfortable with some of President Trump’s brash New York style. Of course, one has to remember how his business career forged him. He has dealt with wealthy, egotistical national and international property owners; tough […] Read more