GFM Network News


Six generations of the Hines family have been involved in the Marwayne-area ranch over the last 100 years.

Ranching in northeastern Alberta

In 1918, the Hines family shipped over 800 head of Hereford to Kitscoty by rail, and they’ve been raising cattle in the Marwayne area ever since

The roots run long and deep for the Hines family of Marwayne, Alta. They have been ranching in the Marwayne area for over 100 years. Over that time the family has grown to include many that are well-known in the cattle industry. In 1906, Jim Hine’s grandfather, George (Judge), had come north from Montana to […] Read more

Manitoba Agriculture puts the direct costs per cow at $1,058.57 in 2019. Once you add the fixed costs and labour, the total is $1,469.10.

Managing finances on the farm

Whether you’re managing through a black swan event such as a pandemic or so-called normal times, it’s vital to have a solid understanding of your operation’s finances

Many consider financial literacy to be a basic life skill. And further, one that is not always covered in traditional school settings. As ranchers and farmers, does this gap extend into our knowledge base? Certainly those that specialize and like “numbers” have a good grasp, but beyond that, how can we improve ag financial literacy […] Read more


“Succession issues are not always easy to solve. It is hard dealing with family and business, but it also brings the most joy and satisfaction, which is why we do it.”

Talking succession planning with Annessa Good

As a young woman and the daughter of a well-known farm transition consultant, Good brings an interesting perspective to succession planning

[UPDATED: May 27, 2020] – Annessa Good refers to the transition process as a roller coaster ride and it is quite the ride, she says. If anyone should know, it is her. Not only is she a transition specialist in southern Alberta with Farm Credit Canada (FCC), but she is also the daughter of another well-known […] Read more

Robbie Hale of Maverick Livestock stands in the family’s cocktail crop near Hines Creek, Alta.

Lessons learned growing cocktail crops

Despite an adverse start, cocktail crops have become a regular part of the Hale family’s crop rotation over the last six years

It is a long, long way from Dallas, Texas to Hines Creek, Alta. But the distance did not deter Curt Hale’s grandfather and father from making the move to Alberta’s Peace Country. The Hale family calls their operation Maverick Livestock, an apt name, with a maverick being an unorthodox or independent-minded person. The pioneering spirit […] Read more


Beginning succession planning isn’t easy, but will have long-lasting effects on both the family and operation.

Succession planning 101

The first step to succession planning is to call a family meeting

If you asked farmers and ranchers what keeps them up at night, besides markets and weather, many would say the succession plan or lack thereof. When is the best time to start the process? Similar to planting trees, 25 years ago. But the second-best time is now, was a comment made by a recent Entreleadership […] Read more

The Macnabs use a range of annual crops, plus pastures and forages, to feed their cattle.

Young cattle producers managing risk on the ranch

Whether it’s growing feed or selling cattle, Trent Macnab likes to spread out risk

For Trent Macnab, diversity in the winter feeding program has been a way to reduce risk and help build soil nutrients. The regime includes standing corn, straight barley for swath grazing, a cocktail crop mix for swath grazing and bale grazing. It also allows them to have a rotation on their fields, “which cattlemen typically […] Read more


Dylan and Colleen Biggs of TK Ranch.

Determination the crucial ingredient to TK Ranch’s success

This Alberta ranch has seen its share of tough times but the Biggs family keeps moving forward

The challenges and hardships encountered by the pioneers in the short grass prairie of central Alberta are difficult for us in modern day agriculture to fathom. But the direct marketing storyline for Dylan and Colleen Biggs of TK Ranch near Coronation, Alta., has distinct parallels. Overcoming adversity, challenges beyond one’s control and constant change are […] Read more

A teaspoon of productive soil generally contains anywhere from 100 million to one billion bacteria, says Dr. Elaine Ingham, microbiologist and founder of Soil Food Web Inc.

Building healthy soil for forages

Research group targets five basic principles to improve soil health

Feed the soil and everything gets better, says Brian Harper, Manitoba beef producer and 2018 Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) winner. Harper’s focus has moved from the livestock, down to the plants and now to the soil and the below-ground activity. “I have realized the cattle are just a tool.” Many ranchers are starting to acknowledge […] Read more


Their children, parents, extended family and community are all important to the Chuikos.

A farm succession story that went a different way

Camping with the cows motivated John and Deanne Chuiko to envision their future differently. The Chuikos, who run CJ Ranching near St. Walburg, Sask., lived in town with their two young children, Matt and Rylee, and managed calving by moving out to the cow herd. May camping can be chilly in north-western Saskatchewan and John […] Read more

Brian Harper (left) at a grazing workshop touring the high-stock-density grazing experiment on his land north of Brandon, Man.  Beef and forage research is in a holding pattern this spring due to the pandemic.

Put the land first… and everything else will follow

Rotational grazing setup uses 16, eight-acre paddocks that cattle move through on four-day intervals

When Brian Harper first witnessed high stock density or “mob” grazing, his reaction was “there is no way I am moving cattle two to three times a day.” Yet the beneficial impact on the land from this approach ultimately convinced Harper that it could fit into their operation. He had already seen an improvement when […] Read more