GFM Network News


Director Cheryl Foggo and actor Fred Whitfield on set.

Filmmaker reclaims a piece of Alberta’s ranching history with John Ware film

Cheryl Foggo's film, John Ware Reclaimed, debuts at the Calgary International Film Festival on Sept. 24.

When Cheryl Foggo was growing up in Calgary in the ‘50s and ‘60s, the Stampede was the big event of the year. “And I, like many, many young people of my generation, really loved the stories of cowboys. I loved horses. And I didn’t see myself reflected in that world when I watched the Saturday […] Read more

(File photo courtesy of Canada Beef: Cattle in a feedlot.) Researchers in Lethbridge examined the potential of biochar to cut methane emissions from feedlot cattle, but found no benefit.

Researchers find no methane-reducing benefit from feeding biochar

Lab research had found biochar may cut methane emissions, but so far researchers haven't seen that benefit translate into the feedlot.

If you’re considering feeding biochar to feedlot cattle to reduce methane emissions, you may want to manage your expectations. Recent research out of the University of Lethbridge and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Lethbridge Research Centre found that feeding biochar didn’t cut the cattle’s methane emissions, although it didn’t harm the animals, either. Previous research, […] Read more


Comment: How the sausage gets made

The pandemic has spotlighted packing industry concentration this year. People in the beef industry have been aware of these issues for some time, of course, but I even have friends outside ag who have been talking about it lately. Many want to see more, smaller federally inspected plants. It takes a tremendous amount of money, […] Read more

Comment: A little respect for consumers

Sometimes I wonder if we should scrub the word “consumer” from the pages of this magazine. Ultimately, doing so wouldn’t be a practical move, as it is good shorthand for the role of the people at the end of the supply chain. But sometimes I wonder if it seems derogatory, defining people by how they […] Read more


Meatocracy app connects customers with livestock producers

App creator hopes to offer an alternative to traditional livestock markets

Invoking the power of producers. That’s the intent captured in the name of Meatocracy, a new app that allows livestock producers to market their meat directly to customers. “There’s other online services out there that source, for example, from a producer or multiple producers. But then they’ll do the mark-up and sell under their own […] Read more

Beef supply chain players talk resiliency at Ag in Motion Discovery Plus

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Canadian Cattlemen magazine have teamed up to organize a panel to discuss some of the big questions facing the industry.

As the beef and restaurant industries deal with the aftermath of a COVID spring and look to the fall, a panel comprising individuals from each link in the supply chain will discuss ways to build resiliency throughout the industry at Ag in Motion Discovery Plus. The discussion covers risks and opportunities facing each panelist, what […] Read more


Ag in Motion's Discovery Plus will screen the short documentary Guardians of the Grasslands July 24 and 25.

Ag in Motion Discovery Plus to screen grasslands stewardship documentary

The online farm show will include screenings of Guardians of the Grasslands, as well as interviews with the filmmakers and a public advocacy expert.

As interest grows in closing the gap between agriculture and the general public, Ag in Motion is screening a film that aims to do just that. Guardians of the Grasslands is a short documentary about the role cattle play in the survival of the Great Plains ecosystem. The film is a collaboration between Story Brokers […] Read more

Cattle liners sit empty in a Red Deer parking lot in April 2020.

Small processors alone won’t create strong supply chain, say beef producers

Beef producers from across Canada weighed in on the packing industry’s concentration during a panel organized by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

After COVID-19 spread through the workforce of Canada’s largest beef packing plants this spring, many are asking whether the country should foster more, smaller processors. The pressure has eased somewhat, at least for now, in the beef supply chain. Canfax reports over 60,000 head were slaughtered the last week of May, and the backlog of […] Read more


Workers in Cargill's High River plant on the line in the spring of 2020. The photo, taken from a company presentation, shows the plastic barriers the company has installed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Relationship between union and plant management suffers under COVID-19

The union and management had a "good working relationship" pre-pandemic, but the coronavirus has ratcheted up tension.

As Western Canada’s big packers gear back up, the companies that run them are focused on getting past the crisis and clearing the backlog of market-ready cattle. But there are also fences to mend between management and the union. John Keating, managing director of Cargill’s protein supply chain and business operations in North America, said […] Read more

Workers in Cargill's High River plant on the line in the spring of 2020. The photo, taken from a company presentation, shows the plastic barriers the company has installed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What happened in Canada’s biggest beef plants this spring?

With provinces re-opening their economies and concerns about a second wave, what can other businesses and organizations learn from Alberta's packing plants?

As Alberta shut down schools and banned children from public playgrounds in March, packing plant workers started contacting their union, said Michael Hughes. Those workers saw a contradiction between kids not being able to play on monkey bars and plant employees being told to show up for their shifts. Hughes is a senior communications and […] Read more