GFM Network News


Johne’s disease is tricky to diagnose, because while symptoms include weight loss and lower milk production, no fever or loss of appetite is present.

Developing a vaccine to combat Johne’s disease

Canadian researchers are trialling vaccine candidates, and plan to have results in the fall

Just as researchers around the world are racing to find a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus, Canadian scientists have been diligently working to discover a vaccine that works on Johne’s disease in cattle. “We have successfully established and validated our research model using a commercial MAP vaccine currently licensed for use in Australia and Spain,” […] Read more

Calving date shifting in Ontario

The onset of calving season often depends on the individual operation, says an Ontario cow-calf producer

The vast majority of Ontario producers calve their cows either in the barn or very close to it early in the year, but the current trend is toward later calving dates on grass, according to Craig McLaughlin, a Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) board director and cow-calf producer in Renfrew County. A survey conducted in […] Read more


Canada is currently considered a bovine TB-free country, but incidences arose as recently as 2016 in Alberta, when six cases were found, and in 2018 when four cases were detected in British Columbia.

Battling bovine tuberculosis

Canadian researchers are working on TB vaccines and developing strategies to manage the disease in wild animals

Research is underway in Canada to develop a vaccine aimed at eliminating the threat of bovine tuberculosis (TB). If successful, the results will mean better health for cattle and humans around the world. “When we say bovine TB, sometimes it can also be TB that’s found in humans,” says Dr. Jeff Chen, explaining that Mycobacterium […] Read more

The Maritime Beef Sector Development and Expansion Strategy calls for increasing the regional herd by 20,000 head in the next 10 years.

Maritimes working on strategy to grow the beef herd

While access to land, grass and forages support beef production in the Maritimes, the industry must overcome other barriers

The Maritimes beef industry may be small but the quality is high and there’s plenty of opportunity for growth, according to Amy Higgins. “We have lots of access to grass and forages,” says Higgins. “And generally, land costs are much lower here than, say, Ontario.” Higgins and her family run a small purebred Black Angus […] Read more


Ontario’s Livestock Research Innovation Corporation was instrumental in helping to get the new Elora Beef Research Centre up and running.

Doing livestock research and innovation right in Ontario

The new CEO of the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation shares his thoughts on the organization’s direction

Mike McMorris, the new CEO of Ontario’s Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC), is a firm believer in systems research — finding ways to leverage better results through collaboration and making connections across species. He’s also focused on better co-ordinating research services, making sure member organizations receive value for their investments and digging deeper into the […] Read more



Ontario’s current system is overly dependent on calves from out of province, and the focus is to boost cow numbers.

Ontario votes to increase provincial beef check-off

Checkoff initially proposed in 2018 gets the go-ahead

[UPDATED: May 16, 2019] It took a year of planning, negotiating and explaining how the money would be spent, but members of the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) finally voted in favour of a hefty $1.50 increase in the beef cattle check-off at the 2019 annual general meeting. The increase was turned down in 2018. […] Read more

Beef Farmers of Ontario shared the cost with Flanagan Foodservice to launch this new local brand.

Ontario’s CARVE brand beef a success

Growing appetite for high-quality local food created on opportunity for a new beef brand

A newly minted premium Ontario beef brand called CARVE raked in more than $3 million in sales in just over a year and has become a flagship product for Flanagan Foodservice. “We lead with it everywhere we go,” said Brad Heard, the company’s category manager for protein. “We worked hand in hand with the Beef […] Read more


As part of his plan to provide alternative feed options for his cattle, one Ontario beef producer arranged with a neighbour to graze his cows on 100 acres of corn stalks.

The benefits of alternative feed options

Continuous improvement leads to big cost savings

Mike Buis says that his approach to his vertically integrated beef business is to make “one new mistake every year” — the keys being “one” and “new.” “If we’re not making at least one mistake a year, we’re not trying hard enough to do different things,” he said. Buis has a fourth-generation farm with 300 […] Read more

Panelists Mike Buis, Mike von Massow, Jarius Maus, Joe Hill and Tammi  Ribey discuss the challenges Ontario beef producers face in 2018.

Stabilizing Ontario’s beef cattle industry

Five opinions heard at the Grey-Bruce Beef Day

If every producer put into practice two or three new ideas from the conferences they attend, the entire industry could benefit, according to Dr. Tammi Ribey. “The beef industry is us — everyone can do something,” she said. “If we all do a little something, collectively it should help.” Ribey is a veterinarian with a […] Read more