GFM Network News


When asking lenders for money, make sure you know your expected revenues, expenses, net worth, cash flow and how you’ll make payments. Don’t be afraid to ask lenders questions, especially around ratios.

Financing for first-timers

Two bankers offer tips for young producers preparing to talk to a lender

Getting prepared to meet with a banker to get a loan can be fraught with anxiety, especially if you’re young, eager to build a cattle business, and don’t have a lot of financial experience. Canadian Cattlemen talked to two experts about how to better equip yourself for success. “First and foremost, I’d want to know […] Read more

Dr. Volker Gerdts, director and CEO of the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).

Livestock research a high priority for VIDO

COVID has highlighted the need to connect human and animal health, and for resources to address pandemics in either sphere

Canada’s ability to rapidly respond to emerging human and animal diseases was given a $59.2 million shot in the arm last fall in the federal budget, due to the pandemic. The funding is going to the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO). It, combined with $15 million from the province, $250,000 from […] Read more


Checking cattle in a Canadian feedlot. Bovine respiratory disease remains the most common disease affecting feedlot cattle.

New nasal spray may provide relief from BRD

By focusing on the microbiome in the respiratory system, a new startup hopes to control shipping fever without antibiotics

Research into a promising alternative to antibiotics that prevents and treats bovine respiratory disease (BRD) has investors and the beef industry buzzing. “My interest is to understand how the microbiome influences the animal’s overall health and response to disease,” says Dr. Christopher Belnap, co-founder and CEO of Resilient Biotics, based in North Carolina. The Microbiology […] Read more

Masks, face shields and plastic barriers between work stations are examples of the health and safety protocols at Cargill to protect workers from COVID-19.

Pandemic-battered beef industry may still be in for a rough ride

While Cargill has improved its pandemic protocols, the union representing plant workers wants to see more changes as they head into contract negotiations this winter

Cargill’s Canadian meat plants have made some progress in rebounding from the initial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a possible strike in the new year may pose a major setback for the company and the beef industry. “The company has to fix the structural problems that led to the outbreak,” says Michael Hughes, the […] Read more


A one-foot space at the bottom of the windbreak keeps snow and ice from piling up.

Whither the wind: How to decide on windbreaks

Find out what your options are for protecting your herd from wind and snow this winter

Find out what your options are for protecting your herd from wind and snow this winter

If beef producers want to have healthy, productive herds, making sure they’re protected from the wind is crucial, says Jenifer Heyden. “We want the cattle to be able to maintain condition on cold, windy days,” says the livestock and feed extension specialist with the Government of Saskatchewan. While beef cattle are tough, and can handle […] Read more

During the pandemic, Maryjo and Rob Tait of Celtic Ridge Farms have made a lot of sales of their beef using social media and their website.

Surviving the pandemic on a small beef farm

When COVID-19 struck, the Tait family pivoted their retail strategy, and some of those adaptions will serve them in the long-term

Bouncing back and thriving from a pandemic-caused blow to the business taught Maryjo and Rob Tait of Celtic Ridge Farms a number of valuable lessons. “We’re very much supported by our local people, which is awesome,” says Maryjo. “And with the online business, our reach is much wider.” The Taits have a 100-head mixed herd […] Read more


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

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