GFM Network News

Jay Cross of Okotoks, Alta. is Sendero’s founding chair and Virgil Lowe of Nanton, Alta., is the company’s CEO.

Sendero seeks continuous improvement across supply chain

New program offers improved efficiency and profitability by improving data flow through the beef value chain

Continuous improvement opens the doors to greater possibilities, as the cattle producers behind Sendero Limited know well. By working to improve efficiency at each stage of production, this innovative new program offers tools to increase profitability across the beef supply chain. “All of our founders have been in the business for generations, and we’ve always […] Read more

Les Halliday finds cull potatoes to be highly palatable to cattle. Like any feed, they need to be introduced slowly. To avoid choking hazards, they should be chopped or ensiled before feeding.

Making food waste work in your feeding program

There are several benefits and challenges to weigh when introducing food waste as a feed source

When customers visit Mike Buis’ on-farm retail store to purchase beef, they often ask what unusual product he’s feeding his cows that day. “It keeps it interesting,” says Buis, who farms at Chatham, Ont., and feeds cull vegetables and processing byproducts to his herd. “They need to almost drive directly by the feed bunk to […] Read more

The preconditioning study includes 250 calves raised at W.A. Ranches and fully preconditioned, along with another 250 purchased, conventionally weaned calves.

Study delves deeper into preconditioning calves

Researchers are exploring disease prevention, economics and performance benefits on feeder calves

Though the practice of preconditioning calves is relatively well known, not everyone agrees on the definition of the term. Confusion over what preconditioning entails may be partly to blame for reports of inconsistent returns on investment, says one researcher. “To me, it’s way more than just optimizing a vaccination protocol,” says Dr. Karin Orsel, veterinary […] Read more

How does your feed measure up? This livestock nutritionist decodes the numbers.

A closer look at your feed test

A ruminant nutritionist provides us with an in-depth look at a real-life feed test for hay

In a year like this, feed testing is “prudent,” says Courtney O’Keefe, ruminant nutritionist with Blue Rock Animal Nutrition at Innisfail, Alta. “It’s going to help you make those decisions and balance that ration accordingly.” O’Keefe takes us through a recent feed test (see example below) for mixed grass-legume hay, noting that nutritionists tend to […] Read more

Dry pastures can mean vitamin A deficiencies in both cows and calves this fall.

Beware vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the cow herd during drought

News Roundup from the September 27, 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

As ranchers pull cattle from parched pastures this fall, veterinarians and livestock nutritionists advise watching for vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  “This year we’re going to be seeing a lot of guys feeding some alternative feeds, maybe a little bit more straw in their rations, so it’ll be important to balance off those important macro minerals […] Read more

Bovine Expert Tracking and Surveillance, or BETSY, can identify cattle from almost any angle and at considerable distance, the company says, and there are plans to enable the system to read RFID tags.

Biometrics and artificial intelligence may be coming to a ranch near you

Companies are developing emerging technology to identify cattle, track health, growth and behaviour, and analyze data

Like the facial recognition technology now used on smartphones, a new livestock identification technology is using artificial intelligence to keep tabs on cattle. Created by Canadian company OneCup AI, Bovine Expert Tracking and Surveillance, or BETSY, uses artificial intelligence to identify and monitor cattle through facial recognition technology. Mokah Shmigelsky, founder of OneCup AI, grew […] Read more

Mentorship can help vet students from urban backgrounds gain the confidence needed to move into rural practice.

Creativity needed to address veterinarian shortage

As demand grows for veterinarians, stagnant graduation rates and steep competition from urban areas have left many rural practices in a crunch

Working in a rural community as a large animal veterinarian always made perfect sense to Dr. Trevor Lawson. “There’s nowhere I’d sooner be because I came from a rural area and that’s where I always wanted to be,” says Lawson, who practices at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, specializing in bovine and equine care, and is an […] Read more


Ontario MDS volunteers already moving hay west

Disaster response group spearheading program separate from CFA plan

It’s in the spirit of co-operation in difficult times that a group of Ontario farmers have launched a hay donation program to assist their Saskatchewan counterparts. Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada, a volunteer organization that provides assistance in the aftermath of disasters in Canada and the U.S., is organizing the latest iteration of Hay West […] Read more

Cynthia Beck speaks about chronic stress and health during a webinar hosted by the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.

Prioritize your health during challenging situations

Basic self-care, awareness of stress responses and reaching out to others all key for dealing with difficult times

When faced with a crisis, prioritizing your physical and mental well-being is extremely important. “You are the number-one piece of machinery on your farm,” says Cynthia Beck, cow-calf producer at Milestone, Sask. and clinical psychology masters’ candidate at the University of Regina. Practicing self-care is vital, Beck explained during a recent Canadian Cattlemen’s Association webinar […] Read more

Cynthia Beck speaks during a webinar organized by the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. Chronic stress negatively affects our health and decreases our ability to be an asset to our operation. That makes managing it very important.

Chronic stress can affect health and decision-making

Understanding our body’s stress response can help us cope in healthy ways during difficult times

When a person takes unnecessary risks and makes decisions that are out of character for them, this could signal that they’re struggling with chronic stress. For example, the current frequency of bale theft across the Prairies might indicate that more people are “under a lot of chronic stress, and it could be impacting their decision-making […] Read more