GFM Network News


Salinity in central Saskatchewan, just off Highway 15.

Managing soil salinity for the long haul

Establishing perennial forages is one of the top recommended methods to manage saline soils for the long term

Growing up on a mixed farm in southern Alberta, Alan Iwaasa was no stranger to the costly headaches that saline soils could create. “There were certain land bases that just were poor,” Iwaasa recalls. “For a period of time, there was a lot of effort that was looking at levelling your land and putting in […] Read more

Rafael Otfinowski conducting research at Grasslands National Park.  Photo: Supplied by University of Winnipeg

The struggle to restore native prairie

Though grassland reclamation can take decades and has many challenges, efforts are underway to renew native prairie ecosystems

On the Northern Great Plains, it’s estimated that one acre of native grass is lost every minute. Though recently there has been increased awareness about this ecosystem being the world’s most endangered, pressures to convert this irreplaceable landscape remain strong. “Unfortunately, there’s always this push and pull between different land uses and intensification of agriculture […] Read more


Yearling steers grazed each site for about 30 to 40 days in August and September for three years.

Grazing binary forage mixtures during the summer slump

A University of Saskatchewan study evaluates new grass and legume varieties at two different soil zones in the province

Grazing grass and legume mixtures in late summer and fall has the potential for promising gains, research conducted in south and central Saskatchewan shows. There are proven benefits to including a legume in a mixture to improve grass pastures. But researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) saw an […] Read more

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)
are hosting a virtual conversation series this week in anticipation of the upcoming United Nations Food
Systems Summit.

A wider vision for grassland conservation

A new collaborative effort across North America is focusing efforts to protect the fast-disappearing Prairie ecosystem

For many who call the Canadian Prairies home, it would be impossible to imagine springtime without the cheerful song of the western meadowlark. That distinct, flute-like call, along with the other songs of grassland birds returning north, is a defining part of this landscape. But as grasslands across North America continue to disappear, the meadowlark’s […] Read more


Ryan Boyd and his daughter Piper during a farm media tour in the fall of 2018.

Nuffield Canada scholarship expands horizons for Manitoba producer

Ryan Boyd shares how he’s applying the insights from his international travel on his family’s cow-calf operation

A mindset of continual improvement led Ryan Boyd on an international adventure with benefits for his family’s farm upon returning home. Boyd runs South Glanton Farms at Forrest, Man., with his wife, Sarah, and his parents, Jim and Joanne. He is passionate about implementing the principles of regenerative agriculture and the soil health movement, including […] Read more

Jointed goat grass can hybridize with wheat.

Healthy range key to preventing new invasive plants

Range agrologists urge producers to watch for changes on the landscape and be mindful of how invasive species spread

If your grasslands are in good health, you’re already on your way to preventing an infestation of an invasive grass species. Without proper range management, grasslands in poor condition will be less resistant to an unwanted species establishing, says Sheryl Wurtz, invasive plant specialist with the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources. In […] Read more


A coal mine in a mountain area of Alberta.

Selenium from open-pit coal mining may pose downstream risk to ag

Potential of selenium pollution in Alberta’s major watersheds a threat to agriculture and others downstream, say livestock nutritionist and conservationist

The effects of selenium pollution in rivers near open-pit coal mines can be felt hundreds of kilometres downstream, says a conservation organization.  In studying the impacts of open-pit coal mining in B.C.’s Elk Valley, Lars Sander-Green has seen how selenium leaching from four metallurgical coal mines contaminated the local drinking water supply and devastated fish […] Read more

Presenting 2019 Canadian Livestock Auctioneering Champion Ryan Konynenbelt with the CAA-sponsored champion buckle.

Respect underpins successful career in cattle business

As the Canadian Angus Association’s longtime commercial fieldman retires, Brian Good looks back on those who shaped his path and what he learned about an industry that is all about people

When Brian Good became a field representative for Independent Breeders Service in the 1990s, a fellow fieldman offered some simple yet valuable advice that’s served him well through the years. Keith Coates, then a fieldman for the Canadian Hereford Association, took Good under his wing in his early days in this role. “One thing he […] Read more


A flank steak. Nutrition, quality and cost are some of the factors millennials interviewed for this story cited when buying beef.

Winning over millennials

Overall millennials see beef production less favourably than other generations, but sharing positive stories and making personal connections can win longtime fans

This is the final instalment in a three-part series on millennial consumers and the opportunities for Canadian beef producers to better understand this demographic. You can read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. Junelle Dion is a fan of Canadian beef, and directly supporting a rancher makes purchasing beef even more satisfying. “I love […] Read more

Joe Lofthouse working the gate while sorting calves. Lofthouse believes in a hands-on leadership style.

People-focused approach pays off

Hands-on leadership and being open to continuous learning have made the difference for this feedlot management consultant

Although Joe Lofthouse has successfully managed tens of thousands of head of cattle, learning to manage an underappreciated aspect in feedlot production is what has made the greatest difference. The ability to work effectively with others has been one of the most valuable skills throughout his career in feedlot management. “I’ve always said it wasn’t […] Read more