GFM Network News


Former federal and provincial community pastures operated for decades in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, many of them on ecologically sensitive lands. These pastures held habitat for wildlife and provided grazing allocations to area farmers. Starting in 2013, the pastures transitioned to patron operation.

Pastures hold on to ecological benefits through transition

Pasture managers and patrons are working with conservation groups to preserve these islands of Prairie habitat

The following is the final in a three-part series exploring how community pastures shifted from government to producer operation. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration’s (PFRA) community pasture program began in the 1930s as a quest to stop drifting soil and provide stable grazing for the […] Read more

A 3-D illustration of Bacillus anthracis bacteria. (Dr_Microbe/iStock/Getty Images)

Anthrax kills southeastern Saskatchewan sheep

Spores forced up by changes in soil moisture

Dramatic shifts in soil moisture are again bringing anthrax spores to the surface on the Prairies, this time in a southeastern Saskatchewan sheep pasture. Lab results on Wednesday confirmed anthrax as the cause of death of one animal in a flock of sheep in the R.M. of South Qu’Appelle, about 50 km east of Regina, […] Read more


When the government pulled out of community pastures, operations became the responsibility of board members and patron volunteers.

Community pasture patrons adapt to new business models

The following is the second in a three-part series exploring how different community pastures shifted from government to producer operation, and the ongoing effects of that shift. Years after government decided to turn over community pasture management to patrons, board members and staff are still finding new approaches to managing and improving operations while ensuring […] Read more

Tips for managing through a drought

Tips for managing through a drought

News Roundup from the June 2021 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

It’s a given that farmers and ranchers will face drought cycles over their lifetimes, and as the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) notes, managing forage and water through those cycles is challenging. Drought reaches beyond the southern Prairies, too — as Saskatchewan Agriculture recently noted, even producers in northern growing regions with plenty of sloughs, […] Read more


Jourdyn Sammons

Moving towards a career with purpose

Young Leader Spotlight: Discovering an interest in range management has broadened Jourdyn Sammons' educational opportunities

When Jourdyn Sammons joined the University of Saskatchewan’s Range Team in her third year of undergraduate studies, it led to an exciting field of study that’s positively shaped her educational experience.  “We talk about varying topics like ecology and grazing practices and multiple-use relationships, like how people can utilize rangeland for its facilities,” says Sammons, who grew up on a cow-calf and grain farm near Gleichen, Alta.   “The […] Read more

In 2012, the federal government announced they would be ceasing operations on former PFRA federal community pastures. Three years later, Saskatchewan announced they were pulling out of provincial pasture programs as well.

Community pasture patrons and staff persevere through tough transitions

When the federal and Saskatchewan governments wound down their community pasture programs, pasture employees and patrons faced a lot of uncertainty and stress, but they’ve adapted

Updated May 31, 2021. The following is the first in a three-part series of articles exploring how different community pastures shifted from government to producer operation, and the ongoing effects of that shift. Future articles will focus on environmental and financial implications. It’s been years since governments got out of community pastures. But the effects […] Read more


File photo of cattle grazing on Prince Edward Island. (ArodPEI/iStock/Getty Images)

Eastern drought zones set for livestock tax deferrals

Regions designated in P.E.I., N.S., N.B., Quebec

In a decision that may have come late for some, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and parts of southeastern Quebec and northwestern Nova Scotia have been declared drought zones for eligible livestock producers’ 2020 tax purposes. The federal government on Monday released its list and map of prescribed drought regions where tax deferral on sales […] Read more

Filming Guardians of the Grasslands.

Live launch for Guardians of the Grasslands draws over 500 viewers

After 18 months on the film festival circuit, Guardians of the Grasslands is now publicly available on YouTube.  The short documentary, produced by Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, outlines the role of cattle in preserving Canada’s Prairie ecosystem. Between September 2019 and March 2021, the film was […] Read more


The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef sees carbon-sequestering potential in grasslands, positioning the industry to be part of the climate change solution.

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

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