GFM Network News


Left to right: Alyson, Jordan, Kelty and Alex McKay.

Transparency and trust key to on-farm retail

The McKay brothers have leveraged years of direct-marketing experience into an expanding family business

Direct marketing has always been part of brothers Jordan and Alex McKay’s business model. As kids, they sold strawberries from their mother Marlene’s u-pick strawberry fields. They clearly took those early lessons to heart. Today they run an impressive direct-marketing operation near Port Perry, Ont., and were named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers in 2018. The […] Read more

Echo Sand Ranch bulls on display.

Using data to drive decisions

The family behind Echo Sand Ranching and Korova Feeders challenges 
conventional thinking in seedstock production and sales

Data has always driven herd management decisions for Doug and Helga Price, though their methods for using data have greatly evolved over the years. At one time, they calculated performance data for Echo Sand Ranching on paper. Helga spent long hours working this information to rank the females in their herd. Today, with an easy-to-use […] Read more


(Left to right) James Ritchie, Dana Stoyberg, Vladmir Tadic, Heidi Trenson and Claye Harsany.

Taking a page from Australia’s quality grading playbook

Could a new premium program and grading system boost consumer satisfaction?


A student project at the University of Alberta suggests that introducing an additional quality grading system could benefit the Canadian beef industry. Five animal science students in the final year of their undergraduate degree have proposed the development of a voluntary muscle-based grading system, modeled after a similar program that has had positive results in […] Read more

Dr. Robin White speaks at Beef Symposium 2019 in Guelph.

Harnessing precision technology for better beef profitability

Profitable periods can be elusive in the beef industry, but new precision technologies could be a way to greater returns. That’s according to Dr. Robin White, assistant professor of integrated beef production systems management at Virginia Tech, who spoke at the 2019 Beef Symposium in Guelph, Ont., this past winter. “We want to influence the feedback […] Read more


Left to right: Megan Clifton (CYL), Jessica Giles (CYL) and Ben Miller (chef) cooking chili over an open fire.

Young beef producers connect with top chefs

Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program works with the nation’s most talented young chefs to create meaningful connections

Campfire smoke and laughter filled the air as some of the brightest young talents in the Canadian beef and culinary industries met on the banks of the Pekisko Creek. On the menu today: chili cooked over a fire, plus the opportunity to build vital relationships. The beef industry is frequently told to share its story […] Read more

Amanda Douglas’s father, Darin, experienced a tough harvest a few years ago. Weather is one of many stressors for producers.

Tips for recognizing and managing stress, anxiety and depression

Many farmers tend to work harder when faced with problems rather than reaching out for support

Agriculture is a stressful occupation, with mental health impacts that tend to exceed those of the average population. Dr. Greg Gibson, a registered clinical psychologist who practices in rural Manitoba, says the number of farmers and ranchers affected by depression, anxiety and stress is often under-reported, partly because of the attached stigma. Gibson cites a […] Read more


The Fewings family raises commercial cattle and grows grains and oilseed crops in southwestern Manitoba.

Young beef producer makes time for learning

Manitoba producer carves out time 
for mentorship program between 
family, farm and off-farm job

Tyler Fewings is a busy man, juggling family, work and farm responsibilities. He also juggles time zones half the year, after Saskatchewan and Manitoba fall out of sync in the spring. For the last year he’s also had another ball in the air, as he’s focused on improving his financial and business management skills. Fewings […] Read more

Mogulones crucifer root weevil on houndstongue. This root weevil has been highly successful in 
controlling houndstongue in British Columbia.

Using insects to control invasive weeds on pasture

Houndstongue biocontrol project in B.C. has been highly successful

Once invasive plants reach a point of domination, elimination is generally not feasible. Land managers sometimes turn to biologic control, a last resort for reducing a widespread weed’s populations to below an economic or environmental damage threshold. Eradicating the weed may be impossible, but biocontrol agents may reduce it to manageable levels. Since 1951, 82 […] Read more



Brian Chrisp places feed along an electric fence, running the wire over the feeder and on both sides.  Photo: Supplied by Brian Chrisp

Portable fencing tips for rotational grazing of cattle

“No matter how many fence posts you have and how many rolls of poly wire, it won’t work if you’re not thinking ahead,” says Tim Hoven

Many stockmen who graze rotationally create permanent paddocks with traditional fencing or electric hard wire, such as high tensile wire. They then divide those paddocks with portable fencing such as poly wire. A portable fence can be moved every few days, daily, or even several times daily to strip graze or mob graze. There are […] Read more