GFM Network News


Use the dividers in the trailer to keep groups separate during transportation to the packing plant.

Tips for minimizing dark cutters

Practical tips for handlers looking to cut the incidence of this costly problem

An extremely frustrating problem when shipping finished feedlot cattle is the incidence of dark cutters — those graded B4 — or, to a lesser degree, bruising or trim losses experienced at the packing plant. I’m sure we don’t know all the causes of dark cutters yet, but this article will explore some of the causes […] Read more

The Ruzickas run their own herd of Red Poll-cross cattle and also custom graze for other producers.

Alberta cattle producers turn to holistic management

Mounting debt and a holistic management course pushed Don and Marie Ruzicka to rethink the way they run their operation

Don and Marie Ruzicka had been farming for over a decade when circumstances shifted, nudging them on a new course. Although Don Ruzicka had grown up on a mixed farm, after university he spent several years working in the timber industry, with no intention of coming back to the farm. But things changed and eventually […] Read more


The Macnabs use a range of annual crops, plus pastures and forages, to feed their cattle.

Young cattle producers managing risk on the ranch

Whether it’s growing feed or selling cattle, Trent Macnab likes to spread out risk

For Trent Macnab, diversity in the winter feeding program has been a way to reduce risk and help build soil nutrients. The regime includes standing corn, straight barley for swath grazing, a cocktail crop mix for swath grazing and bale grazing. It also allows them to have a rotation on their fields, “which cattlemen typically […] Read more

Fostering business relationships with grain farmers can give cattle producers access to residue and salvage crops.


Strategies for wintering your cattle herd

This fall, focus on nutrients instead of feeds. Feeds are just a means of delivering nutrients

With all the variable weather we had this year across Canada and the short winter feed supplies in some areas, producers need to solve the economic challenge of balancing the herd’s winter feed or nutrient supply when feed is short. “The problem with drought for Canadian beef producers often boils down to two options: buy […] Read more


Hughes works to minimize stress during weaning by vaccinating calves and introducing them to pellets before splitting them from their dams.

Tips for reducing antibiotic use on the ranch

Producers and veterinarians adapt to new rules around livestock antibiotic use

Beef producers used to be able to pick up antibiotics at their favourite farm supply store or local small town co-op, but things changed on December 1, 2018. Since then, Health Canada has mandated that all medically important livestock antibiotics require a veterinary prescription. While producers and veterinarians alike have dealt with some challenges that […] Read more

Wear at the tip of the toe, separation along the white line and an abscess could be signs of toe-tip necrosis.

Toe-tip necrosis in cattle

Don’t overlook this disease when diagnosing lameness in the feedlot

Several things can cause foot soreness in cattle, including foot rot, puncture wounds, sole bruises, abscesses and white line disease. But one of the most serious is infection of the inner parts of the foot, resulting from toe-tip necrosis. Dr. Murray Jelinski of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan started […] Read more


Stock dogs are an important part of Ken MacKenzie’s ranching operation.

Help Wanted: Four-legged livestock handler

Stock dogs ease the work load for beef producer Ken MacKenzie

At times, work on the farm and ranch appears never-ending, so when something comes along to make things easier, it’s usually worth a second look. Ken MacKenzie of Drayton Valley, Alta., has a solution to this labour dilemma as he has been raising border collies and using them around his ranch for years. “As a […] Read more

James and Joan McKinlay at their farm in northeastern Grey County, about two and a half hours northwest of Toronto.

Ontario beef producers help young people get into farming

James and Joan McKinlay recognize the importance of setting up the next generation to succeed

James and Joan McKinlay are passionate about beef farming. They also believe strongly in the next generation and in the role established producers can play in getting young farmers started in the industry. It’s a philosophy they’ve put into practice on their own farm, working with their son and four other young people to start […] Read more


The Gole and Sons sign still hangs at the Cowlick Minerals feed mill.

Country Junction Feeds purchases Cowlick Minerals

Country Junction Feeds has purchased Cowlick Minerals, a long-standing Alberta feed business. Cowlick Minerals operated a vitamin/mineral premix plant at Innisfail, Alta. Its customers were mainly cow-calf producers who purchased a range of CFIA-registered products, including loose minerals, pressed blocks and molasses-based tub supplements from the plant. It was also registered to use medicated ingredients. […] Read more

For producers wanting to get the most out of a VCPR, consider working with your vet during the slower summer months to build a connection.

Herd health consultations necessary to buy antimicrobials

A veterinarian shares the process of establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship through a herd health consultation

While establishing and maintaining a veterinarian-client-patient relationship takes some time and effort, it’s likely simpler than expected, according to one beef cattle veterinarian. Creating a relationship with a veterinarian can provide great value to producers, says *Dr. Cody Creelman, beef cattle veterinarian at Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie, Alta. Although a large percentage of producers […] Read more