GFM Network News


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

Cattle may be a uniquely efficient solution to some of the problems we see around food loss.

Waste not want not

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

When I was a kid, “no dessert if you don’t finish your supper” encouraged us to eat everything on our plates. Others grew up with the guilt-based “children are starving in the Third World” approach. There are more than twice as many people on earth today as there were 40 years ago, so issues such […] Read more


(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

On the road again

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced significant changes to Canada’s livestock transportation regulations in 2019. Previously, truckers could haul cattle for 48 hours before a mandatory five-hour feed, water and rest stop (unless they were within four hours of their final destination). The new regulations require an eight-hour feed, water and rest stop after […] Read more

cattleman on a horse

We have questions. You, as a cattle producer, have the answers

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

This column usually tells you about a research project that the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) has supported using Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funds paid by producers like yourself. Sometimes you may ask yourself “why on earth did they fund that?” , “why don’t they do research on this?” or “do they ask producers what […] Read more


A 2019 report highlighted a few tweaks to common calving management practices that could significantly improve calf survival from difficult births.

Get ’em out, get ’em up, get ’em fed, write ’em down…Rawhide!

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

It’s called calving difficulty for a reason. They’re difficult to deliver, it’s difficult for the calf to survive, it’s difficult to watch it die, and it’s difficult to lose the $1,250 the calf could have sold for in the fall. The Beef Cattle Research Council’s 2019 Adoption Rates of Recommended Practices by Cow-Calf Operators in […] Read more

E. coli bacteria.

Are E. coli really becoming more heat resistant?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

The past few columns have talked about how antibiotic use contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The same survival-of-the-fittest principle applies to environmental stresses such as heat. Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC, including E. coli O157:H7) are the main food safety concerns in Canadian beef processing facilities. High temperatures kill E. coli, so for many years large beef […] Read more


E. coli bacteria.

Do cattle bacteria contribute to antibiotic resistance in human medicine?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

E. coli live in the digestive tracts of warm-blooded animals and birds. Most are harmless, some are beneficial and some (such as E. coli O157:H7) can be very dangerous. E. coli are also involved in antibiotic resistance. “Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing” (or ESBL) E. coli are a major concern in human medicine. These bacteria are resistant […] Read more

Cattle need nearly three times as much oxygen as a similar-sized horse just to stay awake and lie around.

Everything old is new again – treating chronic mycoplasma

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Cattle were ideally created (or evolved) to consume and digest high fibre diets. Whoever (or whatever) was responsible for designing the rumen so elegantly probably should have paid more attention to the respiratory tract. The design of the bovine respiratory tract makes it easy for BRD bacteria such as Mannheimia, Pasteurella, Histophilus and Mycoplasma to […] Read more


As beef producers gained more appreciation for the value of industry-funded research, some provincial groups began allocating more checkoff dollars to the BCRC.

The evolution of the Beef Cattle Research Council

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

This column usually features research projects funded by the BCRC. This month is a bit of a higher-level view of some of the BCRC’s other activities. Canada’s cattle and beef producers pay the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off that supports the Beef Cattle Research Council, Canada Beef’s domestic and international marketing activities and the Canadian Cattlemen’s […] Read more

Vaccines are an important part of a preventative herd health program, but they aren’t a silver bullet.

An(other) ounce of prevention

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

My first fire drill in Grade 1 was absolute chaos, screaming and panic as we all circled the teacher, who was likely wondering how our parents had managed to keep us alive this long. By Grade 3, we yawned and strolled to the nearest door. Fire drills teach kids what to do when there’s no […] Read more