GFM Network News


Researchers see evidence that the environment can have a physical impact on genes that can be passed on to later generations.

Nature vs. Nurture in animal performance

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Nothing is ever as simple as we think it is or wish it was. We’ve known for centuries that an animal’s performance, health, behaviour and other traits depend on a combination of their genetics and their environment. The genetics are inherited from their parents. Environmental influences are not inherited. Environments might be similar across generations […] Read more



University of Alberta researchers have flagged 19 genes that may play a role in feed efficiency. 


Cattle researchers map feed-efficiency genes

Research: News Roundup from the November 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

After sifting through thousands of genes, researchers have flagged a handful of genes that seem to be related to feed efficiency in cattle. Hui-Zeng Sun, a post-doctoral student at the University of Alberta, used functional genomics and computational statistics to better understand feed efficiency, writes Justin Dupuis on the U of A’s research blog, folio. […] Read more

University’s ‘Beefier Barley’ billboard binned

A billboard about Alberta barley’s prospects under climate change in the University of Alberta’s ‘Truth Matters’ promotion — a series of ads meant to spark discussion about its researchers’ work — has been winnowed out of the campaign. Jacqui Tam, the Edmonton-based U of A’s vice-president for university relations, announced Sunday it would withdraw the […] 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


Lucie and Wayne Sampson in the sale ring at the 2019 Pride of the Prairies bull sale.

‘Pride of the Prairies’ hosts its 100th bull show

Purely Purebred with Mike Millar: News about you from the April 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Senior 4-H members participating in the 10th Annual Summer Synergy at Olds Regional Exhibition this summer have an exciting opportunity. The top eight finalists in the judging competition will represent the Summer Synergy Judging Team in the Canadian National 4-H and Youth Judging Competition at Canadian Western Agribition in November. There they will compete against […] Read more


Graham Plastow says genomics has the potential to improve the efficiency of
commercial cattle.

Genomic tools for crossbred cattle in the works

The structure of the beef industry poses challenges

Genomic technologies may soon be available to predict traits in commercial cattle, according to University of Alberta researchers. Graham Plastow, CEO of the University of Alberta’s Livestock Gentec Centre, spoke about current opportunities for commercial producers to benefit from genomic tools and technologies in development during the Canadian Beef Breeds Council’s Technical Forum. This was […] Read more

Brian and Connie Chrisp with their grandchildren.

Make them pay their own way

That sort of sums up Brian Chrisp’s view on rearing purebred cattle

When Brian Chrisp went to college with plans of becoming a veterinarian, he didn’t think he would ever want to come back to the family farm near Vermilion, Alta. But life intervened. “While I was in college I switched course and got an ag economics degree at the University of Alberta. As graduation neared, I […] Read more


Grazing behaviour checked by GPS and pedometers did not differ significantly for high- and low-RFI females in this trial.

Do RFI ratings predict cattle performance on pasture?

In a word, no

Producers often wonder if genetic markers for feed efficiency based on drylot tests reflect feed efficiency on pasture where terrain, water sources and plant diversity are very different from a pen setting. Genetic markers for residual feed intake (RFI) have been identified that correlate well with actual RFI determined during the standard trials in pens […] Read more

Cows need to be on a rising plane of nutrition after calving to conceive and rebreed  on time.

Post-calving nutrition determines next year’s success

Management: Your cow's nutritional regime will have a major influence on when and if it gets bred.

In some areas of Canada this has been a very difficult winter to be a cow-calf producer. With last summer’s drought and the current feed shortage in those areas, many producers are left pondering what to do. Barry Yaremcio, a nutrition specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Murray Feist a beef cattle nutritionist with […] Read more