GFM Network News


With a key farm investor, Pickard says InfraReady doesn’t need to make a lot of noise. Instead, their focus is on knowing the job, and on execution.

New business

InfraReady’s success, crafted by entrepreneur Mark Pickard, reveals what it takes to grow an idea into a corporate success in today’s ag and food sector

InfraReady Products occupies a modest grey building in Saskatoon’s industrial area, across the street from Maple Leaf Foods. Inside is a business that produces over 250 food products for companies from around the world. On a late August day, a delegation of Mexican business people has stopped at InfraReady for lunch. The menu features food […] Read more

There are risks of an employer being found liable if a stoned employee is involved in an accident. But there’s more uncertainty than clarity about it

High on farmwork

With marijuana decriminalization, what if you suspect one of your farm employees might be high at work? Or… what if they’re driving your equipment high, and you don’t even realize it?

It isn’t an easy question. How can you make sure all employees are fit for work and that they can do the job without endangering their health (or the health of others) without violating their rights or ending up in court? With recreational cannabis legalization in the parliamentary pipeline, employers in all sectors will be […] Read more


Six steps to help prevent clubroot in canola

Back in 2013, John Guelly discovered some dead canola plants with ominous-looking root galls at his Westlock-area farm. But even though clubroot was already known to be in his area, he hadn’t seen it himself, and he wasn’t sure what it looked like. People were secretive about the disease, he told farmers, agronomists and other[...]
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I’m using my family farmer instinct to see what is worth pursuing,” explains research manager Lana Shaw.

Crowd research

Is this crowdfunded program a sign of the way farmers will have to go to get the research that governments are slow to pay for?

It was a cold, mid-April morning near Redvers in the south-east corner of a decidedly un-spring-like Saskatchewan, and the flat fields all around us were still blanketed in white. Between the snow and the clouds, you could hardly tell where the sky ended and the earth began. I had arranged to meet research manager Lana[...]
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Is there a tipping point on intercropping?

Farmers’ current interest in intercropping has caught some off guard. On November 29, 2017, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture ran an intercropping workshop in Regina. Workshop organizers expected about 40 people. But 140 people showed up, including several from Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Michigan. Sask Ag ran a second intercropping workshop in January, and another 200[...]
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Unfortunately for farmers, ag research doesn’t rank as high with government funders as items such as health care.

The funding crunch in agricultural research

Why are Lana Shaw and her colleagues having trouble securing funding for intercropping research? For one thing, funding is generally tight in public ag research. The South East Research Farm receives $75,000 a year for core operations, as do the other research sites in the Agri-ARM network. On top of that, surrounding municipalities have kicked[...]
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Build a non-profit

Got an issue that somebody really needs to look at? Here’s how two farm entrepreneurs created Do More Ag, and learned important lessons along the way

Charities and other non-profits are such an everyday part of Canadian life, they can seem as imperceptible as water to a fish. Everything from local library boards to hospital foundations are run largely on non-profits, together with an increasing number of organizations that advance the cause of agriculture in every conceivable way. Establishing and running[...]
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Young and farming

The ag census says young people are flocking back to the farm. Are they really?

There’s been a lot of chatter about the new farmers coming back to the sector. Across the country, enrolment numbers have ballooned at ag colleges. Even the 2016 Census of Agriculture showed a real, albeit small, increase. Saskatchewan is no exception. In 2016, the number of farm operators under the age of 35 hit 9.7[...]
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