GFM Network News


The retrofitted barn will make way for the study of precision monitoring and feeding systems in dairy cattle.

Dairy research facilities at Glenlea Research Station to be updated

$1.4-million slated to retrofit existing hog barn

Reading Time: 3 minutes Dairy research in Manitoba recently got a $1.4-million boost. Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler made the announcement on Aug. 16, 2017, at the University of Manitoba, indicating the cash will be used to retrofit an existing hog barn for dairy research at the Glenlea Research Station, just south of Winnipeg. […] Read more

These corporate bigwigs aren’t hiring the right people,” Conrad says of the country’s first legal marijuana operations. “They don’t have the farmer mentality.”

Pot farmers needed

With a projected $22 billion in sales, Canada’s new cannabis market is generating a very heady kind of buzz in farm circles

Reading Time: 9 minutes Working in total darkness, Thaddeus Conrad carefully feels his way up a nearly vertical set of stairs before switching on a single green light. The bulb casts a weak, eerie glow, revealing a room packed with heavily budded marijuana plants. But there’s nothing clandestine about the hazy light or the darkness, it’s simply great crop science […] Read more


It’s a big commitment of time for everybody,” Ben Campbell says of his mentorship experience. But there are benefits for every aspect of the farm, and for your farm relationships too.

A better way to learn

What’s the best way to choose a great mentor? Three young farmers share their thoughts on how their mentors helped them get a solid career start, and how other young farmers could benefit from a more flexible approach to on-farm learning

Reading Time: 9 minutes Ben Campbell thought participating in a mentorship program could probably provide fresh insight into how to improve his grass-fed beef operation. Or possibly it could expose him to new business practices and stronger management techniques. So by the end of the year-long program, it came as a surprise to the Alberta rancher when he realized […] Read more

The carbon tax

Farmers see themselves as the good guys in the carbon debate, with good reason. Is agriculture going to pay anyway?

Reading Time: 13 minutes It had been another frigid day in Manitoba, snow swirling as farmers and ranchers gathered at a downtown hotel, but once inside it didn’t take long for the temperature to rise. They’d gathered for Keystone Agricultural Producers annual general meeting, where one issue outpaced the rest — carbon pricing. It was standing room only, with […] Read more


Jersey Cow on a sunny afternoon

Jersey cattle numbers on the rise in Manitoba

Butter and cheese are back as part of a healthy diet, and so is the interest in Jerseys

Reading Time: 3 minutes Moo-ve over Holsteins, the little brown cow is gaining ground. Not since our nation’s centennial have so many Jersey calves been registered in Canada, says Steven Smith of Clanwilliam, president of the Manitoba Jersey Cattle Club. He says the breed came just shy of 10,000 registrations last year, breaking the record set in 1967. “The […] Read more

Farmers like B.C.’s Chris Bodnar are becoming mentors in areas ranging from new crops to financial management. But in all those areas, Bodnar says, it’s essential that the personal fit is good, and the expectations are clear.

The right mentor

More young farmers could get a career-expanding lift from a great mentor. Could that be you?

Reading Time: 9 minutes As a lifelong farmer and accomplished entrepreneur, Alberta-based rancher and author Brenda Schoepp knows a thing or two about operating a thriving business. And it turns out she knows a thing or two about mentorship as well. As a mentor, what she understands is that success isn’t about giving young farmers the answers to their […] Read more


Yusuf Abdulrehman, owner of Halal Meat Centre & Speciality Foods in Winnipeg.

The halal market

In a more diverse Canada, many farmers are learning what halal actually means, and some are already finding ways to profit from its booming demand

Reading Time: 11 minutes Navigating the narrow aisles of his Winnipeg shop with the energy of a man half his age, Yusuf Abdulrehman pauses to point out bright spices, dark teas and pastel sweets that have travelled across the globe to reach his prairie outpost. “We don’t only sell halal meat, we have a variety of products coming from […] Read more

gummie bears

A sweet sweet story

How Canada's first large-scale importer and distributor of halal gummies was born

Reading Time: 3 minutes Growing up, Lindsay Contractor’s sweet tooth was finely tuned to the nuances of fluffy marshmallows and chewy gummies. But when she began practicing Islam in 2011, those sugary treats took a sour turn. “I grew up in a world full of lots of gummies and marshmallows, and I never thought twice about eating them, I […] Read more


Family meetings that work

Family meetings that work

It may seem risky to get the whole family together for a farm meeting. It’s also smart

Reading Time: 5 minutes Having guided farm families through some of their most challenging periods, Jolene Brown understands why regular meetings fall by the wayside in many businesses. “It’s because of the way the last one ended. Nothing got done, someone took over, somebody cried, people walked out, people had so much work to do and the meeting just […] Read more

For one-year-old Lincoln Ellis, climbing into a combine cab with father Simon and grandpa Warren is an introduction to a world of wonders. Of course, he won’t know for years whether a farming life is right for him, but if it is, the plan will be in place to make it possible.

Never too young to talk about farm succession

As the Ellis family is learning, there’s no such thing as too soon for starting the conversation about farm succession

Reading Time: 7 minutes Lincoln Ellis has just got his first taste of combining. “He thought it was pretty interesting for the first 10 minutes, and then he realized how small the combine cab was, and that was about it,” says his dad, Simon Ellis, with a chuckle. “So it was short-lived, but you know, small steps for now. […] Read more