GFM Network News

A small room off the milkhouse, encompassing the front of the tank, helps to limit contact with the milk truck driver at the Herrema farm at Uxbridge, northeast of Toronto. (Gerrit Herrema photo)

Dairy sector shuts down most visits from off-farm providers

In agriculture, dairy farms are among those most called-on by outside services

Reading Time: 3 minutes New additions to Gerrit Herrema’s dairy barn have made it easier for his family to abide by recent directions to avoid contact with milk truck drivers to reduce COVID-19’s spread. “We have boot washes and other biosecurity measures in the barn. We need to take these measures in order to minimize the damage,” said Herrema, […] Read more

Update your emergency plan and consider a wide range of ‘what-if’ scenarios, says Rebecca Husted, an expert in emergency planning for livestock. (Supplied photo)

Ahead of any emergency, plan for the worst

Disaster planning is not a pleasant task but it's vital that producers have a plan, expert says

Reading Time: 3 minutes Identify your resources and review your plan, says an expert in emergency planning for livestock. The COVID-19 pandemic is a very different type of emergency, said Rebecca Husted, a teacher of technical large animal emergency rescue. “Most disasters like fires and floods have people moving around, but in COVID-19, people are not supposed to move […] Read more

(iStock photo)

Talk to family, friends about farming

Reading Time: 3 minutes This holiday season Melodie Chan wants producers to avoid what she calls the “spiral of silence,” which can happen around the dinner table, over beers or even in the gentle lull between turkey and pie if farmers don’t speak up when they hear misinformation about agriculture. “What are we afraid of?” asked Chan, speaking at […] Read more

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Workers fired following chicken abuse video

Reading Time: 3 minutes CNS Canada — A British Columbia company tied to nationally broadcast footage of livestock abuse has laid off five workers, according to a statement from the organization Tuesday. The animal rights and vegan advocacy group responsible for capturing the video says that’s not enough, and is pursuing legal action. Employees at a Vancouver-area chicken farm […] Read more

Animal welfare research is becoming about the emotional state of the animal rather than its health, Dr. Ed Pajor says. (John Greig photo)

Greig: Animal welfare research focusing more on emotional states

Reading Time: 3 minutes Animal welfare research is moving beyond identifying what keeps an animal healthy, to focus more on their state of being and their happiness. For years, farmers have justified the way they manage and house animals based on objective measures of their health: disease prevalence, growth rates and feed consumption. Consumer research, however, shows that’s not […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

Maple Leaf to upgrade stunning process, ‘accelerate’ on sow housing

Reading Time: 3 minutes Pledging to upgrade its hog and poultry stunning processes, speed up its timeline on sow housing and step up its game on facility audits, livestock pain management and reduced antibiotic use, Maple Leaf Foods said Friday it’s now set to carve an animal care agenda into formal company policy. The major Canadian meat processor on […] Read more

James Reesor

Focus on where you can lead

At RFW Farms, the goal is to inject certainty into what can seem a very uncertain business. How they do that is a story in itself

Reading Time: 7 minutes In 1995 James Reesor and a business partner bought a 300-sow farrowing herd. Today, two decades later, RFW Farms is a 4,000-sow farrow-to-finish multi-site operation, producing about 2,000 hogs a week. By all measures, those 20 years have been challenging times in the hog business, yet this company has emerged as one of the largest […] Read more