GFM Network News


Hog farmer Mike Patterson walks through one of his barns at Kenyon, Minnesota, about 70 km south of St. Paul, on April 23, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Nicholas Pfosi)

Piglets aborted, chickens gassed as pandemic slams meat sector

"We have to have less hogs somehow"

Reading Time: 5 minutes Chicago | Reuters — With the pandemic hobbling the meat-packing industry, Iowa farmer Al Van Beek had nowhere to ship his full-grown pigs to make room for the 7,500 piglets he expected from his breeding operation. The crisis forced a decision that still troubles him: He ordered his employees to give injections to the pregnant […] Read more

(UCCS.ucdavis.edu)

U.S. meat industry sues California for animal protection ‘overreach’

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters — California was sued on Friday by the largest U.S. trade group for meat packers and processors, which wants to block enforcement of a voter-approved measure requiring farmers to provide more space for animals being raised for food. The North American Meat Institute, whose members include processors such as Tyson Foods and retailers including […] Read more



(Portosdobrasil.gov.br via Flickr)

Chickens culled as Brazil truckers disrupt commodity exports

Reading Time: 3 minutes Sao Paulo | Reuters — Striking truckers in Brazil have disrupted supply and exports of farm produce from one of the world’s agricultural commodity powerhouses. Brazil is the top global exporter of soybeans, sugar, coffee and chickens. The strike over high fuel prices has paralyzed Latin America’s largest economy, emptied Brazilian roadways and left major […] Read more


A controlled atmosphere stunning system for chicken processing. (Marel.com)

Cargill to replace chicken plant’s stunning system

Reading Time: 2 minutes Agrifood firm Cargill has budgeted $22 million to swap out an electric stunning system at its London, Ont. chicken processing plant in favour of a new controlled atmospheric stunning (CAS) system. The CAS system, expected to be up and running this spring, “will help reduce handling stress with chickens, resulting in a higher-quality, more consistent […] Read more

From clockwise at left: Riley and Lee-Anne Kemp, Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek, and Wayne and Maria McDonald of Manitoba.

Three farm families, five years later

Country Guide revisits three young Manitoba farm families building their future in agriculture

Reading Time: 2 minutes In 2012, Country Guide discovered a cluster of young farmers near out-of-the-way Cartwright, Man. They were all searching for ways to start small in the heart of big-farm Canada, and they all saw their best chance in a combination of direct marketing and holistic practices. To some readers, it seemed like a dream. To others, […] Read more


“There was no particular time when I realized we were going to be successful,” Wayne says. “We just kept making incremental progress.”

Five years on: Wayne and Maria McDonald

Country Guide revisits the livestock operation of McDonald Farm

Reading Time: 6 minutes Wayne McDonald has never had a job off the farm and admits that he has no idea what nine-to-five is all about. That’s the way he likes it. Now, thanks to some hard work and their very dedicated focus, he and wife Maria have managed to achieve one of the key goals they set themselves […] Read more

(Stephen Ausmus photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Tyson to test new method to stun chickens

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — Tyson Foods will test a new way to render chickens unconscious before slaughter, the company said Wednesday, in the latest sign that heightened concerns about animal welfare are affecting U.S. meat processors. Within the next year, Tyson, the biggest U.S. chicken company, will launch a pilot program at two processing plants […] Read more


NASA’s Terra satellite observes Post-Tropical Cyclone Matthew being absorbed by a cold front along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard on Oct. 9 at 11:45 a.m. ET. (NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)

Millions of chickens reported dead in Hurricane Matthew floods

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — Flooding from Hurricane Matthew has killed up to five million poultry birds in North Carolina, most of them chickens, the state’s top environmental official said Wednesday. Donald van der Vaart, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, also told Reuters that some pits that hold hog waste on farms […] Read more

Anconas, a breed that originated in Italy, are among the birds being protected.
Bird Breeds Central

‘Noah’s Ark’ rescue mission for endangered poultry

Rare breed hatchery sends chicks as far away as Brazil

Reading Time: 3 minutes Reuters — Less than 24 hours after a deadly infection of bird flu was confirmed at a turkey farm north of Des Moines, Iowa, Bud Wood packed about 3,500 rare baby chicks into boxes and put them in the back of a truck. With the delicate birds just hours old, the president of Murray McMurray […] Read more