GFM Network News


Navigating farm business holiday celebrations

Navigating farm business holiday celebrations

It’s going to take more thought before you decide how your farm should celebrate 2020

Reading Time: 5 minutes Social events like the Christmas party have traditionally been a big focus for non-farm businesses, giving staff a chance to mix and mingle, and employers a chance to show their appreciation. Increasingly, Christmas celebrations are popular on the farm too, providing an opportunity for employees and family members to meet and greet without the stresses […] Read more

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the House of Commons on April 20, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Blair Gable)

Canada sees no beef shortage, but prices may rise due to coronavirus

JBS plant at Brooks dials back to one shift

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ottawa/Winnipeg | Reuters –– The Canadian government is not expecting a beef shortage despite the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in certain meat-packing plants, though prices may rise, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday. Trudeau added that beef producers are placing a priority on supplying the Canadian market before exporting products. Canada, one of […] Read more


File photo of a small greenhouse operation in Quebec. (ManonAllard/E+/Getty Images)

Increased federal support for TFWs welcomed

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ottawa — The Canadian Horticultural Council says Monday’s federal announcement offering $50 million to help cover the extra costs associated with importing foreign workers this year is welcomed support. “We are finding that there are a lot of increased costs this year with COVID-19 and bringing in the employees, so having the extra money will […] Read more

Family members of longtime JBS USA meat packing plant employee Saul Sanchez gather April 10, 2020 at his Greeley, Colorado home after his death from COVID-19. (Photo: Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

‘Elbow to elbow:’ North America’s meat plant workers fall ill, walk off jobs

Supply chains struggling to keep pace with surging demand

Reading Time: 4 minutes Chicago/Winnipeg | Reuters — At a Wayne Farms chicken processing plant in Alabama, workers recently had to pay the company 10 U.S. cents a day to buy masks to protect themselves from the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a meat inspector. In Colorado, nearly a third of the workers at a JBS USA beef plant stayed […] Read more


(CBSA via YouTube)

Federal government to backstop TFW isolation with funding

Employers backed to provide mandatory two-week isolation

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farming and agrifood employers bringing temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to Canada will get per-worker support to make sure those employees can self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on Monday announced up to $50 million for such employers to put such measures in place. As part of its response to the COVID-19 […] Read more

(Smithfield.com)

Smithfield shuts South Dakota pork plant over COVID-19

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, is temporarily closing a massive plant at Sioux Falls, S.D., the company said Thursday, after more than 80 workers there tested positive for coronavirus. The shutdown is the latest disruption to the U.S. food supply chain from the pandemic and comes as grocery store […] Read more


(Photo courtesy Canola Council of Canada)

Farming deemed essential in new federal pandemic guidance

Food production and supporting industries amid 'critical infrastructure'

Reading Time: 3 minutes Workers in agriculture and supporting industries are on a new federal guidance list of employees considered “essential to maintain the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Thursday released a new guidance document, “Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the […] Read more

(HLS.ca/virden)

Auction marts urged to introduce social distance

Cattle are still flowing through auction marts as scheduled

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Livestock Markets Association of Canada wants to see more social distance at auction marts in the wake of COVID-19. The association has released an emergency response policy, asking its members to implement social distancing and prevention measures against the virus. “What we are looking at is trying to get a consistent message out to […] Read more



Dealing with problem employees effectively

Instead of firing them, use these tips to coach problem cases into good employees

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s getting tougher to find and keep good employees. Nor, by all indications, is the situation going to improve anytime soon. According to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s newly released Labour Market Forecast for the next decade, farmers can expect an already tight labour market to get even tighter. According to the council’s survey […] Read more