GFM Network News



Ian Murray and Sally Bowen of Topsy Farms on Amherst Island, Ont.

Turning Topsy right side up

What happens when a hippie commune learns that some strategic business skills could help it thrive?

Reading Time: 8 minutes When Topsy Farms started in 1971, the goal was simple. How could it need a complex business plan? Starting with five hippies, they were creating a commune on Amherst Island, just offshore in Lake Ontario west of Kingston. The goal was clear too — become a self-sustaining community, secluded from the outside world, a place […] Read more


One vista of Iceland.

Happiness, Iceland-style

There’s real romance to the history of Icelandic horses and sheep, and maybe real opportunity for these Canadian farmers

Reading Time: 7 minutes Over a thousand years ago, in the year 874, when the Vikings first landed on Iceland, they came with their sheep and horses, and the animals proved essential for the survival of those early Icelanders as they settled the rugged North Atlantic island. The horses served as transport and labour; the sheep provided meat, milk […] Read more

File photo of sheep grazing near a marijuana crop in Afghanistan’s Balkh province, north of Kabul, on Sept. 24, 2007. (Photo: Reuters/Ahmad Masood)

Blast kills at least 23 at Afghanistan livestock market

Area shelled in clashes between government forces, Taliban

Reading Time: 1 minute Kabul | Reuters — At least 23 civilians were killed in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province and dozens were wounded when rockets hit a cattle market on Monday, Afghan government and Taliban officials said. The warring sides blamed each other for the attack on the open-air weekly cattle market in Sangin district, where hundreds of villagers […] Read more


Uruguayan sheep shearer Federico Ventura catches a sheep to shear it in Villafale, Spain on June 17, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Juan Medina)

Uruguayan shearers flown in to relieve sweltering Spanish sheep

Expert shearers authorized to enter country amid COVID-19 pandemic

Reading Time: 2 minutes Villafale, Spain | Reuters — Brought to Spain on a special flight amid the coronavirus lockdown, some 250 Uruguayan sheep shearers race against time to shear millions of Spanish sheep as sweltering summer temperatures hit. The Uruguayan shearers come to Spain every year, where farmers value them for their skills, their speed and particular care […] Read more

Emergence in an Ontario soybean field. (File photo by John Greig)

Ontario extends RMP deadlines for crops, livestock

Move won't create coverage gaps, Agricorp says

Reading Time: < 1 minute Ontario grain, oilseed and livestock producers will get extra time to apply for, make changes to or cancel coverage under the provincial Risk Management Program (RMP). Agricorp, the province’s ag program delivery agency, announced Wednesday the new deadline for applications or coverage changes for 2020 will be June 30. The previous deadlines to apply or […] Read more


(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Cattle inventories continue to decline, StatsCan says

Canada's hog herd also down on year

Reading Time: < 1 minute MarketsFarm — Canada’s cattle herd in 2019 continued on its generally consistent path of declining numbers, according to new data Statistics Canada released Tuesday. Aside from a few slight increases in 2012, 2013 and 2018, Canadian cattle inventories have moved lower since 2005. At 11.2 million head, the reported number of cattle on farms in […] Read more

Cartagena’s colonial walled section and fortress are a UNESCO World Heritage site in Colombia. (CIA.gov)

Colombia cleared of foot-and-mouth

Country now aims to double meat exports

Reading Time: < 1 minute Bogota | Reuters — Colombia will look to double its meat exports now it has regained its status as a country free of foot-and-mouth disease, President Ivan Duque said on Thursday. Foot-and-mouth is a highly contagious viral disease found in animals and is one of the most serious to affect livestock, including cattle, sheep and […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

U.S. to move BLM headquarters to Colorado

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will move its headquarters to Colorado from Washington, officials said on Tuesday, sparking ire from conservationists who said the decision would weaken the agency dedicated to managing the country’s vast public lands. The Department of Interior, which oversees BLM, announced the move in letters to key congressional […] Read more

File photo of a Suffolk ewe infected with scrapie. (Jack Dykinga photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Two Alberta sheep flocks quarantined for scrapie

Reading Time: 2 minutes Two flocks of sheep in Alberta are under federal quarantine after a sheep that lived at both farms was confirmed June 21 with classical scrapie. A degenerative nervous system disease affecting sheep and goats, scrapie is one of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) family that includes Creutzfelt-Jakob disease in people, BSE in cattle and chronic […] Read more