GFM Network News

There goes the neighbourhood

I am not sure what to think about plans by a Toronto company to launch large scale corporate farming in Western Canada. My first thought is to protect and promote the family farm, but there again I have talked to lots of producers in recent years who operate family farms that are 15,000, 20,000 even […] Read more

Staying ahead of the elephant

The Canadian agriculture industry, from producers through to processors and food retailers, needs to be operating at least one step ahead of consumers, says an expert on North American consumer trends. Phil Lempert, also known as the Supermarket Guru, speaking to the Canola Council of Canada in Toronto this week, says the agriculture and food […] Read more

Take a Big Mac to lunch today

Friends on both sides of the country, who have really nothing to do with agriculture, recently sent me a copy of a circulating email they had received which calls for a boycott of McDonald’s Restaurant because the Canadian division of the company is buying ground beef from South America. The campaign, which was supposedly launched […] Read more

CEO of Alberta’s livestock agency is gone

Word at the coffee shop is that Jeff Kucharski is gone as CEO of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA). I haven’t seen that announced officially yet, but I figured it was a good rumor to spread if nothing else. Kucharski who has been with Alberta Agriculture for more than 20 years and worked […] Read more

Ranchers win fight against Imperial Oil

Congratulations to a Calgary-area ranching family who fought Imperial Oil for what they believed and won.  A $70,000 judgment from the courts in favor of Ball Ranch, after a seven year dispute and court case, certainly won’t put them on easy-street, but it will give Craig and Susan Graham, and Susan’s mother Agnes Ball, some […] Read more

Man, I am getting old

I don’t know if farmers and ranchers listen to music, but I suspect they do. My wife and I tuned into about half an hour of the Grammy Awards last night and we both said ‘what the hell was that?’ How old am I? There was a time when I could watch the Grammies and […] Read more

A burger by any other name

Man, I had lunch the other day with a couple Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) types, and I don’t know what to think. One had a chicken quesadilla and then conveniently left her wallet in the car, and the other one had the All-American burger. No wonder this industry is in trouble. I think it should […] Read more

Maple Leaf earns my confidence

I think if there is any organization, in my memory, that has handled a bad situation well it has to be Maple Leaf Foods. They don’t need to be made heroes, but in my view they’ve handled the whole tainted meat issue with compassion and professionalism. This issue that erupted in August 2008 with the […] Read more

Pay attention to marbling

For most cow/calf producers there isn’t much (if anything) they can do to improve the carcass quality of an animal once it leaves farm – that is pretty well in hands of the finishing feedlot. But, if you do finish cattle for your own use or maybe you are getting into direct meat sales, here […] Read more

COOL costing $90 per head

According to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) November/December newsletter Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is so far costing Canadian cattle feeders and cow/calf producers about $90 per head. There is really no ‘good news’ scenario to this situation. COOL refers to legislation introduced in the U.S. earlier this fall, that requires all meat – beef, pork […] Read more