GFM Network News


The peasants driving the horse and wagon are in the majority of farmers in Romania.

Romania: One extreme to another

Marianne Stamm took an opportunity to learn about EU agriculture in Romania

I had the opportunity to join a group of 45 European agriculture journalists on a one-week press tour of the eastern part of Romania. It was one surprise after another. What I knew of Romania consisted of stories of those who took clothing to children’s orphanages, or of the report of corruption and hardship from […] Read more

A person with cancer may feel they are walking a lonely and difficult road.

At least say hi to me!

Here’s some things that people found helpful and not so helpful after being diagnosed with cancer

When David* was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of brain cancer and told he had a year at most to live, he and his wife Angie* went through a very difficult time of adjustment. Knowing that their wide circle of friends and large family were there for them meant a lot. Urs Eschbach, a […] Read more


Syngenta’s Willy Ruegg in a greenhouse full of canola plants.

Research, development and discussion

Researchers develop crop 
protection products, regulators 
limit use and consumers worry

Syngenta is a household name for farmers so I was quite excited at the opportunity to visit its Crop Protection plant in Stein, AG, Switzerland, this January with the Swiss Farm Writers Association. The Stein plant is the third largest globally and concentrates on research and development of fungicide and insecticide products. Less than three […] Read more

Coop Switzerland posted this photo on Twitter. The Coop will be partnering with Essento to offer insect-based burgers.

Grasshopper burgers are on the menu

Insect burgers will soon be on sale in Switzerland. But they may not be for everyone

In Sunday school we kids were taught that John the Baptist ate grasshoppers and honey. “How gross,” we thought. We didn’t know that John the Baptist was way ahead of his time. Folks find it repelling when I tell them of the piles of dried caterpillars and grasshoppers for sale at Zambian food markets. Well, […] Read more


AGRMA is Switzerland’s ag machinery show. It takes place every two years. In 2016 it ran from November 22 to 28 in Bern, Switzerland.

New machinery in the mountains

Marianne Stamm visits Switzerland’s bi-annual ag machinery show, AGRAMA

The Swiss Farm machinery and technology show, AGRAMA, is over. My farming neighbours are back home dreaming about that shiny green 200 horsepower Fendt or John Deere tractor with all the newest gadgets. Some will turn the dream into reality. Although I’ve enjoyed operating farm machinery since I was a kid, I’ve never been one […] Read more

A meadow is inspected to see if it fulfills the requirements for the subsidy program — diversity of plant species.

Two markets; two attitudes

Letters from Europe: European growers work in a different policy and market environment 
than Prairie farmers

Recently a Swiss workshop speaker, Ruedi Sutter, commented on the many changes to Swiss agriculture in the last 30 years. It caused me to contemplate the similarity and difference of changes compared to western Canadian farmers. What I see when I visit “home” (Alberta), confirms my research on the web. The January 2016 report from […] Read more


Schleitheim in the Fall: Schleitheim is the village I live in and write from.

Letter from Europe

Farm Perspectives

Background: Marianne Stamm grew up on a pioneer farm in the Peace country of British Columbia. Marriage to her Swiss husband Robert sent her to a mixed family farm in Switzerland, then back to a grain farm in Westlock, Alberta. She has now moved back to Switzerland to be near the grandchildren. Looking at the […] Read more

Emma Stamm loves being hugged.

Stop putting off that care home visit

Many feel uncomfortable visiting care homes but here’s some tips to keep in mind

Anna* was a farm woman in her late 70s when a major stroke put her in a wheelchair and robbed her of her vocal and written language. Before the stroke Anna was active in her church and community and enjoyed spending time with friends. Her friends don’t come by so often anymore. Anna misses them. […] Read more


Crescent-shaped notches on pea leaves are evidence of the presence of pea leaf weevils.


Keep a watchful eye for pea leaf weevil

Be ready to scout your fields. This pest is headed north


There’s a new pest heading north in Alberta and it’s eersoving fast. Although a regular in southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, the pea leaf weevil has now been sighted as far north as Athabasca, Alberta. “There’s been a real range expansion,” says Scott Meers, insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture. “It’s a concerning issue for […] Read more

Six tips to successful land rental

This title to the old Russian folk tale by Leo Tolstoy hasn’t lost any of its significance.* It’s a question farmers ponder today, as land and land rent prices continue to rise to levels never seen before. Despite lower commodity prices, the cost of land is still rising dramatically in the Westlock, Alta. area (about […] Read more