GFM Network News


These are some of the points that BETSY measures to create an ID for each individual animal.

Facial recognition comes to your cowherd

Forget about numbers and letters, BETSY can identify the smile on any Hereford or Holstein and any breed combination in between

The longer I am around the agriculture industry, it seems the more interested I become in seeing what happens next. In a column that appeared in early March, I talked about when I arrived on the scene of the family farm in eastern Ontario in the 1950s. It was at a time when real or […] Read more

Even a cutter ride was a bit of a novelty in 1969, as long-time neighbour Edith Whittaker hitched up her horse on this March day to pay a visit to my grandparents.

Is it over yet? Winter. I’m talking about winter

A bit of electricity and wood heat kept everything comfortable at 30 below

As we were just coming through a serious deep freeze in Calgary as I write this column for the March 2 issue of Grainews, it made me think about some of the winters as a kid growing up on the farm in eastern Ontario. As I recall through the later 1950s and ’60s, we always […] Read more


The expertly cooked rib eye roast being carved.

You can’t buy me off with a great meal

Plenty have tried, but I am still a hard-nosed journalist, unless there is dessert

I certainly can’t remember every meal I’ve had over my lifetime, (I would have a serious problem if I did); however, as I was about to make beef liver and onions one late January Saturday night here in Calgary, it did cause me to think back about excellent food and hospitality that I’ve experienced over […] Read more

Rather than a loop system, South West Terminal in Saskatchewan installed three parallel tracks for the siding at its elevator. Each is 8,500 feet long.

Smaller cars, more capacity to help move grain

Who knew they even made a three-mile-long train?

Everyone is impressed this year with improved grain handling efficiency across Western Canada and that is a good thing. In some recent years with bottlenecks and mysterious delays in grain movement, it was almost like the rail companies were surprised Western Canada had grain and other commodities that needed to be moved to export position. […] Read more


About six years ago, Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote and John Cote decided to take the farm business in a whole new direction. They bought an 80-acre parcel of land near Saskatoon where they built a distillery and now grow flowers.

You never know what these farmers are up to

OYF alumni are letting no moss grow under their feet

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers (COYF) had to forego the usual flurry of hugs and handshakes at their annual awards week this year, but they still ran an informative online event in early December. There were no winners to be announced for 2020. That part of the program was just postponed to, hopefully, later in 2021 […] Read more

Under the letter “R” a great gift

Under the letter “R” a great gift

Getting back to the basics isn’t about being cheap ... well, not totally

Here we are starting December — the holiday season ahead — and it’s a difficult time of year for a few reasons. And no, I’m not just talking about whether Joe Biden actually makes it into the White House to become the 46th president of the United States. It’s only mid-November as I write this, […] Read more


Why not go with positive thinking?

Why not go with positive thinking?

At times my brain seems to have a black belt in catastrophizing

Do you ever overthink things? This could apply to a lot of thinking, but I’m talking about having that argument with someone in your head hours or perhaps even days before you actually talk to that person. “Well I bet they will say this, well I’m going to say that,” and so it goes. I’m […] Read more



Have meal, will travel

A modified version of Farmer Appreciation night in southeast Sask.

The Weyburn Chamber of Commerce in southeast Saskatchewan didn’t let a little pandemic completely interrupt their plans to host an annual Farmer Appreciation Night this year. Rather than host a nice sit-down dinner in town that would draw farm families from surrounding Rural Municipalities, they did the next best thing under COVID-19 protocols and brought […] Read more

A wake honouring the memory of Phil Thomas, known to many across the agriculture industry as Mr. Canola, is expected to be held later this year. Thomas died suddenly following a brief illness in hospital at Red Deer, Alta., in mid-June at the age of 76.

Canola expert will be missed

Memorial service will be held to celebrate Phil Thomas

Canada lost one of its leading experts on canola agronomy in mid-June with the sudden death of Phil Thomas, a retired but former long-time oilseed specialist with Alberta Agriculture in Lacombe, Alta. Thomas, who was known not only in Canada but in many parts of the world as Mr. Canola, literally wrote the book on […] Read more