GFM Network News


Reporter’s Notebook: Working with other boards

Making one non-profit board effective can be hard. Now, try bringing 2 together

A basic principle of horsemanship is that you should make the right thing easy for the horse to do, and the wrong thing hard. For example, if your horse doesn’t want to stand still, don’t try to force him to stand still. Instead, make him work — sidepass, turn on the foreleg, etc. The idea is that the […] Read more

All loaves were made with the same dough, but shaped differently. 
Left to right: Cross-grained, machine-shaped and hand-shaped.

Reporter’s Notebook: From combine to customer

A trip to the Cigi course on export grains is teaching Lisa Guenther the fine details

I’m writing this column after my second day at the Combine to Customer tour, the crash course in the wheat supply chain organized by the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) in Winnipeg. It’s one of those info-rich events where I have more material than I know what I can do with so watch for more […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: Four questions to ask yourself

Before you get involved in an ugly social media argument, take time to think it through

When I look at the state of public discourse these days, the phrase that comes to mind is “dumpster fire.” My theory is that our society hasn’t had time to adapt to rapidly changing technology (i.e. social media). These days, anyone can tweet or post anything. Some of those opinions are insightful and worth exploring. […] Read more

The leather tooling on this old saddle looks nice, but it is a pain to clean.

Reporter’s Notebook: The other side of ranching

A new book focuses on the role of women in Alberta’s ranching history

In a recent column on clubroot, I suggested that Sask Crop Insurance look at a carrot-and-stick policy to crop rotations in the province. Later, I was a little worried some might interpret that part of the column as me shaking my finger at farmers with tight rotations. That wasn’t my intention. There are plenty of […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: Health is your most valuable asset

Sickness and injuries, especially concussions, can bring a quick end to your career

I am having one of those winters where I seem to catch every germ that is circulating. Being sick brings out my inner whinger. I hate curtailing my physical activities. Missing work days stresses me out, especially during the busy winter season. I also feel a latent guilt over taking sick days or even getting […] Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Removing the stigma of clubroot

Reporter’s Notebook: Removing the stigma of clubroot

If we’re going to deal with clubroot, we need to consider the psychological issues

Back in 2015, I was in Australia, talking to farmers and others in agriculture about how they were handling herbicide resistance. Australian farmers have the unenviable task of dealing with weeds that are resistant to several modes of action. The country ranks number two globally for the number of herbicide-resistant weeds. During that trip, Brad […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: When you meet a challenge, change

Reporter’s Notebook: When you meet a challenge, change

Whether you’re a farmer or a football player, 
adaptability is the key to success

In early December, I had the pleasure of taking in a talk by Canadian Football League Commissioner Randy Ambrosie, at Cavalier, Sask. (just north of Meota). Cavalier Agrow was holding its annual agronomy day, and Ambrosie delivered the keynote. Ambrosie played for the University of Manitoba before being drafted as an offensive guard with the […] Read more

All of the 2017 inductees into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame were women. Congratulations to (from left to right) Robynne Anderson, Patty Jones and Jean Szkotnicki.

Reporter’s Notebook: Getting women on board(s)

Whether and how to work to recruit women to ag boards has become a contested topic

Should farm groups be actively recruiting more women to their boards, or are mostly-male boards reflective of the demographic they serve? It’s a question that’s generated heated conversation this fall. As a non-farmer, I’m hesitant to tell any producer groups that they’ve got a problem, because frankly I don’t know what the climate is like […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: Moving from Twitter to real life

Twitter is bringing the ag community closer together, in many different ways

It’s a scenario familiar to anyone on Twitter who attends farm shows— the attempt to figure out if that stranger you’ve just met is actually someone you know through Twitter. But farmers and ag industry launched a simple solution this summer. It’s a black lanyard, with #agtwittercommunity printed on the fabric. The name tag includes […] Read more

Dany Chabot poses at Ferme Lehoux Holstein, south of Quebec City. Lehoux Holstein sells milk as well as replacement heifers.

They do things differently there

Reporter’s Notebook: In Quebec, membership in the agriculture lobby group UPS is mandatory for farmers

Each fall, the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation holds an annual conference in a different part of Canada. This year, the conference was in the Quebec City area. The conference hotel was a short walk from the Old City and the Plains of Abraham, so I was able to check out both. The Old City is […] Read more