Latest articles


Using futures and options in uncertain times

AME Management: Every year has its unique events, but with this strategy, farmers can provide profit opportunities that an “ordinary” year simply wouldn’t make available

Already, 2017 has been a year of uncertainty due both to unpredictable weather and political patterns. (We won’t speculate on which is the less predictable!) Uncertainty breeds large amounts of price volatility. Many farmers argue that using futures and options is too hard and carries the risk of cash-flow drains. They prefer to use the […] Read more


Setting the right price for the grocery shelf

Canada’s grocery stores are eager for more producers to fill their shelves with great straight-from-the-farm products. To win, though, you’ve got to price them right

From the outside, it looks likes a huge opportunity just waiting for you to grab hold of it. And maybe it really is. We’ve all been there. You already have an idea of what it costs to grow your crops and raise your livestock, and one day when you’re pushing your cart down the aisle […] Read more



These American farms

It turns out we’ve got as many misconceptions about U.S. dairy farms as they’ve got about ours

Bill Shuler’s last year has been a revelation for the Michigan dairy farmer, turning everything he always thought he knew about the family’s dairy farm completely upside down. “In the last year, my life has been amazing, incredible,” Shuler says. “And that’s an understatement.” Shuler and his family operate a small dairy farm near the […] Read more


Canadian wine industry in southern Ontario.

To play in the big leagues

Investors with deep pockets are asking, “Why aren’t Canada’s ag entrepreneurs taking the world by storm?” Now they think they’ve figured out how to join in making it happen

From his desk in San Diego, former farm manager turned corporate investor Arama Kukutai has been pitched 822 times in the last year by farmers, ag scientists and entrepreneurs, all of them wanting to use his money to grow their brainwaves into the next Apples and Amazons of the world’s $3 trillion ag market. Almost […] Read more



Winning at the border

It may be Donald Trump who is re-opening NAFTA. But today, more farmers north of the border are seeing some solid wins for Canada

Ron Davidson calls in from a hotel room in Washington, D.C., with NAFTA on his mind. As senior vice-president of international trade and public affairs for the Canadian Meat Council, he’s no stranger to the U.S. capital. And with the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in process, there are more cross-border trips […] Read more


Finding a way to say ‘Yes’

Saying ‘no’ to a multi-generation corporation has helped Richard and Nicole Brousseau find their own route toward succession, with a clear focus on family

The road to farm succession can have many twists and turns. And every farm is unique, so it can be easy to lose your way in all the options, or to fall into somebody else’s cookie-cutter solution. Yet being true to your own business and family needs should always come first, as the Brousseau family […] Read more



After the CWB

Whether you farm in the West or East, looking at how Prairie farmers are managing their sales after five years on their own will make you a better marketer

Maybe you mourned its demise, or maybe you danced on its grave. Either way, five years after the federal government put the Canadian Wheat Board’s single desk six feet under, it’s clear there will be no resurrection. How have farmers adapted to marketing wheat without the single desk? Where are they excelling, and where not? […] Read more


female farmer with tractor

Where are the farm women?

The research is incontrovertible. Diversity creates strength. So why aren’t we making greater strides at getting farm women involved?

I’m one of a dozen women sitting around a long boardroom table. The surroundings are completely unfamiliar and slightly intimidating. We politely watch a video and quietly chat with one another about our farms, succession, our families and, of course, the weather. The woman across from me taps tentatively on the little microphone that seems […] Read more



Close-up of last will and testament document

A co-trustee’s responsibility

Guide Legal: If asked to serve as a co-trustee, be aware that acting as a rubber stamp will not protect you if things go wrong

When drafting a will, parents often name more than one of their children as the trustees of their estate. Given the dynamics between siblings, it is not uncommon for one child to take on a more active role than another in administering the estate. However, in a recent decision, the Court of Appeal for Ontario […] Read more


Africa feeding Africa

While North America’s farmers pin their career hopes on the need to feed a hungry Africa, that continent’s farmers are making plans of their own

A core belief in North American agriculture is that our farmers must produce ever more food if we are to have any hope of feeding the world, particularly areas like Africa where the population is growing so rapidly. The numbers are indeed staggering. According to the Population Reference Bureau, Africa’s population will hit 2.5 billion […] Read more