Latest articles

farmer raising his arms with success

Hip, Hip, Hip Hooray for me!

Celebrating success when you’re a go-it-alone farmer

Front and centre in almost every “how to succeed in business” book is the recommendation to take time to celebrate success. As the authors point out, celebrating is a great way to mark progress, foster team spirit, build staff loyalty, push a business to greater heights — and ultimately trigger more success. But does that […] Read more

Farm equipment sales evolve for 2018

Rocky Mountain Equipment exec Jim Wood talks about Canadian ag machinery sales trends

As U.S. and Canadian farm equipment dealerships wrestled with their hangover from the half-decade of hyper sales activity that ended a couple of years ago, the job of finding new homes for a large number of used machines may have been their biggest problem. For the most part, that trouble has now faded from view, […] Read more

‘Fake News’ and the farm

Politicians may have just caught on about ‘fake news,’ but farmers have known for years what it’s like to live in a world where anything can and does get said and believed. Now, there is a way to counter the din of anti-activists, the food conspiracy theorists, and the faddists. And it may just start with you.

Just 18 short months ago, almost no one — not politicians, not reporters, not lay people — used the term ‘fake news.’ Sure, bias and dishonesty have existed in politics, in sales, in industry and in media forever. What’s new since the viral spread of the ‘fake news’ concept, though, is our almost universal belief […] Read more

Farm travel

It’s a world full of farms, and more and more Canadian farmers are signing up for travel opportunities to experience them

Words like “holiday” and “vacation” just weren’t in her parents’ vocabulary when Lu Inkster grew up on her family’s Ontario cattle farm in the 1950s. Her parents had immigrated to Canada from Belgium after the Second World War, and to them the concept of taking time off was both foreign and unattainable. “People like my […] Read more

NAFTA indecision

Washington may be divided on NAFTA, but machinery manufacturers certainly know where they stand

Through mid-winter, the push from machinery executives for the U.S. government to reach a deal on NAFTA seemed to be gearing up. AEM (the Association of Equipment Manufacturers) was sending out that message even louder and clearer than it had been on behalf of its member companies in the ag and construction machinery sector. An […] Read more

The heart of the deal

How significant is the local dealer in determining what you buy?

One evening a year or so ago I sat in a hotel lounge in rural England with a couple of other ag machinery writers. We were gathered there for a machinery event and were all staying in the same hotel. We spent part of that evening discussing the differences between farmer perceptions of machinery in […] Read more

Governing the farm

On most farms, ‘governance’ sounds like the last thing you’d want to talk about if you hope to keep everyone happy. Steve Tomtene used to think so too, but is glad he changed his mind

Like many farms with added complementary enterprises like a trucking company or livestock barn or a seed business, Tomtene Seed Farm at Birch Hill, Sask., has developed systems to juggle all the moving parts. “Maintaining identification and producing seed products of quality merit takes a shift in thinking about the products, about production, about the […] Read more

Step one to value adding: Evaluation

You’ve got a great idea for a new product. Or maybe not

There are many reasons why farmers are drawn to value adding. You might have excess capacity in the field or the barn, for instance, or maybe if you milled grain into flour, you could retain good staff by providing year-round positions. Or maybe you’re wondering if an on-farm market could solve your problems by creating […] Read more

Hiring refugees

A small non-profit in Belleville, Ont., has helped 90 Syrian refugees find good jobs on farms and in the ag and food sector. Now other regions across Canada are replicating their model

Shortly after coming to power in Ottawa, the federal Liberals announced Canada would help relocate displaced Syrians, and the program has proved widely popular. Across the country, over 350 communities have welcomed more than 40,000 Syrian refugees. In the midst of it all in 2015, details on how this relocation would be achieved were scarce. […] Read more


Maybe it’s time to take Canada’s new crop of non-conventional farmers a lot more seriously

Change is coming to Canadian agriculture, and judging by the numbers, it’s coming fast. Our country’s food supply, our rural landscape, much of our GDP and a major part of our national identity all depend on Canadian farmers. But the average age of those farmers has now reached 55, with more farmers over 70 years […] Read more