Latest articles


Who’s too old?

Farm families know that age diversity makes them stronger. But did you know that a spread of ages in your employees adds strength too?

Diversity in the workforce is a good thing, but diversity doesn’t mean just diversity of gender or ethnicity. It also means age diversity. Increasingly, older workers aren’t retiring gracefully to play golf and potter in the garden. Instead, they are making a conscious decision to change careers later in life, when the experience and skills […] Read more


Is agriculture ageist?

We tend to respect our elders more in agriculture,” says Tracy Biernacki-Dusza. Even so, ageism is one of the last and most common areas of bias

More than four in 10 Canadians feel that ageism is the most tolerated form of social prejudice, according to the Revera Report on Ageism: Independence and Choice as We Age, released in May 2016 by Revera Inc. and the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research. This is more than double the number who rated racism or […] Read more



Famer and His Son Standing Side by Side Leaning on a Gate

Leadership on the farm — empowerment

Part two in a five-part series on successful farm leadership

Leadership surrounds me in my daily work with farm families across Ontario. One thing our succession conversations always circle back to is leadership, both in theory and in practice (and as we all know, the practice part is the difficult part.) We are still learning to wrap our heads around what collaborative leadership looks like […] Read more


Which joint venture will work for you?

AME Management: Building a business structure that works for your farm

The whole world acknowledges the brilliance of Albert Einstein. He is famous for his discoveries about relativity and the pull of gravity, and for his equation E=mc2, which says that the increased relativistic mass (m) of a body times the speed of light squared (c 2) is equal to the kinetic energy (E) of that […] Read more



Numbers drive dynamic decision-making

Jeannette Mongeon and Michel Dignard use spreadsheets to guide everyday decisions and to analyze and embrace change. It’s good for the farm, and it also keeps peace in the family

This past spring, Michel Dignard carefully walked his saturated soybean fields, counting the thin, yellowing plants while some were still fully submerged in water. It was emotionally exhausting work, but at least Dignard and his wife Jeannette Mongeon knew what they would do next. They crunched the numbers. They added up the costs and yield […] Read more


Seeing eye to eye

Part one in a five-part series on successful farm leadership

There are shelves full of books and articles on leadership, yet it can still be a struggle to apply their principles on our farms and to decide who leads and how. Even so, today’s farmers must recognize that fewer than one third of family-owned businesses succeed to the next generation, and we must learn to […] Read more



From planning to implementation

AME Management: Get into these management habits. They will help you develop the strategic objectives that will drive your farm where you want it to go, and then help you achieve real progress toward them

In our past column, we reviewed the habits of successful agricultural managers. One habit is that successful managers don’t just do strategic and operational planning, they translate their plans into action — i.e. they have a process to implement the plan. Like most farmers, many CTEAM participants have had little experience or training in planning […] Read more


Hand going through the field

Small SWOT, big ideas

Summer Business: This exercise to determine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats can be a best next step for smaller farms

Over the last four years Ontario organic farmer and consultant David Cohlmeyer has completed over 20 business plans for smaller and medium-sized farms. But before doing a business plan, with updated budget, balance sheets, marketing plans and cash flow statements, Cohlmeyer works with the clients to do a SWOT analysis. “It’s a tool, a good […] Read more



Farmer Types on tablet computer with combine harvester in the background

Build a learning farm

This summer, start your lifelong educational strategy

Farmers always have their hands full, so it’s not always easy to think that signing up for a seminar, conference or training course is a wise investment or a good use of time. The business case, however, is pretty clearly in favour of doing just that. “If you look at it purely from an economist’s […] Read more