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Tom Button

Editor’s Note: The right way to end the winter

It wasn’t a phone call that I had expected to get. The caller wasn’t from what you’d call our target audience. But then, he had been good enough to call, and after all, he did have a point. The call actually came from a Home Hardware franchisee who had taken over a small-town store not […] Read more

Advisor vs. adviser

Are you sure you should trust the person who is advising you on your financial future?

Life, business and farming are all becoming increasingly complicated. As a result, individuals in every walk of life, including farmers, are turning to advisers for help. The public has an expectation that these advisers are highly trained, that they are experts in their field, and that they will work in the best interests of the […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: A better way to start the day

Of all the bright and memorable things you’ll find in our March 27, 2018 issue, the one I keep coming back to is the advice from Harvard prof Linda Hill in Maggie Van Camp’s, “Are you a good boss?” Her advice is simple. Let me lift it straight from the story: “She (Hill) suggests starting […] Read more

Opinion: Winners and losers

We should take a much harder look at those yield contests

The following is my opinion. Enough said. This started out as a column that was going to extol the farming abilities of some of the winners of canola growing contests. But as I talked with farmers about how they achieved their amazingly high yields, it became clear to me the highest yield isn’t really the […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: One more question for mid-size farms

For almost a decade, mid-size farms have been the winners in Canadian agriculture, growing their equity without taking extravagant gambles. Can that continue?

I’ve just been rereading an editorial I wrote 10 years ago. Such things happen to all of us from time to time when we stumble across a note in a drawer or a friend we knew at the time. If nothing else, it teaches humility. The editorial had to do with the contradictory signals farmers […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Looking toward a tough decision

It’s natural to want the farm to stay in the family, just as it’s natural to want your children to have the same chances you have had. But is it realistic?

Of all the tough issues facing agriculture at this moment, perhaps the toughest is evaluating whether the next generation has the aptitudes and attitudes they’re going to need if they’re to make a success of their career in farming, and if they’re to be a reasonably safe bet as the guardians of critical family assets. […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Give immigrant workers a chance

While we shake our heads in disbelief at how the U.S. is so incompetent at immigration policy, we’re sitting on a missed opportunity of our own

Make time to read “The Job Ahead,” Country Guide field editor Shannon VanRaes’s examination of Canada’s shocking (at least, it should be shocking) farm labour nightmare. Her story is a cure for the superiority we’d like to feel when we look across our southern border. It should also be a spur to action. The numbers […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: If Harvey Weinstein was a farmer

It’s amazing how much we can be blind to, especially when we like to think that nothing ever gets past us

Really, the question isn’t whether there might be a Harvey Weinstein in Canadian agriculture, but how many of them there are likely to be. I’m not one to doubt the fundamental decency of farm society. In fact, I believe in it implicitly. Yes, farm society has had to evolve like other sectors have had to […] Read more

Opinion: Leadership through understanding

As farmers, are we ready to look at the unintended consequences even when our intentions are for the best?

Sometimes the way we run our farms is similar to the way we like to strap our privilege firmly on our backs and think that because we are citizens of the so-called “First World,” we can bring help and hope to all those with less. We think we can relieve suffering, and through our efforts, […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: 2018 – Is this the ‘year of destiny?’

As we head toward spring, there’s a growing ambitiousness among many Canadian farmers, and an edge to their certainty that it is crucial to make progress before the year is out

I’m an optimist. Are you? Let’s find out. Overall, our farm sector is healthier than it has been at any time in my memory. Nor do I see any precipices in our immediate future. There can always be bad news. But really, who actually thinks that interest rates are going to jump into double digits […] Read more

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