GFM Network News


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: An opportunity to move on for 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes It isn’t the only lesson from 2021, but it’s potentially among the most important: Our farm organizations will only grow more valuable the further we get into this decade. I pointed out once before in this space that there are two questions we almost never ask in our Country Guide interviews. What farm organizations are […] Read more

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Hanson Acres: Keeping a weather eye on the family too

Sometimes you have to take what the season will give

Reading Time: 4 minutes By the beginning of September, the Hansons were nearly finished harvest.  “Not that getting done fast is anything to brag about,” Jeff said. “This is the worst harvest ever.”  Jeff’s father Dale, with his fully detailed recall of 1988, insisted that 2021 wasn’t anything like the worst harvest in Hanson history, but it was still […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Getting real about what 2021 means

Reading Time: 2 minutes The worst thing about agriculture is that it goes in cycles. Or so an uncle used to say. “And the worst thing about cycles,” he said, “is that wherever you are in one, it feels like it’s going to stay that way forever.”  So maybe Uncle Lyle wasn’t as scientific as Bonnie Whitehead, who launches […] Read more

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Hanson Acres: Summer on the farm, a time to remember

“You’ve got to come and see this,” Jeff said. But that was only the start of the story

Reading Time: 5 minutes “We’ve been walking forever!” Six-year-old Jenny had started to gripe a few minutes earlier, and now she was breaking out in a full-fledged whine.  Jenny’s mother Elaine rolled her eyes. “It’s only been 10 minutes.” “But it’s soooooo hot.” Jenny pretended to stagger, as if she couldn’t possibly keep up the pace.  Elaine couldn’t argue […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Farmers to the rescue

Reading Time: 2 minutes Canada is hungry for heroes. Statues are tumbling, poverty is intractable, our country is more racist than we knew, politicians falter. Who can lead us to the Canada we dream of?  You can tell what people value because values are motivators. They show in what we pursue.  Do farmers value Canada?  There’s a better way […] Read more

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Hanson Acres: “Remember the guy who was out here Monday morning?”

In a heartbeat, the Hansons’ year takes an unhealthy turn

Reading Time: 4 minutes After they spent the first few days of the spring seeding season working out the kinks, the Hansons had things well underway by the beginning of the second week. Until late Friday morning when Jeff’s cell phone rang. Jeff was in the tractor seeding canola, just about to break into his lunch cooler.  “Hey,” Jeff […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Can you see it from here?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farming is breaking through. It always used to be said — with justice — that most bad decisions on the farm get made in good times. Not anymore. In fact, it’s the exact opposite Of course, you can’t say anything in agriculture that’s absolutely universal. So, while I’m optimistic that on most farms the coming […] Read more

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Hanson Acres: This spring, the Hansons think maybe they’ve got it figured out

The family has been at this farming thing for generations. It’s time for that to show

Reading Time: 4 minutes After Jeff knocked on his parents’ door he was too impatient to wait for an answer. He opened the door and stepped in.  “Come and see this!” he yelled, holding up a sheet of paper. “Is everything okay?” his mom, Donna, called from the basement.  “You bet it is!” Jeff called back.  By the time […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: The incredible summer of 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s the way of things. A thought leads to a theory. An insight leads to a vision. And a great summer leads to an action plan. Welcome to a year like we’ve never seen before. We’ve always thought summer is for field work, winter is for business management. This year, more than ever, that’s changing. […] Read more

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Hanson Acres: The big day is here, but does it matter?

On the Hanson farm there’s a new rule. COVID-19 doesn’t always get to win

Reading Time: 5 minutes “They’d had lunch, and Donna Hanson was finishing her cup of coffee at the kitchen table, flipping through the latest mail and trying to decide what to do with her afternoon. “I’m heading out to the shop,” her husband Dale called from the porch where he was playing a fierce game of tug-of-war with his […] Read more