GFM Network News


George Meggison with his Japanese host family.

Want to travel? Here’s how

‘Opportunities are out there,’ says 4-H’s Melina Found. It’s a case of saying yes to them

As is clear from the photograph above, George Meggison loves travelling and learning about different people and places. Plus, with plans to study agriculture at university and then return to the family farm, he wants to see as much of the world as he can while he is young. “I think it’s very important to […] Read more

Help wanted

If the door is open for more women to take on more farm roles, it’s because we need them

Undoubtedly, some of the momentum that’s creating more opportunities for more women on Canada’s farms can be traced to various women’s movements over the past century. But not all of it. Not surprisingly, we should be praising the generations of farm parents who have provided great role models too. And yes, let’s admit that some […] Read more


Farmer Barbie is one of over 200 “Barbie Career Dolls” from toy maker Mattel.

Farmer Barbie?

Is Farmer Barbie just another way to keep our daughters out of the business of farming, or is something more serious going on?

Next time you check out the toy aisle you might be surprised to find a Farmer Barbie doll on the shelves. She comes ready to farm dressed in a plaid shirt, denim overalls and rubber boots, with a red tractor, pink trailer, and an assortment of farm animals. Farmer Barbie is one of a line […] Read more

Travel plans

They farm better because they travel, say Alex and Kelty and Jordan and Alyson McKay. Besides, it makes life so much richer

After catching the travel bug before they were old enough to drive, Alex and Jordan McKay made seeing the world a priority during their early 20s and 30s. With the encouragement of their parents, they took every opportunity to travel they could. There had to be compromises, naturally. With a thriving farm business to run […] Read more


Seven steps to a learning plan

Learning never stops on the farm. There’s always something new to wrap your head around, whether it’s a business or management strategy, human resources, marketing tools, production techniques, farm equipment technology, on-farm food safety and traceability protocols — the list is endless. Indeed, the learning goes on even when you’re not aware of it. It[...]
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View of Inis Mor from summer pastures of Padraic O Falithearta Aran Islands Sept. 2018.

AranLIFE

World-famous for their mix of Irish culture and nature, the Aran Islands are learning just how much they owe to agriculture, and how much they may have to pay to keep it

In Galway Bay just off the coast of Ireland, a new five-year project called AranLIFE aims to help preserve both a unique farming system and also the cultural and ecologically important landscapes that depend on it. It’s a project that started with the same question that more Canadian farmers and non-farmers are also asking. Is[...]
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Patraic Ó Flaithearta's cattle on summer pasture at Inis Mor Sept. 2018.

Farming on the edge

Farming on the three Aran Islands off the coast of Galway, Ireland, is quite literally, farming on the edge. Or, actually, on many kinds of edges. Winter pastures on the north coast cling to cliffs that jut into the crashing Atlantic, while on the southern side, orchid-strewn summer pastures sweep gently between ancient stone walls[...]
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Agronomist Bill Ungar recommends farmers equip their pickup with disposable coveralls and booties, spray disinfectant and a dedicated pair of rubber boots in a disinfectant tray.

Biosecurity a crucial part of your farm’s business plan

As the list of pest, weed and disease threats grows longer, so should the list of measures to keep them away

The signs instructing you to check in at the office and to put disposable booties on over your shoes are no longer just for when you visit hog and poultry farms — biosecurity measures are also becoming a feature for crop farms, for which the list of potential threats may be even longer. On its[...]
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A learning plan in action

Nicole Stratychuk’s sudden need for her own learning plan offers insights into how an HR pro would develop management skills on your farm

When Nicole Stratychuk moved to Alberta she didn’t think she would end up working in agriculture, something she knew nothing about. With two university degrees in kinesiology and human resources (HR), she had been working in various HR roles for large organizations such as Health Canada and a casino resort in Edmonton. In fact, when[...]
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Many students coming out of college and university aren’t aware they lack some of the core skills they will need on the job, says BASF’s Melissa Parkinson.

Job starts

Here’s how one corporation is responding to the same challenge farmers face — creating great team members out of today’s college and university grads

Maybe their parents are starting to understand that a key trend for Canada’s young people — whether they’re on the farm or off — is to look to social media to find the people and the opinions that will shape them and their careers. Still, the parents are worried, sometimes with good reason. After making[...]
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