GFM Network News


“Have a goal for the first six months, the next year, and five years,” says Nicole Porterfield (left).

Pair combine efforts for pet food business

Nicole Porterfield and Kim Good have a word of advice for your value-add project. Whether it’s big or small, you’ve got to build a great team

Reading Time: 9 minutes Whether you’re looking for a banker, accountant or lawyer, or whether you’re pursuing a new customer, what you’re actually doing is building a team that understands what you are trying to achieve, says Alberta’s Kim Good, co-owner with Nicole Porterfield of Farm Fresh Pet Foods based in Edmonton. If they don’t have faith in you, […] Read more

Lighting up the hemp business

Could the timing finally be right for a Canadian hemp crop? Blue Sky Hemp Ventures is betting yes, based on a marriage of oil-industry strategies and hard-nosed farm smarts

Reading Time: 9 minutes It isn’t easy to make a business case for hemp. The crop has so much potential. But then, it has had such a checkered past too. Sure, there have been some successes, but farmers can’t be blamed for remembering the hemp co-operatives that bled red ink, or for recalling all the big talk about hemp […] Read more


“We all appreciated being recognized as an essential service during the pandemic,” says one senior advisor with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council. But it comes with a price.

Networking in a new era

We thought the online age hit agriculture two decades ago. Then came the pandemic. Are you ready?

Reading Time: 9 minutes Everyone knows that farmers spend a lot of time on the farm, but farmers know how vital it is that they maintain excellent off-farm contacts too, whether it’s for the health of their businesses, the health of their soils, or their own personal and social health. In fact, farmers value networking as much or maybe […] Read more

Risk, uncertainty and fear are the inevitable downsides of entrepreneurial life, Amy Stefanik says, but in every sector, including farming, it’s a chance to thrive.

Double team

It can be a roller coaster ride if your farm spouse is highly entrepreneurial. It is in other business sectors too. Now we can all start learning from each other

Reading Time: 11 minutes No matter what sector a person works in, and whether you’re husband or wife, if you’re an entrepreneur’s spouse, you are along for the ride, strapped in with no control over the steering wheel or the brake. On the farm, of course, both partners are dedicated, energetic and business-minded. But that doesn’t necessarily change the […] Read more


No one can conquer a mountain alone. Building a team is an essential, and the CEO needs to be good at attracting great candidates to yours.

Your CEO interview — six years on

12 questions to ask yourself to discover if you're continuing to fulfill your role as a leader

Reading Time: 12 minutes Let’s say you’re going to interview someone for your job as the CEO of your farm. Or maybe you’re considering someone in the next generation for the job. Or you might even be looking in the mirror, asking yourself where to focus your energy over the next year. What questions would you ask? That was […] Read more

“Your time isn’t free; there is a value to it,” says the author of ‘The Farmer’s Office.’

Above board

Pay yourself, and put the numbers in your budgets right from the start. It’s better for you, and for the business too

Reading Time: 5 minutes The thing is, you’re going to eat anyway, and probably wear clothes too. When a farmer doesn’t build a salary into their business model, they’ll still spend money on their personal needs and desires. The money just gets sucked out some other way. Of course a salary can take some getting used to, says Julia […] Read more


“It was so simple,” Bob McCoubrey says. Instead of putting funds in investments, he’d set up a mortgage to help the Thurstons buy the farm. But it didn’t stay simple for long.

Getting to the dream

A real-life story of making a non-family farm transition work, including all the time, the effort, the talking and the satisfaction

Reading Time: 9 minutes About 15 years ago, Bob and Sharon McCoubrey were facing a dilemma. Bob’s body was telling him it was time to give up his orchard and vegetable farm in British Columbia’s Okanagan. It was time for the next phase of their lives, but past experience had left a bitter taste in their mouths. “We were […] Read more

Bringing in the hay at Wildwood Farm in the Peace region.

Transitioning the farm beyond the family

Maybe keeping the farm in the family isn’t an option for you. Or maybe you’ve seen the statistics and you believe Canada simply doesn’t have enough young farmers, so today’s farmers must open the door to more new entrants. Well, it’s never going to be easy, but check out these creative ways to have your cake and eat it too

Reading Time: 10 minutes Non-family farm transitions are certainly different than traditional family succession plans, and they definitely have their difficulties. But it turns out they aren’t impossible. In fact, non-family transitions are becoming much more common and much more successful. But they do require new strategies, and new ways of thinking. How common are they? “A significant number […] Read more


A decade ago, forecasters said global food demand would double. Now they expect half that much. But, says AFT’s Mitch Hunter, the good news is that it may be sustainable.

Feeding the farmer

As global population estimates get scaled back, our sense of priorities is beginning to change

Reading Time: 6 minutes Will the world’s farmers really have to double their food production by 2050? Media reports say it’s true, and many farm sources seem to repeat it almost daily. But not all experts agree. Dr. Mitch Hunter, research director at American Farmland Trust, has analyzed the newest figures and suggests that food demand will likely increase […] Read more

“That’s the point I think we could have stressed more,” says Kyle. “You say you don’t think it’s a good life, but you’d never do anything else, and we feel the same way.”

‘You can’t hand it to them’

Every transition is unique. This one is too. But inside Kyle (left) and Bryan Maynard’s experience are nuggets that can transform the process for farms across the country

Reading Time: 10 minutes It all makes perfect sense. When, two days before their eighth and 10th birthdays, brothers Bryan and Kyle Maynard lost their dad, Kent, in a tragic farm accident, of course the future of the farm was thrown into disarray. Kent had grown up nearby on a Prince Edward Island dairy and hog farm, but in […] Read more