Latest articles


Three farm families, five years later

Country Guide revisits three young Manitoba farm families building their future in agriculture

In 2012, Country Guide discovered a cluster of young farmers near out-of-the-way Cartwright, Man. They were all searching for ways to start small in the heart of big-farm Canada, and they all saw their best chance in a combination of direct marketing and holistic practices. To some readers, it seemed like a dream. To others, […] Read more


Five years on: Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek

Country Guide revisits Fresh Roots Farm and its focus on direct-marketing

Back in 2012, Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek’s biggest goal was to quit their off-farm jobs and farm full time. It’s something that Stozek has more or less managed to do, although Schram still works part-time at her parents’ ranch supply store. Schram and Stozek originally established Fresh Roots Farm as a Community Supported Agriculture […] Read more



Five years on: Riley and Lee-Anne Kemp

Country Guide revisits two Manitoba beef producers building their future

In the five years since Country Guide last caught up with Riley and Lee-Anne Kemp, their lives have become even more hectic. For starters, their family has grown to three children — six-year-old Lexi, three-year-old Elliot and Halle, who just turned six months old. Riley still works off farm as a teacher at the local […] Read more


Five years on: Wayne and Maria McDonald

Country Guide revisits the livestock operation of McDonald Farm

Wayne McDonald has never had a job off the farm and admits that he has no idea what nine-to-five is all about. That’s the way he likes it. Now, thanks to some hard work and their very dedicated focus, he and wife Maria have managed to achieve one of the key goals they set themselves […] Read more



Managing herbicide resistance costs

Farmers considering herbicide resistance strategies are looking at the economics first

There are several reasons many farmers haven’t yet adopted herbicide resistance management (HRM) plans. These include a lack of information, the complexity of different management strategies and limited time. But a major reason is still economics. Many farmers worry about the costs of implementing a resistance management plan, especially if they’re uncertain about the potential […] Read more


Growing professional

Across the country, young farmers like Holly White and Kent Sereda are building respect for a new generation of business skills

Newlyweds Holly White and Kent Sereda were already quite good at tackling what you might call their legal due diligence, updating their wills and preparing marital agreements. Then they realized they should go even further. This was the right time, they decided, to review the whole succession plan for the fourth-generation family farm that they […] 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


Getting ‘lean’ for farming

Small farms like Ben Hartman’s can be among the first to boost their numbers by adopting lean, but there are lessons for all

If they have heard about “lean” management, most business managers think of it in the context of lean manufacturing, a system pioneered by Japanese car maker Toyota in the 1970s. Now, however, more farmers are successfully applying lean principles to their farms, and they’re ending up with healthier balance sheets as a result. One of […] Read more



How lean farming is a little different in Europe

The European model of “lean” farming is a little different from the North American version, and although the primary focus is still eliminating waste, lean takes a more people-focused approach and shares similarities with the principles of holistic management. “The lean approach we take is more about management and people,” says Susanne Pejstrup, a Danish […] Read more


The first-born quandary

What if your eldest son isn’t actually the best choice to lead your family farm into the future?

For centuries, it worked for royalty. If you happen to be the first-born son, you were on the path to the throne, no questions asked. And it happened on the farm too. The eldest son was automatically in line to take the reins when Dad got old enough that he needed to step aside. Increasingly, […] Read more