GFM Network News


Travel plans

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

Reading Time: 8 minutes 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

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 9 minutes 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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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Selling sales

When schools look down on sales, marketing and personal skills, you the farmer lose as much as the students

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ask most recruiters or human resource professionals working in ag today and they will tell you there is a growing gap between the skills needed to perform key roles in agribusiness and the skills that high school, college or university students can bring to the job. Lori Litherland, founder of agricultural recruiter Litherland and Company,[...]
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There is an urgent need to develop and equip farm advisers with the tools and skills they need to help farm families successfully pass on the farm to the next generation.

Better steps for farm transition

Canadian agriculture is suffering a shortage of family farm advisers with the training and skills to help our farms through succession and transition

Reading Time: 6 minutes It’s expected that three in four Canadian farms will change hands in the next 10 years, many of them from one generation of the family to the next. But where will these farms find help they can trust to navigate their increasingly complex transitions? There aren’t enough trained and experienced farm advisers to go around[...]
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Kristen MacMillan says interactions such as bean type, variety, inoculant type and environment can affect how edible beans interact with the N in the soil.

How much N? A soil test isn’t the only answer

Different crops, different varieties, different inoculants, and different soil environments all affect the N-application decision these days

Reading Time: 5 minutes You need to know two things to calculate your nitrogen application — the crop requirement and the available N in the soil. At least that used to be the case, but it’s not now, not since pulse crops have become such an important part of the rotation. When it comes to fixing N, not all[...]
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