GFM Network News

Lauren and Ryan Maurer of Land and Sky Grains.

Managing more, working less

For Lauren and Ryan Maurer, it’s the challenge of 2021. How do they keep from getting personally overwhelmed as the farm gets bigger and more complex?

Reading Time: 7 minutes It was 27 years ago that Lauren and Ryan Maurer moved to Lauren’s family grain farm near Grenfell, Sask., and started with 800 cultivated acres. In 2010 the couple was named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers, and now Land and Sky Grains seeds 24,000 owned and rented acres. Another 3,000 acres are committed to pasture and […] Read more

Darren and Carmen Sterling.

Selling the corporate farm

Darren and Carmen Sterling made the hard decision. 2019 would be their last crop. Then they would retire. But that’s when the real work began

Reading Time: 10 minutes When we talk about Canada’s aging farm owners, we generally talk about how best to pass the agricultural torch to sons and daughters or, more recently, about creative contortions to move the farm into the future with those who are not family — in short, succession planning. But is it still called succession when there […] Read more

With a young family, Steph Towers was told not to run for a board position. “We are shoved into a box by people who tell us we don’t have time.”

A question of equity

Ag corporations are making strides toward gender equity. What will it take on the farm?

Reading Time: 8 minutes In our November issue, Saskatchewan farmer Jean Harrington triggered terrific online response — and some pushback — with her blunt assessment that today’s young farm women aren’t doing enough to break down barriers for women in agriculture. So we want to know, what exactly would gender equity on the farm look like? “I actually understand […] Read more

“We thought we won the war, but we dropped the ball,” Jean Harrington says. “Today we are not one step further along in the big picture with women in agriculture… and often we’ve done it to ourselves.”

Why aren’t farm women fighting harder?

It’s time to win back the ground we've have lost in the past 30 years

Reading Time: 9 minutes In the November issue of Country Guide, Saskatchewan farmer Leigh Rosengren challenged women to have an honest conversation about the career barriers individual women face living on farms in rural Canada. Further investigation reveals we need a hard look at the agriculture industry as a whole. Despite decades of work, women are still largely shut […] Read more

“I was envious of women who had off-farm jobs,” Leigh says. “But then I’d think of that one day… ”

Into the daylight

“I can’t be your shadow,” Leigh Rosengren explained to her husband Colin. “It isn’t enough for me.”

Reading Time: 9 minutes First of two exclusive articles by farmer and novelist Anne Lazurko You can have it all, I thought. Ambitious career, great marriage, beautiful family. And don’t forget how wonderful it is to raise kids in the country; all that fresh air to help them grow, chores to mould them into responsible adults, the freedom to […] Read more

A variety of factors are combining to make the competition for acres very real.

The ever-changing landscape of farmland rentals

The risks are growing. So is the pressure to lease more land. What does a smart rental strategy look like as we head into 2020?

Reading Time: 8 minutes There’s a small panic in the air, the muted response you might expect from farmers who hold their cards close and practise a stoic realism that helps them navigate the risks they can’t control: weather, grain prices, the impact that a single Chinese tech executive might have on an important market. Most of these are […] Read more

Doyle Wiebe (l) and Mark Thompson.

Their joint venture

The way Doyle Wiebe and Mark Thompson work together is beginning to look like the future for a big chunk of Canada’s farms, especially in succession

Reading Time: 10 minutes Canada’s farmers are designing ever more creative business arrangements to deal with the scarcity of available land and with the capital requirements for farm expansion, diversification and succession. Now Saskatchewan producer Doyle Wiebe has developed and implemented a joint venture agreement on his farm near Langham, Sask., that may prove one of the most unique […] Read more

That little blue elevator

That little blue elevator

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s an unlikely scenario that three friends from Toronto with no agricultural background would find themselves on the wide open prairie buying and exporting lentils, peas and beans. But much has changed in the grain marketing world. Noor Faridi, Faisal Usmani and Aftab Ghouri might just be the face of that change. Their new company, […] Read more

For Superior Pulses’ director Faisal Usmani and president Noor Faridi, shortlines let them work right where the crops they sell around the world are produced.

Shortline prospecting

Shortline railway companies are creating new opportunities for farm commodities, and for farmers too

Reading Time: 7 minutes Operating a shortline railway in Western Canada isn’t an easy proposition. Over the past 20 years, many companies have come, and ultimately gone, after trying to revive lines that CN and CP had abandoned in their waves of rationalization. But now, a move from single-farm producer car loading to higher-volume sites might become the key […] Read more

For this brother and sister, a structure with each contributing at the top of their game is a key to success. James heads up operations, Kristen is chief administrative officer.

Finding your farm self

How one farm is using innovative business strategies to fuel its passion

Reading Time: 7 minutes We hear much talk today about business models and strategies, and we read about new and innovative ideas to change and manage farm business. But what do the words actually mean? A “good idea” can be a proactive idea or even a reactionary one; it can be traditional or alternative. But it would seem that […] Read more