GFM Network News


In walking beside and in learning with your family and team, the curious leader builds resilience and invites growth.

Trailblazing (Part 2)

The curious leader — trailblazing women farmers

When talking leadership for Country Guide, female trailblazers have repeatedly told me it was a real benefit to them that they had a curious parent in their earlier years. They also rank their own curiosity as a key contributor to their success. The value of curiosity also came up repeatedly when I spoke to global […] Read more

The most common word used in the transcripts of this set of interviews was “Dad.”

Trailblazing

Women farmers reveal how they have succeeded in agriculture, and how other women can too (Part 1)

Country Guide asked for more on how we define a culture that is inclusive, equal and conducive for a successful female heir or independent business person from within a family unit. In this first part of a three-part series, I went across Canada and asked trailblazers — highly successful women in farming, agriculture and agri-business […] Read more


It's important to let your mentor see your desire for learning and growth.

Opinion: Find the right mentor

Yes, approaching a mentor takes time and a bit of courage. But the payoffs can be huge

At very least, establishing a relationship with a mentor is an adventure and an opportunity for growth and enlightenment. It can represent a great step forward for your farm. But, as always, it’s best to know how to get what you want. Finding a mentor can come through predictable channels such as having a mentor […] Read more

What women in agriculture need and want

Guide Opinion: Communication remains a key in order for farm families to grow

What do women in agriculture need? What do they want? I asked Canadian women who are farmers or in agriculture. The open forum for response on social media was complemented with phone calls and emails in which women thoughtfully responded with their wants and needs. 1. Women need healthier tax attitudes Women need farm families […] Read more


The right recipe for success? Talking with someone who knows your business and the businesses you are in, but is at arm’s-length from the emotion.

Opinion: Winning with help from a mentor

The editor at Country Guide asked, “After meeting someone who could be a potential mentor, what makes a farmer pursue a full mentorship? When do they make the decision, and why? What is the impact of the relationship for themselves and their business? How do we relate this to leadership?” I didn’t have the answers […] Read more

The necessity of conflict

Leadership requires that you do not enter a conflict until invited

It is unavoidable. At many points in life there will be conflict. It is at these times we question the value of conflict and the emotional claim that it can make on us. Is conflict really necessary? Can it be a tool to drive us forward? Let’s start at the beginning. The degree to which […] Read more


It can be transformative when we ask the question “what is it you need?” of our staff and our clients. It changes our perspective of our role, and it changes our business purpose.

Opinion: Leadership through understanding

As farmers, are we ready to look at the unintended consequences even when our intentions are for the best?

Sometimes the way we run our farms is similar to the way we like to strap our privilege firmly on our backs and think that because we are citizens of the so-called “First World,” we can bring help and hope to all those with less. We think we can relieve suffering, and through our efforts, […] Read more

Opinion: No pedestal required

The more I learn about leadership, the more I see that the best opportunities for our farms start when we empower others

Social research professor Dr. Brené Brown reminds us that: “Connections are why we are here. It is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” In agriculture and agri-business we tend to connect on a very deep level, driven in part by shared values and interests. As a community, our congregating is visible in every […] Read more