GFM Network News


Women often face skepticism when starting a career in agriculture, with many being told they won’t make it on their own.

Defining the culture for a successful female in agriculture

How women overcome challenges they've faced in business

Reading Time: 3 minutes In my first Trailblazer column last spring, I reported on my interviews with trailblazing women across Canada. I focused on creating a culture in agriculture that is inclusive of women, and I looked at the life of the girl and how gender has an impact on the road to starting a new business. In this […] Read more

Metamorphosis

Empower the people around you to be transformational leaders

Reading Time: 3 minutes We’ve all seen a fuzzy caterpillar make its way across our path. Inching across the pavement makes it vulnerable to the traffic and the weather, but it must get to a cocooning spot. It seems so small and sluggish but it has something more inside it. It will become that something more. It will morph […] Read more


Good listening is more than simply hearing what's said; it's also the art of hearing what's not being said.

Trailblazing (Part 3): Family leadership — all together now!

A good leader knows how to deal with feelings honestly without harming other family members

Reading Time: 3 minutes Of our 96 living decedents on my father’s side, most show up for our annual family Christmas party. It is a fun affair with games, crafts, sharing, potluck dinner and a dance. Our history covers the walls of the hall in documents and photographs. It’s our “not to be missed” event of the year. For […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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)

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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?

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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