GFM Network News


You can help your community by being trained to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and how to help.

Reaching out

Your neighbour is diagnosed with depression. What do you say next time you meet?

When it comes to talking about mental health, there’s a shift taking place in agriculture. Producers are bravely sharing their stories at farm meetings and on social media. Corporations and organizations are creating supportive resources. All this is helping to reduce the stigma around mental health. With the incredibly high levels of stress farmers face […] Read more

Performance management pays off, says a University of Guelph associate professor. “Research shows it can improve employee performance, productivity and safety.”

The annual performance review

Does it really make sense to put employees and team members through a performance appraisal?

You’re busy, of course, so finding an excuse for not doing annual performance evaluations with employees and team members looks so very tempting. Would it really be so bad if you pushed the reviews onto the back burner? The answer is an unequivocal “yes,” according to Dr. Sara Mann, an associate professor specializing in human […] Read more


Once you realize you’re procrastinating, the solution is to ask yourself what the next step would be and act on it.

Promises to yourself

When the pressure is on, farmers get amazing things done. Now, a new technique called WOOP can help you score when the pressure is off as well

Farmers are good at getting things done under pressure. When the crop needs to get in the ground or the hay has to be baled before the rain, farmers follow through. But when there’s no deadline, farmers can fall prey to procrastination just like everybody else, says Carleton University professor Dr. Tim Pychyl, who also […] Read more

“HR tends to get put on the back burner,” says Jennifer Doelman.

Get professional with your HR

The Doelman family is finding their HR plan is an essential pillar for their farm’s success. You may too

With the current shortage of good labour in the ag industry, putting more effort into HR planning can help you keep your staff, thereby saving the cost and aggravation of recruiting and training new people — if you can find them. Hiring new staff is worse than dating, says Jennifer Doelman, who farms with her […] Read more


The ‘write’ way

With big stakes at play on today’s farms, it’s more important than ever to make sure what you write sends a clear message

We’ve all had occasions when we’ve read something and we were left muttering, “I have no idea what that person was trying to say.” Not only does poor writing not accomplish the goal of communicating the intended information, it also wastes the time of both reader and writer. The number one goal of good writing […] Read more

If you feel your employee turnover is too high, talk to other farmers with similar-sized farms to see how they compare.

Keep employees on the farm

Do you really know if your employees are thinking of quitting?

Hiring and training the right people is costly, and the last thing you need as you head into the busy season is the added stress of losing a key person. The good news is there is a lot you can do as an employer to keep your staff. Even better, it’s not just about higher […] Read more


Time is finite, so it’s important to make smart choices about it.

Lots more time

How to feel less busy while getting more done

When we ask “Where did the time go?” what we really mean is “I have no memory of what I did.” With commitments to the farm and to the family and everything else crammed into our schedules, it can feel like every moment has a claim on it and that taking time to savour the […] Read more

A detailed list of requirements will help ensure that you hire the right person for the job.

Job descriptions

Two farm specialists build the case to prove why job descriptions will save you time, money and aggravation

Are job descriptions worth the effort? Simply put, the experts say the answer is a clear yes. Or maybe we should make that YES! Job descriptions are foundational for good management, says Jade Reeve, manager of agri-jobs at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) in Ottawa. Their usefulness goes beyond recruitment, she adds. “They […] Read more


More together

Taking a group and multi-generational approach to upgrading their skills is paying off on the Woods farm

More farmers agree that the old saying has it about right: Failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s too easy to get off-course if you haven’t set your intentions and goals to paper. Besides, how do you track your success if you don’t have goals? Having completed a succession plan that lays the groundwork […] Read more

Men’s health matters

A healthier dad means a healthier family. So come on, guys, man up to these small lifestyle changes

According to a recent survey of Canadian men, a shocking 72 per cent of our husbands and fathers have unhealthy lifestyles based on behaviours including smoking, problem drinking, lack of exercise, and poor diet. The survey of 2,000 men from across the country was conducted on behalf of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF). This […] Read more