GFM Network News


A coach can serve as an objective thought partner, helping a farmer get clear on what they want to accomplish.

How about a life coach?

More farmers are turning to life coaches to help them strengthen themselves, their families and their businesses

Reading Time: 5 minutes In the 30 years since the first coaching programs were developed, the field of coaching has exploded. You’ll find coaches who specialize in a broad range of areas including business, leadership, personal development, wellness, financial management and more. While coaching has been gaining popularity in the corporate world for the past decade, farmers are now […] Read more

Make self-care your priority

Actually, you do have time to take care of yourself, especially with these incentives

Reading Time: 5 minutes Grain farmers Jennifer and Michael Doelman are making self-care a priority in 2020. Years of hard work, sleepless nights caring for young children, and a stressful farm succession process have left the Renfrew, Ont. couple suffering from burnout. The couple love their work but have been stretched too thin giving to farm, family and community. […] Read more


Passing on cooking skills to the next generation often falls by the wayside due in part to the easy availability of takeout and processed foods.

Adulting 101

Got a teenager who will soon be off to school? Do them a favour with these life lessons

Reading Time: 5 minutes While farm kids learn many things that their urban counterparts never get to experience, it’s also possible that in the busy-ness of life on the farm, some skills needed for independent living can get overlooked. It’s just easier to keep getting their meals for them, doing their laundry for them, helping them sort their money […] Read more

Tips for better emailing

These apps can make your business and family communications more efficient, but you still need to write clearly

Reading Time: 5 minutes The irony is that even though we have more ways to communicate than ever before, somehow we seem to be always be getting worse at the job. We are inundated with emails and distracted by text messages, and it feels like we’re always trying to puzzle out what some sender meant to say, or whether […] Read more


“If you have only ever travelled as a tourist, it can be quite overwhelming,” says Hilborn after returning from Tanzania. “Be flexible and adapt to conditions. You can’t panic.”

Volunteering overseas?

Volunteering in a developing country can be a life-defining experience. Here’s what to know before you sign up

Reading Time: 5 minutes In winter 2019, Donald Hilborn spent three months volunteering on an agricultural research project in Morogoro, Tanzania. It was a gratifying experience for Hilborn but he cautions that it’s essential to do your homework and choose carefully when travelling on a volunteer mission to a developing country. “You need a support system,” says Hilborn, who […] Read more

As with many businesses, Danielle French’s path to success wasn’t exactly straight.

Turning the dream into reality

Danielle French’s customers promote South Pond Farms, making this a social media success and a profitable farm venue

Reading Time: 7 minutes “One thing led to another,” Danielle French tells me. You wouldn’t guess it from meeting her. French has transformed a rundown 60-acre property into a highly acclaimed events venue hosting weddings, workshops and farm-to-table dinners. She’s super-organized, super-efficient and bursting with great ideas, and it seems impossible that anyone could have achieved all that without […] Read more


Supportive communities. The key to resilience

There are recurring themes to resilience. We have 12 of them

Reading Time: 5 minutes Society likes to idealize the rugged individual who, against all odds, manages to overcome their difficult life circumstances and succeed in a big way. There is a problem with this narrative, though, says Dr. Michael Ungar, a family therapist and researcher at Dalhousie University. Personal resilience actually has a lot more to do with the […] Read more

“Why is the son or daughter interested? Is it because they failed elsewhere and the farm is a safe haven, or because it’s Dad’s dream for the next generation to take over?” – Mike Bossy.

Preparing the next generation to take over the farm

How can you be sure they’re ready for the responsibility of running the operation?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Transferring the farm to the next generation is a complicated affair that involves finances, tax implications, legal strategies and good communication among all those affected. With all those balls in the air, the one element that Mom and Dad often think about, but somehow don’t actually get serious about, is whether the next generation is […] Read more


The rise of popularity in the internet has generated the unfortunate rise in cybercrime as well.

How to protect yourself online

Cybercriminals used to go after big business. Now they know you’re easier to hit

Reading Time: 4 minutes The internet has been a boon to farm businesses. Whether it’s ordering farm supplies online, hosting an online store, problem solving, communicating with the farm team and other farmers, accessing detailed weather forecasts or marketing info, the list of the ways we rely on the internet every day is long. Unfortunately, as the internet has […] Read more

“The brain responds,” researcher Fraser Smith says. “It’s like taking an empty field on a farm that’s been lying fallow, and starting to till it and planting seeds.”

Keep it smart

How about a little maintenance for the organ you depend on the most

Reading Time: 5 minutes The old adage, “use it or lose it” really is true when it comes to our brains. Problem solving, processing speed and thinking can all go downhill as we age, says Dr. Fraser Smith, a professor, researcher and clinician at the National University of Health Sciences near Chicago. But there’s good news too. We can […] Read more