GFM Network News


The ‘winter blues’ are a real thing that can lead to depression with a variety of debilitating symptoms.

Coping with the winter months

“It’s okay not to be okay,” says therapist Deborah Vanberkel. All of us are subject to the winter blahs and cabin fever

Reading Time: 6 minutes As if farming wasn’t already stressful enough, Canadian winters bring additional challenges. Frozen water lines, icy driveways and tractors that won’t start are just a few of the many physical challenges that farmers must contend with during our harsh winters. On top of that, when the short days of winter arrive, some of us will […] Read more

Before meeting with an employee to discuss areas of improvement, it’s a good idea to create a plan for the conversation.

How to deliver constructive criticism

Focus on end results to eliminate the emotional sting and to improve performance

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you’re like a lot of people, you’d rather do anything than give negative feedback. Even when it is well-intentioned, criticism isn’t easy to deliver. It’s anxiety-producing both for the giver of the negative feedback and for the receiver. As a result, most of us avoid giving negative feedback, which, of course, fixes nothing. Failing […] Read more


Industry estimates indicate that three-quarters of small businesses will experience a cybersecurity incident.

How you can stay safe online

Is your phone tracking your kids’ every move, and selling that information to the highest bidder?

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you haven’t turned off the location tracking setting on your smartphone apps, your phone may be recording — and sharing — your every movement. It’s the same for your microphone and camera functions. They may be recording your conversations or taking pictures without your knowledge. And no, this isn’t science fiction. This is a […] Read more

Farm kids often get plenty of experience on the production side of the business, but aren’t taught about budgeting or financial statements.

How to make your kids more financially literate

Don’t overlook how powerful it is to teach your children about managing money on the farm

Reading Time: 4 minutes Financial literacy is essential for everyone, but it is particularly critical for farmers. Defined as “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being,” it’s a must in modern agriculture. Parents agree. They want their children to be financially independent. Yet Stephanie Szusz, who works in […] Read more


Sixty per cent of men say that work affects their ability to get a proper night’s sleep.

Putting a spotlight on men’s health

Hey, Men! These small changes will boost your health, energy and fitness. Adopt them for yourself, and for your family too

Reading Time: 5 minutes For many men, looking after their own health is far down on their list of priorities. Health care practitioners speculate as to why men don’t look after themselves. Men may not feel they have the time, they may think it’s a sign of weakness to seek medical attention, they may not understand the risks of […] Read more

Dealing with problem employees effectively

Instead of firing them, use these tips to coach problem cases into good employees

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s getting tougher to find and keep good employees. Nor, by all indications, is the situation going to improve anytime soon. According to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s newly released Labour Market Forecast for the next decade, farmers can expect an already tight labour market to get even tighter. According to the council’s survey […] Read more


A researcher and soon-to-be author wanted to know what’s getting in the way of healthier soil. What she heard from farmers, industry and academia is it’s not a lack of technology but a lack of political will and financial support.

Where Ontario’s soil health strategy falls short

Farmers understand the crucial role of soil health for feeding the world. So why is it such a struggle to get support for that goal?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Last fall, Dr. Sarah Rotz, then working at the University of Guelph, wrote an article with Guelph crop scientist Dr. Ralph Martin and York University agri-food policy researcher Dr. Rod MacRae to draw attention to what they perceive as shortcomings in the Ontario government’s Soil Health Strategy. It’s a topic Rotz had been studying for […] Read more

Smartphones and apps can make our lives easier, but they can also ramp up our stress levels.

How to manage your smartphone before it manages you

Our devices can either enhance our lives or create endless frustration and confusion. Making the right choice isn’t that hard

Reading Time: 5 minutes As a trend, decluttering has probably never been more popular. Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has been translated into 30 languages and even spawned a Netflix series. And Kondo is only one of the dozens of decluttering and minimalist gurus who have acquired new celebrity status. While a life of rigid […] Read more


“Good retention starts with good recruiting. The challenge is finding people who are willing to be there for the right reasons…”

Tapping into a new source of farm workers

Traditional labour supplies are running short. Why that may not be a bad thing

Reading Time: 5 minutes With farms getting bigger and with rural populations getting smaller, it’s no surprise you’re having trouble finding local employees with the farm skills and the experience you want. That doesn’t mean you have no options, however. The solution may be to look beyond candidates with ag experience and to begin to look in other sectors […] Read more

When looking for a mentor, find someone who isn’t too busy and is a good listener.

Want to be a more successful farmer? Find a mentor

How you can harness the power of mentorship

Reading Time: 4 minutes Research shows the five-year survival rate for small and medium enterprises jumps from fewer than half to more than 70 per cent if mentors are involved. That’s according to Virginia McGowan, a certified mentor who witnessed this powerful transformation while running a mentorship program for a group of 70 female entrepreneurs in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The […] Read more