GFM Network News


Employees are looking for a role, not just a job, says Curwen, in cap, front row, right.

Grow your people

On a global tour, Nuffield Scholar Reece Curwen finds the top farms always treat employees as an investment, not a cost

At 32, Reece Curwen farms with his family 500 kilometres south of Perth in Western Australia, where the farm produces canola, barley, wheat and sheep on 8,000 hectares. Yet although the farm is so geographically distant from Canada, when it comes to the people management side of farming, it might be right next door. As […] Read more

Learning styles

Everyone learns their own way. So what’s best for you and your team?

We’re told there has never been a time in all of human history when things have changed at such a rapid pace. And this is especially true for agriculture. Nor are farmers just letting it happen. Instead, they’re embracing lifelong learning to prepare and to adapt, whether it’s learning new software programs, farm business management […] Read more


Sometimes a simple “thank you” can be enough to let a worker know they're appreciated.

Reward positive behaviour

HR Management: If something is supposed to be a reward, it has to feel like one

With a tight labour market, farmers are looking for ways to attract and keep good employees. They naturally turn to incentives and rewards to try to keep employees happy and productive. However, getting it right when it comes to employee incentives is tricky business. “An incentive to one person can be poison to another,” explains […] Read more

Uncivil behaviour frequently occurs when there is a power differential and a mistaken belief that “nice guys finish last.”

How much did that off-colour joke cost you?

More than you probably think, because we all work harder and better in workplaces where we feel respected

If you think those off-colour jokes, sexist comments, or the occasional angry outburst are harmless, you should think again. The research is clear that rude behaviour can hurt your farm’s bottom line. For more than 20 years, Christine Porath, an associate professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has […] Read more


Will it snow?

Volunteer research by these farmers is helping to advance weather science

As farmers are well aware, rain and snowfall can vary considerably over short distances. What farmer hasn’t suffered a dry spell when promising rain clouds drifted north or south of their farm, giving their neighbours a crop-saving “million-dollar” rain? Likewise, we’ve all seen very small pockets get clobbered with gully-producing storms or crop-flattening hail. The […] Read more

Alzheimer’s has an impact on many forms of cognition including language, sensory perceptions, orientation (finding your way), and executive functions such as planning and problem solving.

Living with dementia

These strategies can add life quality and meaning for both of you

The challenges of a dementia diagnosis can be compounded by feelings of isolation and loneliness when family and friends stop visiting because they don’t know what to say or do. “People stay away because they don’t know how to communicate with them, but it magnifies the difficulties,” says Dr. Al Power, a medical doctor who […] Read more


One way an employer can help employees reduce stress is by permitting flexible work schedules that create a better work-life balance.

A health plan that pays

It makes more and more sense to put your focus on employee health and wellness

Creating a safe, healthy and supportive workplace isn’t just good for your workers — it’s also good for your business. “The health of your workers is tied to the health of your business,” says Jade Reeve, a manager with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC), an Ottawa-based non-profit organization focused on addressing human resource […] Read more

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