GFM Network News


Younger generations often don’t know where they stand regarding a farm transition and may feel reluctant to address the issue.

How do you know when the younger generation is ‘ready’?

AME Management: How succession can be successfully planned

A tough question for any family business is how to know when the next generation is equipped to take over management decisions. Like many other things, the answer is often lost in a range of factors, not least the attitudes of the individuals in the family. My experience is that many families have unresolved “stuff” […] Read more

Shiny, new equipment is great, but depending on your budget and where you are in the timeline of your operation, running what you own or leasing equipment may be a better option.

Is there a ‘best’ farm machinery strategy?

AME management: There is never a guarantee that, without the analysis, the right strategy can be forecast

Country Guide’s editor asked whether we see a trend in the machinery strategy of the farmers who take CTEAM, our management course. Behind this is the idea that their experiences may be of value to others. The reality is that many strategies exist, ranging from turning over the complement of equipment every year, to squeezing […] Read more


Using futures and options in uncertain times

AME Management: Every year has its unique events, but with this strategy, farmers can provide profit opportunities that an “ordinary” year simply wouldn’t make available

Already, 2017 has been a year of uncertainty due both to unpredictable weather and political patterns. (We won’t speculate on which is the less predictable!) Uncertainty breeds large amounts of price volatility. Many farmers argue that using futures and options is too hard and carries the risk of cash-flow drains. They prefer to use the […] Read more

Progress is best made not by trying to break bad habits, but rather by developing good habits.” — Larry Martin

From planning to implementation

AME Management: Get into these management habits. They will help you develop the strategic objectives that will drive your farm where you want it to go, and then help you achieve real progress toward them

In our past column, we reviewed the habits of successful agricultural managers. One habit is that successful managers don’t just do strategic and operational planning, they translate their plans into action — i.e. they have a process to implement the plan. Like most farmers, many CTEAM participants have had little experience or training in planning […] Read more


8 management practices of successful Canadian farmers

In our CTEAM program and other activities, we get to meet a range of Canadian farmers, and often we have the opportunity to assess their success both financially and personally, in terms of their ability to meet or exceed personal and family goals. Several characteristics of these successful people become obvious rather quickly. Not all[...]
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The value of learning

AME Management: Learning business management can contribute to self-esteem and confidence

Farmers sometimes wonder whether additional courses and learning are of great value after taking into account course fees, travel, sometimes hotels, and always valuable time away from your business. Peer pressure can add to the psychological cost if the destinations are at all interesting or exotic. Neighbours may think you are simply taking a tax-deductible[...]
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Financial analysis and planning

AME Management: These examples show how standardized financial statements can be a powerful source of insight into your operational management

Past columns in this space addressed aspects of strategic planning and financial management. Experience suggests that their close connection is not always recognized by managers. The intent of this column is to show how financial ratios can affect strategic direction and help focus on plans. The Planning Model We follow Harvard strategist, Michael Porter and[...]
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How financially healthy is your farm?

AME Management: These two examples show how standardized financial statements can be a powerful source of insight into your operational management

Three articles in this space over the last year (see links further down) focused on the management information to be obtained from standardized farm accounting statements. This month, we illustrate it here with two farm examples, concentrating on the operating (profit and loss) statement. The organization of our operating statements is based on three principles:[...]
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What will the TPP mean for your farm?

AME Management: Overall, Canadian farmers get increased market access from TPP, plus better dispute settlement

The October 2015 Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is a substantial trade treaty for its 12 members, and like other trade treaties, it will introduce concessions on market access, such as tariff reductions and increased import quotas, as discussed below. But there is also considerable focus on food safety regulations as well as on biotechnology[...]
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Use financial ratios to diagnose operational issues

AME Management: Different farms have different factors affecting their performance

The profit and loss statement provides three financial ratios that can help identify operational issues and set priorities in your operations plan. The ratios and their benchmarks are: The first and third columns define revenue/earnings and cost categories deducted from them on a standardized operating statement. The second and fourth are the resulting operating and[...]
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