GFM Network News


Investment in a broad range of agriculture and food sectors, including the agri-environmental field, are planned.

Funds for agricultural innovation

Partnership aims to send the message that agtech is a great place to invest

Reading Time: 4 minutes Developing an “innovation ecosystem” across Canada and increasing the nation’s competitiveness in the global agriculture and agri-food industry are the goals of a new partnership between Bioenterprise Corporation and Farm Credit Canada (FCC). “FCC is the Canadian standard for financial support and banking in agriculture and agri-food in the country,” says Dave Smardon, president and […] Read more

How volunteering is good for you

Reading Time: 4 minutes It can seem like there’s no end of stories, opinions and advice to help farmers transition the farm business to the next generation. But how do you transition yourself? How do you live with retirement? Volunteering helped Shirley Lahn and her late husband Howard when they were busy farming, and then through the transition and […] Read more


IT firms are seeing the potential in agri-food technology and are buying companies or bringing in talent.

Investing in agri-food technology

“A very dismal state of affairs” is how one investor looks at Canada’s ag tech future

Reading Time: 4 minutes San Eng thinks the agri-food technology investment climate in Canada might improve, but a “venture capital ecosystem” must develop quickly or the nation will lose out. “The people I’ve talked to are overlooking the sector — they don’t think it’s sexy enough, which is disappointing because the potential is there,” says the serial entrepreneur who […] Read more

Collecting and using data will drive the agriculture of the future, says a professor at Ohio State University.

Into the future

Celebrated ag tech guru Scott Shearer sees a profitable path ahead, together with some potential bumps

Reading Time: 4 minutes While it’s not exactly as futuristic as 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s no longer such a big stretch to imagine the day when a single operator anywhere in the world can remotely control 25 to 30 tractors, and when our crops effectively send us emails letting us know what they need. As professor and chair […] Read more


Social financing

Helping investors offer low-risk loans for farm projects that big lenders won’t take seriously

Reading Time: 4 minutes A new fund is being developed in Ontario to help farmers and small food processors obtain local financing to grow their businesses. “Better access to capital comes up all the time when we ask our members what they would like us to do for them,” says Sally Miller, project manager with Local Food and Farm […] Read more

Many agricultural technology companies say the information they collect is the property of the farmer, but they don’t have transparent explanations as to what that actually means.

Our data road map

Is the ADT initiative in the U.S. the right way to put Canada’s farmers in control of their data too?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Canada is awash in agricultural data that’s not being used to its full potential by farmers, researchers, or the government. Now, work has begun to try and improve that situation. “There’s a lot of information that exists electronically, but we need to give farmers control of their data so they can use it and flow […] Read more


You have to learn about customers — what they want — and figure out what success will look like.” – Gary Morton.

Got what it takes?

Cutting out the ‘middleman’ sounds like an obvious way to increase farm profitability. And sometimes, that’s exactly how it works out

Reading Time: 5 minutes Maybe there really isn’t anything new under the sun. For generations, farmers have looked at the yawning gap between what they get paid for their crops and livestock versus what consumers pay in the grocery store, and thought there’s got to be a way to capture more of the consumer dollar for the farm. No […] Read more

When it comes to data in the agricultural sector, privacy and access issues are potentially at odds.

It’s YOUR farm data

… but it’s the companies you deal with that are creating an income stream from it

Reading Time: 4 minutes Long before the social media scandal that rocked Facebook and bankrupted Cambridge Analytica, Kelly Bronson was looking into how data is collected, who uses it and how they are benefitting from it in Canada’s agri-food sector. “For a couple of years, I’ve been doing qualitative research into the social scientific aspect of data collection in […] Read more


Though public spending in agricultural research has decreased, private companies are investing in food products, genetics and varietal development – especially in crops such as soybeans, corn and canola.

Where are investments in Canadian agricultural research headed?

2018 has been a great year with agriculture attracting acclaim as an economic powerhouse in Canada. But is there enough money in research to score on the opportunity?

Reading Time: 6 minutes “Sunny today but with clouds on the horizon” is how Serge Buy describes Canadian government investment in agricultural research. “There was more willingness for the federal government to invest in budgets 2016 and 2017, and some of the provinces are following suit,” says Buy, who’s the CEO of the Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC). “That’s […] Read more

The damage that over-tillage does is plain to see in soil quality.

The news on soil health

This time, will farmers finally break the “build-up then burn-out” cycle of soil management? The Ontario Soil Network thinks the answer may be yes

Reading Time: 6 minutes Don Lobb takes a very dim view of how mankind has treated soil over the millennia, but he is slightly more hopeful for this generation, due both to our constantly growing body of knowledge about soils, and to farmers who are not only willing to experiment with better ways to take care of the soil, […] Read more