GFM Network News


Food hubs need not require a bricks and mortar location, they can be a digital meeting place as well. The point is to connect farmers with consumers, retailers and institutional buyers who can buy their products.

A food hub that grows

Regional food hubs are tackling the shortcomings of direct-to-consumer farming

Reading Time: 5 minutes A proposed $36 million food hub in eastern Ontario may be the model for a more regionalized Canadian food system that will benefit farmers and consumers as they emerge from the disruption of COVID-19. “We know that food sovereignty is on the mind of everyone,” says Carole Lavigne, director of economic development and tourism in […] Read more

Horticultural industry bowed, not broken by COVID-19

Industry needs to examine where it sources labour, both domestically and internationally, says chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association

Reading Time: 4 minutes Despite extraordinarily difficult issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bill George is optimistic about the future of the Canadian horticultural sector. “I’m very proud of how producers have risen to the challenges,” he says. “They always will find a way to get things done.” George is the chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association […] Read more


Thinking ‘tomorrow’

Saskatchewan grain producer Kristjan Hebert looks for COVID-19 insights to make his operation even more productive

Reading Time: 4 minutes While Kristjan Hebert’s working life hasn’t changed drastically through COVID-19, the pandemic has helped refine his ideas on how the grain industry could move forward from here. Mainly, it’s convinced him even more than before that farming is a people business. “I still feel that people are our number one asset,” he says. “If we […] Read more

“Producers are in “a pretty tough situation,” says Saskatchewan feeder Chad Ross.

The challenge for Canadian beef

Battling through hard times in the beef industry

Reading Time: 5 minutes The 2020 pandemic has caused major disruptions in the Canadian beef industry, but with demand for their products remaining steady, producers are hopeful their businesses will survive through to the new year. “A lot of producers are in a pretty tough situation,” says Chad Ross, president of the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association and owner of […] Read more


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