GFM Network News


As value-adding grows and transforms more farms across the country, the Hamills at Red Shed Malting find it’s an ideal family solution for them too, providing roles, opportunities and challenges that they couldn’t have achieved through simple land expansion.

Alberta growers add value by producing high-quality malting barley

How — and why — this enterprising Alberta farm family built themselves a platform in Canada’s fast-growing craft beer industry

Reading Time: 10 minutes John Hamill has always liked showing the family’s Penhold, Alta. farm to anyone who asks. After all, the 2,200-acre farm, growing wheat, canola and high-quality malting barley, and home to now a fourth generation of Hamills, is his pride and joy. “But before, no one was asking,” says his son Matt, smiling. Hamill Farms Ltd. […] Read more

Red Shed Malting adds value to the farm’s barley by producing premium-quality base malts, plus lightly kilned and roasted specialty malts made from them.

Why marketing is the test, no matter how great your idea

“It’s a mind-shift,” says value-add pro Gary Morton. Success takes groundwork, strategic planning… and money

Reading Time: 3 minutes Branding that identifies you as the producer and connects buyers to your farm product is a key strategy for adding value to farm products, says Halifax-based business consultant Gary Morton with Morton Horticultural Associates. “You are kind of in a sea of sameness,” says Morton, who has worked with all types of farms, not only […] Read more


Does Canada have enough young farmers?

The country has lost 70 per cent of the farmers in its under-35 category in just 25 years

Reading Time: 17 minutes There are encouraging signs all across the country. At the University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture convocation this spring, 58 graduates took home their two-year diplomas. At Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in Ontario, 267 crossed the stage in late May, and at Olds College in Alberta, another 81 diplomas were handed out […] Read more

The job vacancy rate in agriculture is now pegged at 5.4 per cent, much higher than the national average at just under 2.9 per cent.

More lost sales forecast in new labour market forecast study released June 25

Nearly half of Canada's farmers with jobs unfilled have delayed or cancelled farm business expansion plans

Reading Time: 2 minutes Workforce challenges are having a worsening effect on farmers’ ability to meet their production and marketing goals and contribute to the economy according to new data published this week. Farms across the industry are poised for lost sales worth $2.9 billion in potential sales due to unfilled job vacancies, up from a previous forecast of […] Read more


Beating the odds: Gurpreet Singh, Murray Froebe and Tapinder Singh found a way to connect that helps the farm and them too.

New hires

On Canada’s farms, the cost of all the work that can’t be done because there are no workers to do it is spinning out of control

Reading Time: 10 minutes Farmers around Carman, Man., know the small convenience store in the town called the Lite Stop Foods. They know they’ll find what they want there — a few groceries, the local newspaper, a snack to tide them over. It also happens to be where Murray Froebe found two very good employees for his farm. Froebe […] Read more

Workers who aren’t the right fit for their job aren’t happy, and seldom stick around.

‘I didn’t sign up for this!’

The new AgriHR Toolkit from the national ag human resources council can help in heading off conflict before it happens

Reading Time: 4 minutes Many of us have heard it from a disgruntled employee or possibly a family member. Maybe, at some point in our lives, we have even said it ourselves. “I didn’t sign up for this!” Workers who aren’t the right fit for their job aren’t happy, and they seldom stick around. In fact, 80 per cent […] Read more


For Ontario’s Larmer family, on-farm child care is a safety, economic and educational issue. But, says DFRFR co-ordinator Katelyn, even successful programs, are under pressure.

Teeter totter

Farming parents need accessible, high-quality child care for their children. Can they get it?

Reading Time: 10 minutes When Donalee Jones and Scott Mowbray returned to their home town and began farming near Cartwright, Man., in 2008, the couple assumed that when things got busy, the family that they planned to have one day could easily be looked after by Scott’s parents, who lived on the yard of the Mowbray’s 2,000-acre grain farm. […] Read more

Eat plant-based foods more often, new Food Guide says

Reading Time: 2 minutes Health Canada unveiled a new Canada Food Guide today that ends the era of the ‘four food groups,’ no longer refers to serving sizes nor specific amounts of food to eat daily, and replaces the former iconic rainbow with a dinner plate comprised mostly of plant-based foods. This new guide is all about proportion rather […] Read more


Brian Greaves and Karen Hill and their son Mark are the Red River Exhibition Association’s 2018 Farm Family of the Year. The couple also has a daughter, Alison, who is studying veterinary medicine in New Zealand.

Sheep producers named farm family of the year

Silver Bend Ranch of Miniota has earned the 2018 honour from the Red River Exhibition Association

Reading Time: 3 minutes A Miniota-area couple who began to farm “from scratch” in the early 1990s is the 2018 Farm Family of the Year, named by the Red River Exhibition Association (RREA). Brian Greaves and Karen Hill, who have two children Mark and Alison, were presented with the award during the Hall of Fame banquet in Winnipeg last […] Read more

Eastern Manitoba ice cream maker closes shop

Reading Time: 3 minutes An eastern Manitoba dairy farmer who began producing a specialty ice cream with the farm’s own milk in 2013 has closed shop citing rising production costs. Lisa Dyck, owner of the Cornell Creme ice cream brand, began producing a line of hand-crafted ice cream in 2013, using milk from the family dairy farm northeast of […] Read more