GFM Network News


There might have been a time when the general view was “farming is a risky business, you get hurt,” but a new generation of farmers sees this differently.

The awful, essential detail of farm accidents

Most media have stopped reporting the details when a farm fatality happens — which makes future fatalities all the more likely

Reading Time: 4 minutes Media reports that call a farm death a freak accident and offer scant insight into what actually happened are increasingly becoming the norm. It worries farm safety specialists. What sort of message does this send to farmers? Use of the term “freak accident” is always cringe-worthy, for starters. A freak accident, by definition, is one […] Read more

Yukon gold

Could you farm North of 60? A growing number of Canadian farmers want to give it a try

Reading Time: 11 minutes If you work dawn to dusk on the farm in Yukon Territory, that can make for 20-plus hours at this time of year as summer advances and it never really gets dark. Of course, agriculture isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when most of us think of this land of the midnight sun. […] Read more


More ‘Yukon gold’

Reading Time: 3 minutes Toursim and agriculture The Yukon government’s efforts to promote food raised and grown here also targets the 325,000 tourists who visit the territory every year, and new initiatives are now linking tourism and agriculture together. The whole aim is to give visitors a taste of the place, says Coralie Ullyet, project manager for Yukon Culinary […] Read more

Wade Bleier runs three companies from his farm in Saskatchewan.

Summer days

On more farms like Wade Bleier’s, summer can’t just be about crops and livestock anymore. Those days had vanished even before COVID-19 arrived. Now the challenge is even greater. How will they use this summer to take back control?

Reading Time: 13 minutes All Canadians pay close attention to the calendar and clock, but no one more than the Canadian farmer, whose livelihood has always depended on the tactical use of limited hours, days and months. Now comes summer 2020, and on top of all the uncertainties of weather, pests and markets, there’s no end to the COVID-19 […] Read more


It’s very beneficial to have meetings early in a family’s life as they help build next-generation leadership.

Your first family meeting

It’s agreed. There are so many great reasons to start holding family meetings. The question is, how do you get started? Here’s help

Reading Time: 5 minutes The verdict is in. Family meetings do two things. They build stronger families, and they build stronger businesses. They empower the farm plan for the future in an orderly and constructive way. They help it take transitions in stride, and let it escape painful and costly conflict by addressing issues that inevitably arise in any […] Read more

From left: Leona Watson, Daryl Chubb, and Becky Parker.

A world of ideas

Canadian Nuffield scholars are seizing the chance to think differently

Reading Time: 9 minutes Travel is the best teacher. Anyone who has gotten off the main tourist routes will agree that time spent in someone else’s country is the finest form of education. In bizspeak, though, there’s a question: Can you bottle it? Does it have to be an intensely personal thing, or can you capture the benefits of […] Read more


After a decade in agriculture, these new farmers weigh in

Having completed their first decade, Adam and Amy Petherick, with son Lucas, take stock. They’ve met hopes, challenges, successes. What’s next?

Reading Time: 11 minutes About 2010, the tide turned. Or, the tides, with an “s.” Agriculture had finally left the gruelling 1990s behind, leading to an uptick in twenty-somethings with a realistic shot of making it on the farm. But it was also clear that this new generation was never going to start their careers the way their parents […] Read more

For Craig (left), David, Ryan and Brian, and for the entire family, the path to succession has focued on merging the lessons of two and a half centuries of family history with the realities of running an efficient, profitable farm operation.

The 10th generation farm

In central Nova Scotia, Cornwallis Farms has been in the same family for nine generations. So how are they planning for David’s arrival, and the start of a whole new chapter?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Thinking back to 2011, David Newcombe told his family that they’d missed a milestone on their farm — and a chance to throw a big party. But another chance will come. “In 2061 we’ll have a 300-year anniversary,” says Newcombe, now 28. That’s a lot of confidence, yet on this farm, you might say they’ve […] Read more


Setting up your new peer group

Peer groups are driving the performance of more farms across the country. How do you get started

Reading Time: 5 minutes Every farmer gains deep perspective and a wealth of insight during their career. It’s knowledge that comes from personal experience, family and advice from trusted advisors. And, of course, farmers are also adept at learning from each other. This latter takes place over the fence, but it is also structured, with a long history of […] Read more

“As a grain farmer, I felt I needed to be part of that conversation,” says Shelley Spruit. Canadians were turning away from the foods our farmers grow, creating a unique business opportunity.

A hunger for opportunity

From their eastern Ontario farm, Shelley Spruit is rediscovering old wheats, and how to turn consumer trends into an impressive, farm-based business plan

Reading Time: 9 minutes Shelley Spruit likes to say she began a thriving farm business with a single cup of seed. In fact, there’s a certain rightness to her choosing those exact words, as if it was a recipe. After all, Spruit can run a kitchen and turn out five-course meals just as well as she operates a farm […] Read more