GFM Network News


Doug Baron cuts the cake celebrating 20 years of giving by the Carberry and Area Community Foundation.

Rural communities take the charitable lead

Once again, the generosity of farmers is proving vital in rural Canada. This time, it helps to get good financial advice

Reading Time: 8 minutes The Baron family farm is close to the Manitoba town of Carberry in more ways than one. The farm is located right on the edge of the town, halfway between Brandon and Portage la Prairie, and the Barons have called it home since their grandparents homesteaded here in the 1930s. That makes some very deep […] Read more

When college grads come home to the farm

If your kids come back from college and just end up behind the wheel of a tractor, you're missing some serious opportunities

Reading Time: 9 minutes On a sun-dappled morning in mid-September, 80 young men and women assemble in a large auditorium at the University of Manitoba’s campus. They’re here for a day of orientation as they begin two years of study towards their agricultural diplomas. Among them is 18-year-old George Meggison. He’s following in the footsteps of two sisters, as […] Read more


With plans in hand, Brett Sheffield consults with NextGen’s Clint Sibbick.

Farm skills shape a path for fast-growing business venture

In a growing trend, Brett Sheffield has used his farm business know-how to build one of Western Canada’s largest and fastest-growing tile drainage companies

Reading Time: 8 minutes Something big jumps out at you when you scan the Growth 500 list of Canada’s fastest growing companies for 2019. It’s produced by Canadian Business magazine based on the five-year revenue growth posted by each company, and tucked in amongst all the names of all the non-agricultural, big-city enterprises on the list, is one very […] Read more

Having farm meetings that work

These strategies can make family meetings a core part of your farm culture

Reading Time: 5 minutes We’re too busy.” If that’s your reason for putting off holding family business meetings on your farm, you’re not alone.Agricultural business advisors hear their clients say it time and again to explain why they haven’t started holding farm meetings. Except as excuses go, this one doesn’t really hold water. Too often, in fact, it’s a […] Read more


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