GFM Network News


Pandemic planning: Groundwork

What will Canada's food system look like as we roll toward 2021? And how will you be able to build on those changes to make the family farm more resilient, more sustainable, and a better business?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Resilience has two halves. The part that automatically comes to mind is the way a truly resilient business can take a punch without shutting down. It can survive a bout of bad weather, bad markets, a black swan. But there’s something else too. It isn’t just that a resilient farm keeps breathing. It’s that a […] Read more

Four provinces have specific farm donation laws, says lawyer Mary Childs. But even in other provinces, farmers may qualify for tax credits.

Tax credits for donated food

The pandemic has stretched our ability to supply food banks and provide food aid. New approaches must be found

Reading Time: 4 minutes Even at the best of times, some Canadians can’t afford to buy enough healthy, nutritious food. This year’s pandemic raised the risk that more households would fall into that group. Within just a few weeks of the lockdown, demand at food banks began to rise when millions of Canadians were furloughed or lost their jobs […] Read more


Increasingly, educated farmers are bringing a world of new ideas back to the farm, says Sask. rancher Adrienne Ivey.

‘I’m a Canadian farmer’

In a summer of so much change, with regional differences as big as ever and the differences between farm sectors seeming to multiply, who really knows what “I’m a farmer” means?

Reading Time: 12 minutes There’s absolutely no such thing as a “typical” Canadian farm, let alone a typical farmer. Big statistics describe Canada’s farmers as a whole, though they tell only a small part of the story. For starters, there aren’t many of you around anymore, and fewer with every passing decade: 271,935 at last count. But you take […] Read more

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