GFM Network News


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


Until the late 1600s people believed swans could only be white. The discovery of black swans meant that sometimes we get what we don’t expect.

Actually, black swans can be good for us too

We should expect black swans to arise more frequently than in past

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s part of our language now. A black swan is an event that is random and unpredicted and that brings broad consequences. The term originated in the late 1600s after the discovery of black swans in Western Australia. Until then, everyone believed swans could only be white. The discovery meant sometimes we get what we […] Read more

If you’ve had a really good boss, you’ll know why you liked working for them, and why you got more done than you ever did with a bad boss.

From good boss to great

Saskatchewan farm advisor and HR specialist Marianne Hawkins offers practical tips on making the transition

Reading Time: 5 minutes We’ve all heard the adage “people quit bosses, not jobs.” Maybe you have quit a boss yourself. If so, you’ll remember why. Perhaps they were always complaining, or maybe they played favourites, or they treated you as if they thought you were always trying to cheat them. Maybe, too, they would never admit their own […] Read more


With staff like Josiah Faji (left) and Josue Salgado, Sandy Purdy says the door is open for sustainable growth.

Diverse, and profitable

Saskatchewan’s Prairie Berries has figured out how a diverse and inclusive workplace can help it achieve growth targets that otherwise just couldn’t happen

Reading Time: 9 minutes There’s a story that gets told about what it’s like to work an agricultural job in Canada. In this case, though, the story isn’t told in English or French. Those telling it speak Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Arabic and other languages. They are among the thousands of newcomers in Canada as Temporary Foreign Workers on contracts, […] Read more

A survey found that the mistrust the general public has of agriculture is often a source of stress for farmers.

Is your farm way of life under attack?

Personal online attacks against farmers are heating up, and a farm psychologist warns it’s only going to get worse

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s not just weather woes, trade issues and government inaction that’s keeping farmers up at night these days. A sense of being scrutinized by the public is taking a toll too, especially when accompanied by the online jeering, baiting and vilification that are getting flamed at the farmers too. That won’t be news to anyone […] Read more


Yes, change is coming, but farmers like Brad Rasmussen are surprising the experts.

How healthy are mid-sized farms?

A decade ago, mid-size farms were on the endangered list. Today, most are thriving while they ponder what comes next

Reading Time: 11 minutes From coffee shop to conference hall and from boardroom to classroom, it’s the question we keep asking — what’s the future of the mid-size farm? Even the 98 per cent of Canadians who haven’t been on a farm in a generation or two talk about it from time to time. It seems there’s a solid […] Read more

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