Latest articles


Hand going through the field

Down on the farm

Farming is a mental health challenge. It isn’t your fault. The numbers prove it. So maybe this is the right moment to talk about whether you’re one of the many who would benefit from some help

Every farmer knows that the sun can’t always shine. That the rain sometimes comes too early, too late, too hard, or not at all. That markets can fall, costs can jump, crops can fail, and even the best thought-through decisions can prove painfully, expensively, brutally wrong. It isn’t easy being a farmer. No matter how […] Read more


Their big idea

As Mike Kosaka and Adriane Skaros are learning, it takes determination, toughness, and plenty of smarts to succeed as a local-food startup. How many smarts? Well, read on

Young Zoe Jones and Ava Kosaka have sized me up. The girls are ultra-enthusiastic entrepreneurs. They’ve got a marketing plan, they’ve perfected their product, and — just weeks into production — they’re already watching the dollars roll in. Of course, the girls may be only seven and nine years old, respectively, but they already know […] Read more



farmer raising his arms with success

Hip, Hip, Hip Hooray for me!

Celebrating success when you’re a go-it-alone farmer

Front and centre in almost every “how to succeed in business” book is the recommendation to take time to celebrate success. As the authors point out, celebrating is a great way to mark progress, foster team spirit, build staff loyalty, push a business to greater heights — and ultimately trigger more success. But does that […] Read more


‘Fake News’ and the farm

Politicians may have just caught on about ‘fake news,’ but farmers have known for years what it’s like to live in a world where anything can and does get said and believed. Now, there is a way to counter the din of anti-activists, the food conspiracy theorists, and the faddists. And it may just start with you.

Just 18 short months ago, almost no one — not politicians, not reporters, not lay people — used the term ‘fake news.’ Sure, bias and dishonesty have existed in politics, in sales, in industry and in media forever. What’s new since the viral spread of the ‘fake news’ concept, though, is our almost universal belief […] Read more



Unconventional

Maybe it’s time to take Canada’s new crop of non-conventional farmers a lot more seriously

Change is coming to Canadian agriculture, and judging by the numbers, it’s coming fast. Our country’s food supply, our rural landscape, much of our GDP and a major part of our national identity all depend on Canadian farmers. But the average age of those farmers has now reached 55, with more farmers over 70 years […] Read more


The best two days

Peer Think: Kristi Nylen-Burns doesn’t need convincing. “It’s the best decision we’ve ever made for our farm,” she and husband Dustin say of their decision to join a next-gen peer group

These new peer groups are drawing rave reviews from their members. Are they the most inspirational and perhaps the most essential business idea of the new millennium? It’s a big claim, but it’s tough to argue against this newest iteration of farmers helping farmers. How do you calculate your most productive day? If you’re like […] Read more



Heads above

Peer Think: Arguably, it has never been harder to climb the ladder to farming success, which may be the best argument yet for peer groups

These new peer groups are drawing rave reviews from their members. Are they the most inspirational and perhaps the most essential business idea of the new millennium? It’s a big claim, but it’s tough to argue against this newest iteration of farmers helping farmers. Though farmer peer groups aren’t yet very common, they are a […] Read more


Digital technology used in chicken coop

Getting ‘Thank you!’ right

An honest, well-timed pat on the back can be the best way to boost employee productivity

Happy employees are 12 per cent more productive than unsatisfied employees, according to at least three unrelated studies. Over an eight-hour work day, in other words, a happy employee is going to put in the equivalent of a full hour and a half more productivity than an unhappy employee. Over a month, that’s 30 hours […] Read more



What’s for dinner, Canada?

Change is growing a lot faster in our grocery stores than on our farms. So is opportunity

The food that got put on just about any dinner plate in Canada 30 years ago was the same as got put on all the other plates. Every kitchen cooked up meat and potatoes with a side of veg. Yes, basic tomato-based pastas could sometimes be served but they were definitely “ethnic,” while “convenience” described […] Read more


The new co-operatives

Is the co-op movement on its way out, or just getting rolling?

Because Chris Bodnar loves soil, growing crops, the cycles of weather and seasons, it wasn’t a big surprise when, a dozen years ago, he decided his future was farming. Unfortunately, big barriers stood in the way of this 20-something. Since Bodnar wasn’t raised on a farm, he had no one’s bootsteps to follow in, and […] Read more