GFM Network News


When it comes to deciding who to hire or fire, skill is much less important than attitude.

Time to talk: Building teamwork

In this pair of articles, we find all this talk about communication is more than a trend gone wild. It really does pay

When bad farm managers have bad farm teams, they blame bad employees. And sometimes it seems they have a point. I mean, who hasn’t had an employee who never gets down to work, who makes endless mistakes and who constantly gripes with other staff? But the trouble is, ineffective or inexperienced farm managers can’t see […] Read more

Time to Talk: Creating opportunity

Yes, you can talk your farm to a better bottom line

Since farming is all about productivity, most farmers would rather “do” than talk. The old cliché that time is money is never more true than when seed needs to get into the ground or livestock needs to get to market. And yet, some of the most successful farm businesses in the country are those that […] Read more


Chad and Erika Maarhuis operate Magnum Meats in Rock Creek, British Columbia.

A cut ahead

With farm support, here’s how this young couple beat the odds to open a successful short-line abattoir

If chat starts to lag at a get-together with strangers, Chad and Erika Maarhuis know just how to get a conversation started: they casually mention their day jobs. First, there’s a few seconds of silence. Then the questions start. “Really?” (Yup). “Isn’t that gross?” (Nope). “What’s it like?” (It’s a job, but one we care […] Read more

Bev Shewchuk with her daughter Stacey and granddaughter, Georgia.

Turning girls into farmers

Should you raise daughters differently to succeed at farming? This mother, daughter and granddaughter know their answer

No matter how progressive we think agriculture is becoming for ourselves, for our wives and for our daughters, there’s still a prevalent attitude that farming is “men’s work.” Now a new ethos is gaining ground, and anyone who subscribes to the men’s-work way of thinking is being asked — well, ordered really — to get […] Read more


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

Mike Kosaka and Adriane Skaros of Amazia Farm.

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


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

We’ve got our wish,” says farm social media voice Andrew Campbell. Canadians are listening. So now, he says, “We have to give people the information they need.”

‘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


For Oke and Tesar, farming vegetables on a relatively small scale is the only affordable path into farming. Besides, they love it.

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

Today’s farmers are opening up new territory, with more complex challenges and opportunities, says Nylen-Burns. “We’re all trying to be as professional as we can.” – Kristi Nylen-Burns

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