GFM Network News


“The only way it’s going to work is if there’s formality in the system,” warns succession advisor Bob Tosh.

Is your farm transition on-track?

As farms grow in value, it gets tempting to think succession planning is too risky to consider. It’s why only eight per cent of Canadian farms have written plans. But maybe there’s a way after all

Reading Time: 10 minutes Whether you call it a succession plan or a transition plan, if the very idea makes you wince, you’re not alone. Canada’s farmers are older than ever — according to Statistics Canada, more farmers are over 70 than under 35 — yet only about eight per cent of all farmers have a written succession plan. […] Read more

“If you don’t get out and see what the other guy is doing, you won’t know if you’re behind them or beside them or in front.

Stretch your horizons

Here’s why taking an agri-tourist vacation might be your business’ best investment all year

Reading Time: 4 minutes Many farmers — because they prefer being busy, productive, active and physical — steer clear of the beachy, all-relaxation style of vacation, knowing it will leave them feeling more frustrated than rejuvenated. But don’t let yourself off the hook so fast. Not going on a beach vacation is one thing. Not going on a vacation […] Read more


Catherine Tarasoff says a good on-farm research project should require no specialized equipment beyond minor things like a kitchen scale or paper bags.

Can you perform your own on-farm research? Yes you can

If anything, research is simply improving on the understanding of the world around you

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s never been easy to be a farmer, but now it’s even more complicated. Just add up the risks: skyrocketing land and equipment prices, increasingly demanding consumers, tightening markets, unreliable weather, growing trade uncertainty… Meanwhile, government agriculture research and extension dollars dwindle, leaving farmers more on their own to figure out how to respond to […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 10 minutes 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

Reading Time: 9 minutes 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

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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

Reading Time: 10 minutes 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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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