GFM Network News


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

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Getting ‘Thank you!’ right

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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Reading Time: 9 minutes 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

Co-ops have costs, like increased management time, and they’re less nimble, but for Bodnar and others in the industry, they make new ventures possible.

The new co-operatives

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

Reading Time: 10 minutes 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


The government dollars we used to see aren’t ever coming back,” says Schweb. That means farmers must do the research.

Taking charge of climate

Changing weather is hitting these B.C. farmers hard. Now they’re fighting back

Reading Time: 8 minutes Standing at the window in his kitchen, Fort Fraser, B.C. rancher Wayne Ray watches the heavy grey clouds and he shakes his head. It’s July — haying season — but the rain won’t let him get at it. Ray is lucky. He hasn’t yet cut his hay yet, so at least it isn’t laying in […] Read more

We have been very, very aggressive about marketing Broken Ladder,” says brand builder Shannon Forgues

Stepping up the cider game

It’s a great time to lead in the cider business, and this farm group aims to take their Broken Ladder brand international

Reading Time: 9 minutes Back when my grandparents’ generation of Okanagan farmers first formed a fruit growing co-operative to market their fruit, farmers made a good living growing and selling crops on a commodity basis. Sure, some of that fruit ended up in cans, in fruit leather or in other value-added applications, but that all happened after the fruit […] Read more


Chris Jentsch.

8 steps to go

Change Makers: Trail-blazers? mavericks? gamblers? Success for Chris and Betty Jentsch is all about winning at change

Reading Time: 10 minutes Harvest was wrapping up when I arrived in wine country. Up and down the valley, grape growers were breathing almost audible sighs of relief as final bins were hauled from the vineyard to crush. Seemingly overnight, the valley had shifted from the vibrant oranges, golds and deep purples of fall to the browns and greys […] Read more

Craig Shaw used a corn planter for three years to more precisely place canola seed — and loved the “very, very uniform” emergence 
it produced.

Ultra-consistent canola stands, but with a price attached

Craig Shaw loved the results, and lower seed cost, 
but the pricey equipment is a major barrier

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s one of those farming Catch 22s. On the one hand, the high cost of canola seed makes it tempting to minimize one’s seeding rate — on the other hand, a strong and consistent canola stand is key to good returns. In the American Corn Belt, producers have found a solution by repurposing their corn […] Read more