Latest articles

Governing the farm

On most farms, ‘governance’ sounds like the last thing you’d want to talk about if you hope to keep everyone happy. Steve Tomtene used to think so too, but is glad he changed his mind

Like many farms with added complementary enterprises like a trucking company or livestock barn or a seed business, Tomtene Seed Farm at Birch Hill, Sask., has developed systems to juggle all the moving parts. “Maintaining identification and producing seed products of quality merit takes a shift in thinking about the products, about production, about the […] Read more

Hiring refugees

A small non-profit in Belleville, Ont., has helped 90 Syrian refugees find good jobs on farms and in the ag and food sector. Now other regions across Canada are replicating their model

Shortly after coming to power in Ottawa, the federal Liberals announced Canada would help relocate displaced Syrians, and the program has proved widely popular. Across the country, over 350 communities have welcomed more than 40,000 Syrian refugees. In the midst of it all in 2015, details on how this relocation would be achieved were scarce. […] Read more

B2B strategic partnering

For the Martin farm in Ontario, building connections with other businesses is a winning formula

At nine years old Quentin Martin became one of five siblings who were shareholders of their family’s Master Breeder pedigreed Holstein farm, which his parents incorporated in 1965. “They gave all of us common shares,” says Martin,“which meant at nine years old I was sitting at the table with the feed salesman and the banker […] Read more

Young farmers in soybean fields before harvest

Pay your Millennials right

Too much? Too little? What’s the right compensation for the kids coming back to the farm?

Figuring how to compensate Millennials can be like driving through a snowstorm. You can’t see what’s ahead, there’s a very real possibility that you’ll hit the ditch. And yet you’ve got to get there. Country Guide caught up with New Brunswick farmer and consultant Cedric MacLeod as he was driving home through a snowstorm. At […] Read more

Legal insights into transition planning

Today it’s getting even more critical to keep up with your legal documents all through your business planning and succession discussions

At 45,000 sq. feet the new dairy pack barn is impressive, especially the way it captures the spirit of hope that fills the McCorquodale family at Embro, Ont. With the next generation waiting in the wings, their barn represents their shared belief in their future, complete with robotic milking system and the latest in cow-comfort […] Read more

Cloud farming

The power of deep learning will unlock much of agriculture’s future, thanks to enormous potential of ‘The Cloud’

From the ground, cloud technology is a lot like one of those fast-moving, cumulus clouds you see on the horizon in summer. It seems so full of rain, and rain would be great for the crop, but all the while you tell yourself not to wish too hard. But cloud technology is here. It’s happening, […] Read more

For food and ag startups

For food and ag startups a real life Dragon’s Den is coming to Montreal with loads of cash and a focus on ag and food innovation

The title is certainly impressive. Manuel Gonzalez Guzman is managing director, global head of banking for food startup innovation and Rabobank’s Banking for Food Inspiration Centre. Rabobank after all is one of the world’s largest banks with over $750 billion in assets, all of it focused on the food, agribusiness and beverage industry. Equally impressive, […] Read more

The right next step

Peer Think: Brooks and Jen White have always focused on improving their management decision-making. For them, that makes a peer group a key growth strategy

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. Located in the extreme southwest of Manitoba, Brooks and Jen White’s […] Read more

Get there first

Agriculture is constantly moving the yardsticks, which means there’s always a new business opportunity on the horizon. So, asks Rob Saik, founder of Agri-Trend: What are you waiting for?

This fall Country Guide chatted with Rob Saik founder and CEO of Agri-Trend as the innovative coaching company celebrates 20 years in business. He talked about the struggles of being and staying ahead of the innovation curve, the stumbles and wins, and what it was like to sell Agri-Trend to Trimble, the U.S. precision agriculture […] Read more

The big 4

Where are all the mergers and acquisitions in the crop protection and seed sectors going to leave the individual farmer?

Sorting out who owns who in today’s agricultural supply sector is a bit like looking at that rat’s nest of cords and surge protectors behind your desk. Everyone’s too afraid to touch it because it’s so complicated and intertwined. Besides, it seems to be working, so why bother? Except… Canadian farmers spend billions in seed, […] Read more