GFM Network News


For farmers who are new to business planning, a yearly meeting to measure goals against annual performance is often a first step.

Your approach to a farm business plan? Implement, review, and repeat

Adding these business planning tasks to your management routine can keep your farm on track

Reading Time: 4 minutes Writing a farm business plan is no easy feat. Whether you take the do-it-yourself route or hire an advisor to guide you through the process, the analysis, the tough conversations and the forward thinking add up to a significant investment in time and resources.  Then, when your newly written business plan is nearing completion, the […] Read more

“It can be really challenging to define your goals,” says MNP’s Kim Gerencser, “but without it, the planning process is doomed to fail.”

A practical guide to writing your farm business plan

This eight-point plan can help put you on the right path

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you’re an avid Country Guide reader, you know that farm business planning continues to be a popular topic of discussion among advisors and management gurus. Since the “Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms” study was released by Farm Management Canada last May, we have talked to farmers across the country who are regularly using a written […] Read more


“There is a real need in small business — particularly in agriculture — to have someone who can become part of the management team.” – Trish Fournier.

Building a better farm business

Is Trish Fournier creating the new template for how Canada’s farms will inject cutting-edge financial skills and strategic business acumen into their mid- to large-size operations?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Today’s farm operations are growing ever more complex. There are crucial production, financial, human resource, marketing and other management decisions to be made, and it is impossible for farmers to be expert in every facet of the business. Enter farm business advisors. Hiring advisors and consultants isn’t a new concept, as farmers have outsourced accounting […] Read more

Jen and Brooks White have always focused on improving their management decision-making.

Value in your farming peers

Could a peer group be right for you? Country Guide talks to one Ontario group to find out

Reading Time: 6 minutes When Ontario’s Janet O’Rourke and her husband Kevin took CTEAM — the executive management program designed specifically for Canadian farmers and ranchers — they got their first taste of peer feedback and the benefits it can bring. As part of the program, their class of farmers met four times over two years and got to […] Read more


For Saik, another key learning is ensuring age and gender diversity not only makes the benefits more broadly available, but improves the experience for everyone.

Making it their business

A growing number of Western Canada’s farmers are using peer groups to drive their performance. This one is ready made

Reading Time: 6 minutes It turns out that size can matter. It makes a difference. Farming at different scales doesn’t necessarily make anyone a better or a worse farmer, but it does change the kinds of problems you have to tackle every day, the kinds of decisions you have to make and, of course, the kinds of questions that […] Read more

“We really started to ask ourselves some hard questions,” Amy Cronin says. “We knew we had to change something if we were going to give our children an opportunity to farm.”

Farm planning for what lies ahead

How can a business plan be worth writing when farming is so unpredictable? For Mike and Amy Cronin, that’s the wrong question

Reading Time: 5 minutes If there’s one thing certain about farming, it’s the uncertainty. Prices, weather and other variables are constantly changing and farmers in most sectors are tasked with doing business without being able to predict future outcomes. Research released by Farm Management Canada last year indicated three in every four Canadian farmers are working at mid-level or […] Read more


“We are diversified now but we had even more ventures in the past.” – Ryan Schuyler.

Next level farm management

Business planning practices are driving success on these three farms

Reading Time: 8 minutes There are two halves to farming — production and business. They are correlated, of course. You can’t really succeed in one if you aren’t also up to scratch at the other. That said, we’ve always known that every farmer brings their own mix of management skills and energies to the table, which means every operation […] Read more

For brothers John, Michael and Paul Sharpe, the key to scalable growth lies in management and in finding ways to build teams that continually expand their skillsets.

Scaling growth at Sharpe Farm

Three Ontario brothers grow their ability to achieve their goals

Reading Time: 7 minutes In today’s business world, few concepts are more important than growth. Most entrepreneurs are constantly looking for ways to expand their business to increase profitability and improve their shot at long-term survival. Of course, farmers and other agribusiness owners are no exception, and for Michael, Paul and John Sharpe — the three brothers behind Sharpe […] Read more