GFM Network News

Farmer in wheat field

2018 in doubt

With the constant flow of inflammatory NAFTA headlines, it’s no wonder farmers are feeling more anxious and stressed than in years. Here’s what you can do about it

Reading Time: 8 minutes Hundreds of heads silently bobbed up and down as Canada’s 18th prime minister introduced the topic producers had gathered earlier this winter in Winnipeg to hear about — the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Act. “We will need to be extremely vigilant in safeguarding access to our most vital market and in resisting […] Read more

Farm travel

It’s a world full of farms, and more and more Canadian farmers are signing up for travel opportunities to experience them

Reading Time: 8 minutes Words like “holiday” and “vacation” just weren’t in her parents’ vocabulary when Lu Inkster grew up on her family’s Ontario cattle farm in the 1950s. Her parents had immigrated to Canada from Belgium after the Second World War, and to them the concept of taking time off was both foreign and unattainable. “People like my […] Read more

Dawne and Lloyd Grenkow of Grenkow Holsteins in Manitoba.

Taste the future

Why is a farm that’s noted for its technological innovation suddenly getting involved in an enterprise producing Middle Eastern ice cream?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Dawne and Lloyd Grenkow finish each other’s sentences, if not each other’s thoughts. “Working with family? I love it,” Dawne says, giving her son Lloyd a bit of a sideways glance and a laugh. “Really, though, you give your blood, sweat and tears to it, but everybody does. And everybody benefits.” Dawne founded Grenkow Holsteins […] Read more

Setting the operation up for year-round grazing also gives the Finns opportunities for off-farm work.

Environmental success

Alberta’s Graeme Finn combines his business and his environmental farm plans, and comes up with a paying strategy

Reading Time: 7 minutes Peer out from Graeme Finn’s back door and of course you’ll be struck by the Rocky Mountains in the distance, but it’s the rolling hills covered in diverse pastures of mixed grasses and legumes that are the real attraction at Southern Cross Livestock near Madden, Alta. It’s all part of the philosophy that the operation […] Read more

Canada’s farmers are already losing $1.5 billion, simply because they can’t find the employees needed for 
the work.

The job ahead

Canada faces its own farm labour gap, and it’s going to get much worse

Reading Time: 15 minutes A black binder sits on the table next to the job board at Aylmer Community Services. Glued to its cover is a stock photo of two hands holding a tiny seedling. Red letters proclaim its title: Agricultural and Farming Jobs.  In the steady stream of job seekers, however, few visitors to the jailhouse-turned-community service centre […] Read more

The multicultural workforce

Reading Time: 4 minutes At the end of the day, Tom Maloney says it all comes down to respect. The senior extension associate at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University has spent decades studying how to successfully manage multicultural teams, and he has advised farmers on how to best manage migrant labour […] Read more

(iStock photo)

Talk to family, friends about farming

Reading Time: 3 minutes This holiday season Melodie Chan wants producers to avoid what she calls the “spiral of silence,” which can happen around the dinner table, over beers or even in the gentle lull between turkey and pie if farmers don’t speak up when they hear misinformation about agriculture. “What are we afraid of?” asked Chan, speaking at […] Read more

Smart stuff

Smart stuff

Do parents really recognize the skills their children are bringing back from college and university, and how those skills can make the farm stronger?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Skip the smiley faces and the acronyms. In the new age of digital soft skills, agricultural schools are embracing the same modes of electronic communication as their students, albeit with a dose of finesse, professionalism and, at times, trepidation. “Don’t use emojis, they’re cute, but they’re not professional,” Mark Fournier of Alberta’s Olds College tells […] Read more

There are tools that we have that I don’t think we’re maximizing,” says the FCC’s J.P. Gervais. “We need to up our game.”

Farm debt in perspective

Yes, $90 billion in farm debt is a lot, but most farmers should be able to weather most storms if they up their focus on their risk exposure

Reading Time: 9 minutes When Gwen Paddock began her finance career some three decades ago, farmers were looking for a chequing account, an operating loan and maybe some short-term financing for equipment and land. Not so today. “Farms are getting bigger with more moving parts,” says RBC’s national director of agriculture. “Now, farmers and farm operators are looking for […] Read more

Winning at the border

Winning at the border

It may be Donald Trump who is re-opening NAFTA. But today, more farmers north of the border are seeing some solid wins for Canada

Reading Time: 8 minutes Ron Davidson calls in from a hotel room in Washington, D.C., with NAFTA on his mind. As senior vice-president of international trade and public affairs for the Canadian Meat Council, he’s no stranger to the U.S. capital. And with the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in process, there are more cross-border trips […] Read more