GFM Network News


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Get more from the next six months

The further we go with the business focus of Country Guide, the more we believe in the ‘summer business’ concept. In fact, it’s the reason for our April issue

Farmers have always been decision-makers. It’s been true throughout the generations. But there are three reasons why it’s different today. The first is clear. It’s because of the number of zeroes in play. Farm decisions have always been make or break, but today’s dollar sums are beyond the imagining of farmers of only a few […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Decision-making on a whole new level

A year and a half ago, we promised to write much more about farmers who are using team strategies to achieve objectives out of reach on their own. Boy, did I get my eyes opened. Here’s a paragraph I wrote in that first column: “The thing is, at our core, Country Guide believes that farmers […] Read more



Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Is this the last new generation?

In an industry buffeted by such constant change, it’s easy to predict a wave of evolution is heading our way that’s so strong, only the most powerful farms will survive. Except… It’s a question I have asked before. Will the kids coming home from college and university this spring be part of the last generation […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: A long, confident, look ahead

On the theory that winter is always the right time for such things, why not spend half an hour this week making a list of the machinery your family had on the farm 25 years ago compared to the inventory you’ve got today. You could even make your list over supper some night when your […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The way I read Country Guide

Today’s farmers are making history. Arguably, agriculture is evolving faster now than ever before, and all of us are aware of what a privilege it is to be along for the ride

With roots the go back before 1900, Country Guide is among the oldest magazines in Canada, and partly because of this, and even more because talking to farmers is what the Guide has always been about, it may not surprise you as much as it surprised me when I got here that we get contacted […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Our greatest risk

The defining events of 2018 may have been the things that didn’t happen, like ripping up NAFTA or pulling the plug on ethanol supports. That’s not how it’s going to be in 2019

Our January 2019 issue of Country Guide, like our issues all through 2018, is full of good news. Has there ever been a time when farmers have felt so capable of withstanding weather and marketplace shocks that would have had them spinning in other decades? And has there ever been a time when farmers have […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Be it resolved…

We’re heading into another meeting season, and here’s a topic that’s actually worth making a resolution out of and standing up to move. Clearly, there won’t be progress if you don’t

Obviously, you don’t have to get very far away from the farm to lose sight of the fact that the real energy that’s driving agriculture isn’t some GMO breakthrough, or some new chemical innovation or even some amazingly brilliant bit of electronic engineering. Nor is it the price of grain, or the value of the […] Read more



Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: In 2018, we know what really works

Who thinks of financial management when we have those road-trip discussions about which innovations should get how much credit for making today’s agriculture so great?

If it was a scientific technology that was adding as much capability to today’s farms as effective financial management, we’d all be quick to sing it’s praises. We’d also have a pretty clear sense of how much value it was adding to the farm. It’s an interesting exercise to think about it in terms of […] Read more