GFM Network News


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The way we think about markets

As new crops of young farmers help fill their families’ bins this year, will it be agronomic skill that decides if they succeed, or the farm’s asset strength? Or will it be marketing?

All of us complain about our memories, I’m told. None of us complain about our common sense. At least, I think that’s how it goes. We aren’t always as humble as experience tells us we should be about our mental judgments or our mental aptitudes, and for good reason. We can sound awfully good when […] Read more

The opportunity is to expand the size and scope and scale of the business,” says Canadian lead Bryce Eger. “That’s why we exist.”

Corteva, huh?

Bryce Eger’s job is to get Canada’s farmers to react as positively to the new Corteva name as they do to the biggest brands in agriculture. Is that even possible?

The question is, should you care? The global merger of Dow and DuPont means that some of the most famous names in farm history are getting roped together under an entirely unknown name — “Corteva.” And somehow, all of us in agriculture are supposed to be persuaded to not only learn the new name, but […] Read more



Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Six ingredients of an ideal farm successor

Several articles in our May/June issue of Country Guide examine what may be the toughest question of all. Does your farm’s next generation have what it’s going to take to succeed in 2050? Fortunately, science can help. I’ve suggested before in this space that as farms continue their likely evolution in asset value and in […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The right way to end the winter

It wasn’t a phone call that I had expected to get. The caller wasn’t from what you’d call our target audience. But then, he had been good enough to call, and after all, he did have a point. The call actually came from a Home Hardware franchisee who had taken over a small-town store not […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: A better way to start the day

Of all the bright and memorable things you’ll find in our March 27, 2018 issue, the one I keep coming back to is the advice from Harvard prof Linda Hill in Maggie Van Camp’s, “Are you a good boss?” Her advice is simple. Let me lift it straight from the story: “She (Hill) suggests starting […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: One more question for mid-size farms

For almost a decade, mid-size farms have been the winners in Canadian agriculture, growing their equity without taking extravagant gambles. Can that continue?

I’ve just been rereading an editorial I wrote 10 years ago. Such things happen to all of us from time to time when we stumble across a note in a drawer or a friend we knew at the time. If nothing else, it teaches humility. The editorial had to do with the contradictory signals farmers […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Looking toward a tough decision

It’s natural to want the farm to stay in the family, just as it’s natural to want your children to have the same chances you have had. But is it realistic?

Of all the tough issues facing agriculture at this moment, perhaps the toughest is evaluating whether the next generation has the aptitudes and attitudes they’re going to need if they’re to make a success of their career in farming, and if they’re to be a reasonably safe bet as the guardians of critical family assets. […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Give immigrant workers a chance

While we shake our heads in disbelief at how the U.S. is so incompetent at immigration policy, we’re sitting on a missed opportunity of our own

Make time to read “The Job Ahead,” Country Guide field editor Shannon VanRaes’s examination of Canada’s shocking (at least, it should be shocking) farm labour nightmare. Her story is a cure for the superiority we’d like to feel when we look across our southern border. It should also be a spur to action. The numbers […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: If Harvey Weinstein was a farmer

It’s amazing how much we can be blind to, especially when we like to think that nothing ever gets past us

Really, the question isn’t whether there might be a Harvey Weinstein in Canadian agriculture, but how many of them there are likely to be. I’m not one to doubt the fundamental decency of farm society. In fact, I believe in it implicitly. Yes, farm society has had to evolve like other sectors have had to […] Read more