GFM Network News


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Did farms make the right choices?

We have all heard it before. It’s the saying that most bad decisions get made in good times. So, in the midst of the bull market a decade ago, we wondered what we’d be looking back on in 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes Here is what I wrote in September 2008: “Somewhere in the land and in the barns that are being bought and sold, and in the equipment purchases, and in the new partnerships that are being formed and the old ones that are falling apart, there are the beginnings of trends that we’ll point to in […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The breathtaking nerve of young farmers

Despite the tangle of current farm issues, nothing matters more in this fall’s federal election than how we encourage more young farmers to get find their feet

Reading Time: 2 minutes It was only a few years ago when, in every group of farmers, someone could be relied on to shake their heads and complain that the upcoming generation of Canada’s young farmers was marked by nothing so much as its sense of entitlement. Too many of us were too fast to see young farmers standing […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: On deck for 2020 – a Country Guide suggestion

It’s an odd thing about agriculture. Or perhaps I should say it’s another odd thing. In an industry where the short and medium term are so frustrating to predict, the long-term is clear

Reading Time: 2 minutes We’re all shaking our heads about the excesses the weather has smothered us under in the past 12 months. And mostly we agree too about the equally unpredictable political excesses that have roiled global trading patterns and devastated commodity prices. Combined, those two are enough to make us overlook the historic predictability of other key […] Read more

Increasing costs related to farming are making your decisions more important and sometimes more difficult as well.

Farm fit

Maybe the phrase “Standardized Financial Benchmarks for Canadian Farm Financial Statements” doesn’t instantly get your blood pumping. But read on. Could this be the tool that lets you control your future?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Like many others, Larry Martin is convinced that Canada’s agriculture is evolving far faster than anyone driving a few miles of country sideroad could guess. The scenery hasn’t changed. At least, it hasn’t been transformed. It’s still a patchwork of crisp farmsteads and open fields, and of barns and bins. But those who live here […] Read more


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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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?

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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