GFM Network News


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

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