GFM Network News


Pandemic planning: Write it down, add it up

Pandemic planning: Write it down, add it up

It's the big lesson of 2020. A business plan is practically guaranteed to up your game, make you more money, and keep you happier and healthier. So what are you doing this winter?

Reading Time: 6 minutes The number gap is stark. In fact, it’s hard to think where you’d find one that’s wider: 88 per cent of farmers who have a written business plan say their plan has so many benefits (both to the farm and to themselves as farmers) that it more than pays for itself. Yet only 21 per […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Where are the big ideas?

Reading Time: 2 minutes One of the reasons why agriculture has mainly adapted so quickly to COVID-19 is that farmers are used to dealing with black swans. But it isn’t the only reason. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to underestimate the real pain that some sectors have faced. Whether that’s the logistical nightmare of beef processing or the […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: At its core, agriculture is winning

Reading Time: 2 minutes Are farmers more alike, or more different from each other? Hmmm… those might be the only questions you can ask on every farm across the country and get the same sorts of answers. You can slice agriculture in so many ways, i.e. by commodity sectors, by sales volumes, by the farmer’s age, by technology usage… […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: More different, more the same

Reading Time: 2 minutes COVID-19 has brought our differences into the spotlight. For all sorts of reasons, no two farms have been affected in exactly the same way. And yet… Sometimes it’s because the commodities they produce are different. Obviously, anyone with hogs has some different concerns than grain farmers. Sometimes too it’s because of differences in how we […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: What it means to farm in Canada

Reading Time: 2 minutes With coronavirus, we’re finally seeing that there actually is such a thing as a Canadian farmer, not just a Western or an Eastern farmer, or a crop or a livestock farm. Is there something that makes all Canadian farmers more like each other than like American or Australian or French farmers? It’s a question we’ve […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: How do we choose farms to profile?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Country Guide is built on the belief that the real energy driving the evolution of agriculture is the individual farm, making its decisions one decision at a time. It has a drama all its own. I get asked sometimes how we choose the farms that we profile in Country Guide, but I haven’t addressed the […] Read more


After a decade in agriculture, these new farmers weigh in

After a decade in agriculture, these new farmers weigh in

Having completed their first decade, Adam and Amy Petherick, with son Lucas, take stock. They’ve met hopes, challenges, successes. What’s next?

Reading Time: 11 minutes About 2010, the tide turned. Or, the tides, with an “s.” Agriculture had finally left the gruelling 1990s behind, leading to an uptick in twenty-somethings with a realistic shot of making it on the farm. But it was also clear that this new generation was never going to start their careers the way their parents […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: A better test of your resiliency

Reading Time: 2 minutes Much of the focus in our March 17, 2020 issue of Country Guide is on new technologies and new farm management strategies. After all, that’s where much of your focus is too. But maybe we’re missing something. It’s like how farmers will often say that when they go to conferences, even though the big name […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Can you see it from here?

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s a question I asked in one of my first columns after Country Guide shifted to its business focus. Can we see where we’re heading? I was worried. We were all worried. What would happen if the good times ended? It’s a question to come back to after reading “10th Generation,” associate editor Lorraine Stevenson’s […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: The price of farm innovation

Among the emails that flow into my in-box, I can always expect to hear from farmers who are concerned about our farms becoming too different from one another, to the danger of all

Reading Time: 2 minutes Their concerns are valid. It is getting more and more difficult to frame national policies that are supported across the farm sector. Over the decade that I’ve been at Country Guide, we’ve made a stab two or three times at doing a story on whether there is such a thing as a Canadian farmer. Or […] Read more