GFM Network News


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Into 2021 with a change of plan

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the century-plus that Country Guide has been publishing, there have been few times with as much change in the air for Canada’s farms as there is heading into this January. If this were any other industry, it would be the stuff of headlines. It isn’t just that change is afoot on Canada’s farms, it’s […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: A historic year for the family farm

Reading Time: 2 minutes Across the country, 2020 has demonstrated once again that the family is the right management unit for Canada’s farms, in part because it is so amazingly adaptable. In fact, there’s every reason to think the family will see us through future changes too. It’s November already, and already you can feel the calendar beginning to […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Getting together on a plan for 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes Agriculture is getting more and more diverse and the gaps between our farms are growing, which is why we need a higher percentage of farmers getting involved in farm organizations. Here are two questions we almost never ask in our Country Guide interviews. What farm organizations are you involved in? And how much emphasis do […] Read more

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