GFM Network News


More than ever, becoming inclusive is both a moral responsibility and a business imperative in Canadian agriculture.

Facing facts

It’s still very early days, but agriculture is on its way to becoming a more diverse and inclusive sector

Reading Time: 11 minutes Canadian agriculture has a problem and needs to talk about it. Partly, it’s a human resource issue. Every year, Canada’s farms and agricultural businesses fall further behind. More and more traditional farm jobs go unfilled while, at the same time, new job descriptions are being created that demand even harder-to-find skills and vision. And it […] Read more

Jourdyn Sammons.

Moving towards a career with purpose

Discovering an interest in range management has broadened Jourdyn Sammons' educational opportunities

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – When Jourdyn Sammons joined the University of Saskatchewan’s Range Team in her third year of undergraduate studies, it led to an exciting field of study that’s positively shaped her educational experience.  “We talk about varying topics like ecology and grazing practices and multiple-use relationships, like how people can utilize rangeland for its facilities,” says Sammons, who grew up on a cow-calf and grain farm […] Read more


British Columbia’s 17,528 farms generated an estimated $3.8 billion in farm cash receipts in 2019.

A better Canada

Guide Canada: Should this B.C. study become a template for other provinces, showing that farming paves the way for better days to come for the entire economy?

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s tempting to talk about Canada’s pandemic recovery, but is it premature? Cases of COVID-19 keep making headlines, and the “new normal” Canadians so desperately want still seems remote and uncertain.  One thing is absolutely clear, though. Agriculture and the agri-food sector have gotten back to to near normal operations, and they did so with […] Read more

Risk, uncertainty and fear are the inevitable downsides of entrepreneurial life, Amy Stefanik says, but in every sector, including farming, it’s a chance to thrive.

Double team

It can be a roller coaster ride if your farm spouse is highly entrepreneurial. It is in other business sectors too. Now we can all start learning from each other

Reading Time: 11 minutes No matter what sector a person works in, and whether you’re husband or wife, if you’re an entrepreneur’s spouse, you are along for the ride, strapped in with no control over the steering wheel or the brake. On the farm, of course, both partners are dedicated, energetic and business-minded. But that doesn’t necessarily change the […] Read more


“Co-ops are a product of the times,” says Co-operatives First’s Audra Krueger. Today, that means adopting the goals of young, business-minded farmers.

Capitalizing on co-operation

Agricultural co-ops are chasing new goals with the times. Could it be time for you to join a land-trust co-op? Or a branding co-op?

Reading Time: 6 minutes At first, this example might seem on the edge, but it illustrates a bigger point. When Chris Bodnar and Paige Dampier started farming in 2007, finding affordable land was a major roadblock. So, as founders of Close to Home Organics, they purchased a share in the Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative, which provided them affordable […] Read more

Ian Murray and Sally Bowen of Topsy Farms on Amherst Island, Ont.

Turning Topsy right side up

What happens when a hippie commune learns that some strategic business skills could help it thrive?

Reading Time: 8 minutes When Topsy Farms started in 1971, the goal was simple. How could it need a complex business plan? Starting with five hippies, they were creating a commune on Amherst Island, just offshore in Lake Ontario west of Kingston. The goal was clear too — become a self-sustaining community, secluded from the outside world, a place […] Read more


Hospital food gets a local boost

Hospital food gets a local boost

Can local food create meaningful sales for farmers? Check out these institutional success stories

Reading Time: 7 minutes Putting the words “hospital” and “food” together in the same sentence doesn’t always spark much of an appetite. Mostly they conjure thoughts of a mediocre meal, something bland, tasteless and unimaginative. You might say the same thing about the way hospitals have procured their food too, with purchase systems that have been as bland, tasteless […] Read more

Marc Bieler used his insatiable thirst for farm opportunities to build a dominant role in the fruit drink market.

Growing that bright red berry

Guide Canada: Along the south shore of the St. Lawrence, an incredible fusion of the Old World and the New came together in 1981, and it’s still making waves today

Reading Time: 8 minutes When he was eight years old, Marc Bieler knew that when he grew up, he would be a farmer. What he didn’t know was that his road to fame and fortune would be paved with little red berries. Today, Bieler Cranberries Inc. is the largest single-site cranberry farm in Canada producing up to 40 million […] Read more


Acquiring more land has the potential to boost your farm business, but like anything in life, there are no guarantees.

Making a smarter deal for farmland

If farmers are so sharp at land buying, who do so many pay too much?

Reading Time: 9 minutes On most farms, it’s among the big decisions of an entire lifetime. Do you buy that farm down the road and take on all that risk? Or do you watch someone else farm it and mutter, every time you drive, “That could have been mine”? Either way, it’s harder than anyone outside of agriculture might […] Read more

“Culinary tourism starts with a base ingredient… agriculture.” – Rebecca Mackenzie.

The open road of culinary tourism

Rebecca Mackenzie sits exactly at the midpoint between farmers and consumers. Can she help bring everyone together?

Reading Time: 6 minutes [UPDATED: Mar. 23, 2021] The past year has shone a sometimes not very flattering light on Canada’s ailing food system, but it has also revealed new challenges and exciting opportunities to bring about long overdue changes for the farming and foodservice industry. For Rebecca Mackenzie, president and CEO of the Culinary Tourism Alliance, it’s time […] Read more