GFM Network News


Research proves it. The more digital your business becomes, the more important soft skills are to your success.

The skills you’ll need as farms become more digital

Technology is transforming agriculture at a speed we hardly grasp. Will yours be among the farms that emerge stronger?

Reading Time: 5 minutes In October, Country Guide covered the report “Farmer 4.0: How the Coming Skills Revolution Can Transform Agriculture” published by RBC, with its emphasis on how the era of super-automation will change how we farm. “As Canadian farmers leave traditional tasks to smart machines, and focus on strategy and systems, they’ll be better positioned than ever […] Read more

Farm CEO: The complete farm executive

Reading Time: 3 minutes What does the basic mindset of a farm CEO look like? I’m currently using a three-factor model to describe what I think makes a highly effective farm executive. The first is business results. Obviously at the end of the day if we don’t define success and achieve objectives that keep us in business, never mind […] Read more


“We thought we won the war, but we dropped the ball,” Jean Harrington says. “Today we are not one step further along in the big picture with women in agriculture… and often we’ve done it to ourselves.”

Why aren’t farm women fighting harder?

It’s time to win back the ground we've have lost in the past 30 years

Reading Time: 9 minutes In the November issue of Country Guide, Saskatchewan farmer Leigh Rosengren challenged women to have an honest conversation about the career barriers individual women face living on farms in rural Canada. Further investigation reveals we need a hard look at the agriculture industry as a whole. Despite decades of work, women are still largely shut […] Read more

We’re all fiercely independent,” – Sterling Hilton.

Meet me in the boardroom

How can this handful of Prairie farmers win, and keep winning, the contract to supply the malt for world-renowned Lagunitas?

Reading Time: 11 minutes Drive by any of your wheat or canola fields; what you’re seeing is probably going to end up in a loaf of bread or a bottle of oil. But which loaf or bottle? Where? That’s an entirely different question. When Sterling Hilton looks out at his malting barley fields near Strathmore, Alta., he can tell […] Read more


Doug Baron cuts the cake celebrating 20 years of giving by the Carberry and Area Community Foundation.

Rural communities take the charitable lead

Once again, the generosity of farmers is proving vital in rural Canada. This time, it helps to get good financial advice

Reading Time: 8 minutes The Baron family farm is close to the Manitoba town of Carberry in more ways than one. The farm is located right on the edge of the town, halfway between Brandon and Portage la Prairie, and the Barons have called it home since their grandparents homesteaded here in the 1930s. That makes some very deep […] Read more

A business whose culture doesn’t support the values of its employees will ultimately struggle.

Farm CEO: Culture matters

Are you paying attention to the culture of your farm or farm business?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Why should we care about the culture of our business? Culture captures the essence of what makes a business tick, yet it is poorly understood. Culture has reached cliché status as a management concept, and that’s regrettable because understanding what culture really is, its connection to leadership, how it is created and how it has […] Read more


Family Through Succession: Aligning the Hunter family vision

"In the end, we all want the same thing,” Bruce says. “I just don’t see how we can make everyone happy.”

Reading Time: 7 minutes Last month, our first article introduced the Hunter family and their journey through farm succession. The Hunters aren’t a real family; you won’t find them in a phone book. But they are real in that they’re based on our real-life experience consulting with farm families. You’ll find families like the Hunters across the country. Through […] Read more

Talking about your future plans and how you want to grow is important.

Getting inside a retiring farmer’s head

Knowing the questions that your older neighbours are asking themselves as they start winding down their farms could give you the inside track

Reading Time: 9 minutes Mom and Dad just had coffee with their neighbour, talking about how it’s time to start preparing for retirement. Not just thinking about it, but actually doing it. They’re only a fenceline apart, but they’re in very different situations, though, which for farmers in the area who want to expand could make all the difference. […] Read more


Dustin Burns farms in Saskatchewan and has had an autonomous field robot working on his farm this spring.


Taking autonomy into the field

Finally, self-drive technology is moving onto real farms

Reading Time: 5 minutes If there was any doubt that how we farm is undergoing a foundational change, this should convince you that there is mammoth change on the horizon. In July the federal government pledged $49.5 million to the Alberta Innovates program to advance research and development in agricultural automation as part of the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN). “The program,” said […] Read more

Many major trends experts foresee are already underway and will continue to play out in the ag sector over the next decade and beyond.

What the future farm could look like in 2030

Future farm: Maybe it seems more like fiction today, but every year brings this picture of the future closer

Reading Time: 6 minutes Big change is coming. In the words of Shrek, “Change is good, Donkey!” It’s also inevitable, which farmers probably know more than anyone else. There are, of course, differing opinions about what farming will look like 10 years from now. Will farms be larger? Probably. Will weather be more unpredictable? Almost certainly. Will technologies like […] Read more