GFM Network News


When looking for a mentor, find someone who isn’t too busy and is a good listener.

Want to be a more successful farmer? Find a mentor

How you can harness the power of mentorship

Research shows the five-year survival rate for small and medium enterprises jumps from fewer than half to more than 70 per cent if mentors are involved. That’s according to Virginia McGowan, a certified mentor who witnessed this powerful transformation while running a mentorship program for a group of 70 female entrepreneurs in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The […] Read more

Processing plants are being built across the country to convert farm crops into bioproducts for essentially every sector.

The booming bioeconomy — Part 2

In part one of this feature, we introduced the bioeconomy and how Canada is working to become a world leader. In part two we look at specific sector developments from coast to coast — there are lots of them!

It’s a surprise to most of us. What’s the hottest bioeconomy subsector on the planet? Replacements for plastic. Worldwide demand for biodegradable products is urgent and it’s growing, especially to replace single-use plastic items like straws, utensils, cup lids and plastic bags. The race is on. France banned plastic cups in 2016, and Queen Elizabeth […] Read more


Does Canada have enough young farmers?

The country has lost 70 per cent of the farmers in its under-35 category in just 25 years

There are encouraging signs all across the country. At the University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture convocation this spring, 58 graduates took home their two-year diplomas. At Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in Ontario, 267 crossed the stage in late May, and at Olds College in Alberta, another 81 diplomas were handed out […] Read more

The job vacancy rate in agriculture is now pegged at 5.4 per cent, much higher than the national average at just under 2.9 per cent.

More lost sales forecast in new labour market forecast study released June 25

Nearly half of Canada's farmers with jobs unfilled have delayed or cancelled farm business expansion plans

Workforce challenges are having a worsening effect on farmers’ ability to meet their production and marketing goals and contribute to the economy according to new data published this week. Farms across the industry are poised for lost sales worth $2.9 billion in potential sales due to unfilled job vacancies, up from a previous forecast of […] Read more


Much of the interest in the bioeconomy can be attributed to an increased desire around the world for natural and sustainable products.

The booming bioeconomy

In Part One of this Country Guide look at opportunities in the new bioeconomy, Treena Hein investigates the global picture — and how Canadians can get a piece of the action

Farmers have been hearing about the bioeconomy, and when we learn about new uses for hemp stalks or wheat straw or corn starch, our ears perk up. After all, diversification and new opportunities mean increased sector stability and growth. What many Canadian farmers may not realize, however, is the sheer scale of the bioeconomy in […] Read more

Knowing why you are a farmer is especially important given the changes that are occurring in agriculture today.

Why I farm

The message is essentially your mission statement

The primary role of a farm manager is to find the best solution to the myriad questions and problems encountered each and every day. Farmers regularly fret over questions like: What will the markets do? Should I buy, contract, or sell today? Has a pest reached threshold levels, and is a pesticide application justifiable economically? […] Read more


In Quebec, a healthy agriculture is the cornerstone of its rural sustainability policy, and a big part of the reason it will spend an extra $15 billion on farms and related businesses by 2025.

Different in Quebec

History makes Quebec unique. But it takes more than history to account for its approach to ag policy and why that approach is being studied by farmers across the country and around the world

For centuries, agriculture has been a major contributor to the economic engine of Quebec and to the vitality of its rural regions. In 2016, the GDP of Quebec’s bio-food industry was 7.4 per cent, totalled $23.4 billion, and created 12 per cent of jobs in the province. From 2013 to 2016, the GDP of the […] Read more

IT firms are seeing the potential in agri-food technology and are buying companies or bringing in talent.

Investing in agri-food technology

“A very dismal state of affairs” is how one investor looks at Canada’s ag tech future

San Eng thinks the agri-food technology investment climate in Canada might improve, but a “venture capital ecosystem” must develop quickly or the nation will lose out. “The people I’ve talked to are overlooking the sector — they don’t think it’s sexy enough, which is disappointing because the potential is there,” says the serial entrepreneur who […] Read more


Owen Fijala of Manitoba was only 16 years old when he set his sights on dairy farming.

Early days

How young is too young to make major farm decisions? Meet Owen Fijala, and get ready to rethink your assumptions

Just like any farm kid, Owen Fijala grew up helping out on the family grain farm near Manitou in south-central Manitoba. Things got a bit different, though, when he got a part-time job helping out a neighbouring beef farmer and he began to get interested in livestock production as well. He’d kept his eyes open, […] Read more

A full-sized Silverado made out of LEGO blocks was built by school students to help publicize the Silverado and “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.”

Affecting attitudes

GM takes to TV and the movies to get you to buy the new Silverado pickup

One of the most interesting press releases to drop into my inbox this year has come from General Motors. “Chevrolet debuts all-new Silverado marketing campaign,” was the headline. It revealed how The General (as car guys have called the brand for years) plans to convince consumers to take a second look at the updated pickups […] Read more