GFM Network News


To claim that the carbon tax will put farmers out of business is simply feeding a political firefight. – Gerald Pilger.

The carbon tax and how farmers can truly mitigate climate change

Take a deep breath. The real numbers don’t come close to justifying the anger of groups like APAS

Reading Time: 7 minutes “If the treatment doesn’t kill you, the disease will!” I can’t remember when I first heard this saying, or who said it but given the recent carbon tax costing by the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), it seems an apt analogy. First, some background. In 2017, APAS hosted the Prairie Agricultural Carbon Summit, where […] Read more

Electronics have saved big combines so far, but there’s no guarantee for tomorrow.

Looking for the next “jump-shift” in agriculture

Amid all the predictions that agriculture in 2030 will look utterly different than today, a new, less dramatic future is emerging

Reading Time: 6 minutes Way back in 2009, Country Guide published a story on a new idea that was being called “jump-shift.” It’s the theory that the only real way to get ahead is to make sudden transitions or “jumps,” instead of trying to evolve smoothly and steadily. Shift quickly, jump whole-hog. Commit yourself to deciding which technologies to […] Read more


Pooling resources

Three farms each faced its own reasons preventing it from making major investments for the future. Then they had a new idea

Reading Time: 5 minutes There can be points in a farming career where you’ve established a solid business but you hesitate to make any further major investments unless there is either a clear successor or a plan to transition out. That’s the point at which John Schenkels of Schenkels Farms Inc. in Miramichi, N.B., had found himself. Since taking […] Read more

The Mathis farm from front, with the alpine terrain that adds to the farm challenge.

Young and farming in Austria

Our agricultures are utterly different. But could Austrian strategies for helping young farmers work in Canada too?

Reading Time: 7 minutes Clouds shroud the mountains in grey, and snow covers the cherry trees and the pastures. “You’re missing a spectacular alpine view,” comments Jakob Mathis, wiping his hands on his jeans before shaking hands. They’ve just finished trimming hooves on the heifers. Mathis leads the way into the large old farmhouse, stopping by the newly renovated […] Read more


As with many businesses, Danielle French’s path to success wasn’t exactly straight.

Turning the dream into reality

Danielle French’s customers promote South Pond Farms, making this a social media success and a profitable farm venue

Reading Time: 7 minutes “One thing led to another,” Danielle French tells me. You wouldn’t guess it from meeting her. French has transformed a rundown 60-acre property into a highly acclaimed events venue hosting weddings, workshops and farm-to-table dinners. She’s super-organized, super-efficient and bursting with great ideas, and it seems impossible that anyone could have achieved all that without […] Read more

Learning to identify, analyze, monitor and control risk will help you achieve your business objectives.

Thinking about risk?

Next Steps: As Seth Godin says, it’s easier to paddle a canoe on a calm lake. Here’s a practical strategy for smoothing out the waves

Reading Time: 7 minutes Agriculture is not for the faint of business heart. If ever there was a job that should come with the warning “avoid if allergic to risk” in bright red letters, it’s farming with its cantankerous and cumbersome risk factors like weather, trade agreements and regulations. Risk has been part of human lives since we crawled […] Read more


Watch what you say

Before you hit send, have you considered the legal consequences?

Reading Time: 7 minutes In March of 2018, Randy Winchester and his daughter Emily, producers of Highland cattle at Wellsville, Kansas, attended the annual meeting of the Heartland Highland Cattle Association (HHCA) in Branson, Missouri. Attendees at the meeting were able to visit Bigfoot on the Strip, a nearby theme park, and take the “Bigfoot Safari Tour.” Following their […] Read more

Tara Sawyer, centre, with husband Matt, right, and from left, Quin, Emmett and Cassidy.

At the edge

Five strategies that the new generation of farmers are embracing to take their farm businesses to the next level

Reading Time: 6 minutes “A wise person once said to me ‘if you don’t stretch, you don’t grow.’” That’s straight from Jake Ayre, the chair of Manitoba Young Farmers who crops 1,900 acres north of Minto together with his parents Heather and Andrew, sister Caitlin and an employee. It’s become his mantra, and a mission. “Be open-minded and try […] Read more


Doug and Elna Edgar, Keri and Randy Graham and daughters Makayla and Megan, in a field of market garden peas at their Innisfail, Alta. farm. The intergenerational farm families work together at Edgar Farms producing vegetables, grain and cattle.

You can’t do that!

Going direct to consumer can seem oh so trendy and oh such a diversion from real farming, especially for grain and livestock farmers. Maybe we should all talk to Alberta’s Edgar family

Reading Time: 9 minutes Admittedly, asparagus can be a love-hate thing. Many of us can’t wait for the season to start. Others, well, not so much. But maybe that’s just because those others have never had their chance to try the juicy, sweet asparagus from Edgar Farms. Okay, so it sounds like a sales pitch. But read on. This […] Read more

Labour is a growing input cost and farmers need to pay more attention to it.

Gauging employee productivity

Sure, your employees seem busy enough. But are they productive? Better yet, can you improve their productivity?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Of course farmers have an excellent grasp of their input costs. As in any business, the lower the costs, the better the bottom line, so farmers are constantly experimenting with different fertilizer rates, seeding rates, equipment strategies and so much more. And for everything they do, farmers track what it costs, what it produces and […] Read more