GFM Network News


Developing a strategic and operating plan for your farm business can offer clarity and a clear vision.

Entrepreneurial confidence – and how to get it

AME Management: Entrepreneurial confidence is a necessary quality in business

Business success is largely influenced by entrepreneurial confidence. It is one of the most consistent characteristics across businesses that succeed. Thriving entrepreneurs believe in themselves — their capabilities to learn, apply new knowledge and skills. They reach their desired objectives, and ultimately, realize their vision. In agriculture, where we are challenged with many uncertainties, it […] Read more

You have to learn about customers — what they want — and figure out what success will look like.” – Gary Morton.

Got what it takes?

Cutting out the ‘middleman’ sounds like an obvious way to increase farm profitability. And sometimes, that’s exactly how it works out

Maybe there really isn’t anything new under the sun. For generations, farmers have looked at the yawning gap between what they get paid for their crops and livestock versus what consumers pay in the grocery store, and thought there’s got to be a way to capture more of the consumer dollar for the farm. No […] Read more


The opportunity is to expand the size and scope and scale of the business,” says Canadian lead Bryce Eger. “That’s why we exist.”

Corteva, huh?

Bryce Eger’s job is to get Canada’s farmers to react as positively to the new Corteva name as they do to the biggest brands in agriculture. Is that even possible?

The question is, should you care? The global merger of Dow and DuPont means that some of the most famous names in farm history are getting roped together under an entirely unknown name — “Corteva.” And somehow, all of us in agriculture are supposed to be persuaded to not only learn the new name, but […] Read more

There are risks of an employer being found liable if a stoned employee is involved in an accident. But there’s more uncertainty than clarity about it

High on farmwork

With marijuana decriminalization, what if you suspect one of your farm employees might be high at work? Or… what if they’re driving your equipment high, and you don’t even realize it?

It isn’t an easy question. How can you make sure all employees are fit for work and that they can do the job without endangering their health (or the health of others) without violating their rights or ending up in court? With recreational cannabis legalization in the parliamentary pipeline, employers in all sectors will be […] Read more


Alex Sawatzky is pursuing her doctorate in public health at the University of Guelph, but she’s also an artist, who agreed to perform “graphic note-taking” during the university’s inaugural Arrell Food Summit in late May. Here, she records in artistic form the words of Thursday morning keynote speaker Galen Weston.

On the agenda

If you wanted to bring together the most important food thinkers in the world, and you had the budget to do it, who would you invite?

A brand new University of Guelph thinktank had its three-day coming-out in May with an agenda that included speakers who question the direction of today’s conventional farm production, and the event culminated in the inaugural awarding of two $100,000 prizes — one going to a Harvard University professor who might seem no friend to Canada’s […] Read more

When it comes to data in the agricultural sector, privacy and access issues are potentially at odds.

It’s YOUR farm data

… but it’s the companies you deal with that are creating an income stream from it

Long before the social media scandal that rocked Facebook and bankrupted Cambridge Analytica, Kelly Bronson was looking into how data is collected, who uses it and how they are benefitting from it in Canada’s agri-food sector. “For a couple of years, I’ve been doing qualitative research into the social scientific aspect of data collection in […] Read more


This is not an ideal time to question if the insurance policy you bought covers flooding in your home.

My mistakes

I’ll bet I’m not the only farmer to make these costly insurance mistakes. I’m finally learning my lessons. Are you?

Most magazine articles describe how things should be done. Experts talk about best practices and strategies. We read about the winners and their successes. Yet the most important lessons I have learned came not as a result of emulating what others have done right but rather recognizing and avoiding mistakes I have previously made. Winston […] Read more

From left, the G.H. VanSickle & Sons farm team: Jake, Peter, Shawn and Josh.

Seamless transfers

This family farm corporation in Ontario has transferred four times since the ’60s and recently diversified with the purchase of a local grain elevator. Here’s how the VanSickles have done it, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way

Near the Grand River south of Brantford, Shawn VanSickle pulls under the shade of a big oak tree at the end of the field. He stops for a moment to reflect about how in 1966 his grandfather did something groundbreaking for the time — incorporated the family farm. Five decades later, G.H. VanSickle & Sons […] Read more


A stockman rides his horse as he leads another down a road towards the cattle yards in the outback town of Windorah, Queensland, Australia. The Australian agriculture sector says lenders need more oversight and better understanding of the ups and downs of agriculture.

Australian banks face rural lending reckoning

Agriculture borrowers say banks need a shorter leash and call for a compulsory farm debt mediation system

Reuters – Australian potato farmer Tom Fox says he had never missed a bank payment in two decades before a delay sending a shipment to Indonesia during a trade dispute between the countries prompted his lender to force him into receivership in 2013. “I got a letter from the bank lawyers saying I had 12 […] Read more

Low loonie not good for farmers right now

CNS Canada — Usually when the Canadian dollar starts to drop lower than its U.S. counterpart it’s good for producers — but this time not so much. Along with the drop, commodity prices have also dropped. “Unfortunately I’m not so sure that what we’ve seen in terms of a decline in the Canadian dollar versus […] Read more