GFM Network News


Abelman’s Salt Spring farm is hardly a grain and oilseed powerhouse. But consumers line up to buy from him.

Food in its place

Canada’s top urban-agriculture advocate admits that mostly it isn’t farming. So why does he keep pushing?

Reading Time: 6 minutes “I took it as a compliment,” says Michael Ableman as he recalls being called a “food terrorist” by cooking celebrity Julia Childs. It was a charge she made after he spoke to a group of culinary professionals with a bag of groceries at his side. One by one, he took out the groceries and told […] Read more

For Josh and Lee Moats, succession planning has focused on keeping their relationship strong and vibrant.

Family farms are finding their way

It’s more than the legalities. The culture of Canada’s farm families is evolving too, and on many farms it’s keeping up quite nicely, thanks

Reading Time: 6 minutes Brett Meinert, of Shaunavon, Sask., knew early on that his son Barclay was hoping to take over the family farm. “He bought land three days after he was old enough to own land, when he was eighteen years old,” Brett says. “We knew at that time that he was going to farm — there was […] Read more


Consumers continue to love the farm-to-fork concept, says Braden Douglas, founder of CREW Marketing Partners.

Building the chain

When should you give an expert chain-builder like Braden Douglas a call?

Reading Time: 7 minutes Farmers are expert at producing food. No one doubts that. Increasingly, farmers are also expert at finances and myriad other sorts of business management. Again, that’s beyond debate. But are you expert at launching startups too? It’s one of the big questions of 2020, when so many of the ideas that are bubbling up across […] Read more

Beyond startup

Launching a new supply chain is hard enough. But will yours have legs? Can you grow it into a sustainable business that will thrive through all the changes coming your way? Here’s what Three Farmers’ Natasha Vandenhurk has learned on her own road

Reading Time: 7 minutes This is the third time Country Guide has interviewed Natasha Vandenhurk, CEO of Saskatoon-based Three Farmers. If anything, this time it feels more urgent. The reason isn’t exactly the pandemic. At least, let’s put it a bit more accurately. It’s the opportunities that COVID-19 is creating, and the impetus for farmers to take more ownership […] Read more


Owning the supply chain

B.C.’s third-largest hog producers Charlotte and Bob Lepp thought they’d test the waters with a small step into retail. It’s led to incredible learning, and growth

Reading Time: 8 minutes It isn’t exactly unusual. Time and again, all across the country, and especially now with COVID-19, farmers have looked at what they produce and thought, “If only I could cut some distributors and wholesalers out of the chain, I’d get to keep a lot more of what the end-user actually pays for the food I […] Read more

Thinking ‘tomorrow’

Saskatchewan grain producer Kristjan Hebert looks for COVID-19 insights to make his operation even more productive

Reading Time: 4 minutes While Kristjan Hebert’s working life hasn’t changed drastically through COVID-19, the pandemic has helped refine his ideas on how the grain industry could move forward from here. Mainly, it’s convinced him even more than before that farming is a people business. “I still feel that people are our number one asset,” he says. “If we […] Read more


Pandemic planning: Write it down, add it up

It's the big lesson of 2020. A business plan is practically guaranteed to up your game, make you more money, and keep you happier and healthier. So what are you doing this winter?

Reading Time: 6 minutes The number gap is stark. In fact, it’s hard to think where you’d find one that’s wider: 88 per cent of farmers who have a written business plan say their plan has so many benefits (both to the farm and to themselves as farmers) that it more than pays for itself. Yet only 21 per […] Read more

Pandemic planning: Groundwork

What will Canada's food system look like as we roll toward 2021? And how will you be able to build on those changes to make the family farm more resilient, more sustainable, and a better business?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Resilience has two halves. The part that automatically comes to mind is the way a truly resilient business can take a punch without shutting down. It can survive a bout of bad weather, bad markets, a black swan. But there’s something else too. It isn’t just that a resilient farm keeps breathing. It’s that a […] Read more


“The windfall to the seed industry comes from the pockets of their farm customers.”

Driving up the cost of seed

Is the new Seeds Canada getting foisted on farmers just to make us boost seed company profits?

Reading Time: 6 minutes The summer of 2020 will go down in history for changing the fundamentals of grain production in Canada. And it seems many farmers are not even aware this is happening. I am talking about the ratification of Seeds Canada. I hear you ask, “Who, or what, is Seeds Canada?” Seeds Canada is the proposed name […] Read more

“Producers are in “a pretty tough situation,” says Saskatchewan feeder Chad Ross.

The challenge for Canadian beef

Battling through hard times in the beef industry

Reading Time: 5 minutes The 2020 pandemic has caused major disruptions in the Canadian beef industry, but with demand for their products remaining steady, producers are hopeful their businesses will survive through to the new year. “A lot of producers are in a pretty tough situation,” says Chad Ross, president of the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association and owner of […] Read more