GFM Network News


Businesses can avoid becoming hamstrung by finding out what customers want instead of focusing on selling what they have.

Outward-looking business

AME Management: It takes discipline, but an outward focus pays off in more business

Have you ever been disappointed that people who work for you don’t take initiative to do what you want done? You don’t feel comfortable getting away for a week because things won’t get done the way they are supposed to? You and the generation ahead of or behind you have ongoing tension that stands in […] Read more

What action do you take when some people in your organization are underperforming, and those who can are leaving?

Leader development versus the quick fix

Management without leadership is like tightening a nut with no wrench on the bolt head

Every once in awhile I have a casual conversation that goes like this: “Leadership is nice (guess what comes next), but I have real problems right now, and I have to do something; I don’t have time for leader development, I’m busy.” In my view, we are all busy, but this sentiment is the verbal […] Read more


Are you confident with the direction you're getting from advisors as you inch closer towards a farm transition?

On offer

Two new transition services show how the advisory sector is evolving. How do your advisors compare?

When the words “transition process” come up, they often provoke a sigh or maybe even a shudder. Nor should anyone pretend that transitioning your farm business will be anything but a lengthy process, or that it won’t involve difficult conversations and decisions. But as always, if you’re equipped with the right tools and methods, the […] Read more



A successful partnership is one that shares in the achievements of whatever the individuals are jointly involved in.

Leader effectiveness meets the leader

Good leadership points you in the direction of building a successful business

I want to share what I’m noticing in small business these days in terms of leadership, and what I say to those who ask about leader effectiveness. First, I also want to say that I do not share client stories even with the names redacted. Agriculture is just too small, and my work with leaders[...]
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From left, Jennifer and Jay Bruggencate, and Mike and Kelly Sulzle.

Dream team

In Vector Grain, the Bruggencates and Sulzles are collaborating on a joint venture to make their longtime farming dreams a reality. It takes dedication and smarts, and loads of professional advice. But it’s paying off

Mike Sulzle had worked as Craig Shaw’s hired man for 16 years when Shaw approached him in 2015 with surprising news: 2016 would be his last year farming. “Craig had always said I could take over when he quit farming one day, but it wasn’t serious,” says Sulzle. “I didn’t see how I could do[...]
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Highly effective leaders are often described as seeing what few others see.

Characteristics of highly effective leadership

Part two in a series on leadership

In my last article I described six characteristics of highly effective leaders. This article concludes this series and describes leader characteristics that can be expressed only by adequately possessing the previous six attributes. Here goes: Highly effective leaders are capable of making bold decisions and abandoning the past if necessary This is the next step[...]
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Seven steps to a learning plan

Learning never stops on the farm. There’s always something new to wrap your head around, whether it’s a business or management strategy, human resources, marketing tools, production techniques, farm equipment technology, on-farm food safety and traceability protocols — the list is endless. Indeed, the learning goes on even when you’re not aware of it. It[...]
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While new technology is an important part of farm production, it’s a business risk that will need to be managed carefully.

The road ahead

Our panel tackles the question: What are the big farm business risks for the next five to 10 years — and what skills, actions and mindsets will be critical in taking them on?

Picture yourself driving in traffic. Then, you begin noticing that the traffic is increasing, not just in the number of vehicles around you but also in the speed they are travelling at. Some of the traffic rules seem to be changing too, and the driver controls in your vehicle are all new and confusing as[...]
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Time to Talk: Creating opportunity

Yes, you can talk your farm to a better bottom line

Since farming is all about productivity, most farmers would rather “do” than talk. The old cliché that time is money is never more true than when seed needs to get into the ground or livestock needs to get to market. And yet, some of the most successful farm businesses in the country are those that[...]
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