GFM Network News


“As a manager, you have specialized expertise,” says McMaster’s Catherine Connelly. But your employees see the day-to-day in ways that can make you more agile.

Are you a good boss?

Take our quiz to find out. The payoffs can be much bigger than you ever thought

Reading Time: 6 minutes You have a good rapport with your team. They mostly return season after season, and you have even started hosting an annual luncheon to reward them for their hard work. Even so, the farm doesn’t exactly do an employee satisfaction survey to tell you what your team members and employees really think of your leadership […] Read more

For farmers who are new to business planning, a yearly meeting to measure goals against annual performance is often a first step.

Your approach to a farm business plan? Implement, review, and repeat

Adding these business planning tasks to your management routine can keep your farm on track

Reading Time: 4 minutes Writing a farm business plan is no easy feat. Whether you take the do-it-yourself route or hire an advisor to guide you through the process, the analysis, the tough conversations and the forward thinking add up to a significant investment in time and resources.  Then, when your newly written business plan is nearing completion, the […] Read more


Farm opportunities

Farm opportunities

Steve Larocque builds a case for value-add at every farm size

Reading Time: 7 minutes We’ve all seen them, even in this magazine. They’re all the headlines about the wonderful world of value-add. How many headlines have you read? A dozen? More? They seem to be everywhere, offering glowing accounts of outside-the-box thinking and entrepreneurial success. Often, though, the concept leaves a big question in the air. Is value-add only […] Read more

Adam and Meghan Gregory were succeeding on the farm and continuously improving its performance. Then they asked, is that good enough?

The next big step: mid-career mentorship

You’re already smart and dedicated, but is that really enough for today’s challenges?

Reading Time: 6 minutes When Adam Gregory signed up for LeaderShift’s year-long national farm leadership program, he didn’t anticipate waking up at the crack of dawn to do group yoga. “Some people were way out of their comfort zone,” Gregory laughs. “I’m open to trying anything, so it wasn’t a hurdle for me.” There’s more to LeaderShift’s program than […] Read more


“We all appreciated being recognized as an essential service during the pandemic,” says one senior advisor with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council. But it comes with a price.

Networking in a new era

We thought the online age hit agriculture two decades ago. Then came the pandemic. Are you ready?

Reading Time: 9 minutes Everyone knows that farmers spend a lot of time on the farm, but farmers know how vital it is that they maintain excellent off-farm contacts too, whether it’s for the health of their businesses, the health of their soils, or their own personal and social health. In fact, farmers value networking as much or maybe […] Read more

The trends are stubborn, but there is cause for hope for women on Canada's farms.

Women in charge

Yes, progress is being made, but women still face challenges in expanding their farm ownership and leadership roles

Reading Time: 6 minutes There are two stories here. Yes, the proportion of Canadian farm operators who are women has edged higher in recent years, but the total number of women who are farming is still on a downward trend, and is expected to keep on that trend unless and until numerous challenges are overcome. Statistics Canada’s most recent […] Read more


“It takes your whole farm to a new level of professionalism.” – Bonnie den Haan.

Getting involved at the farm level

Farm organizations sustain Canadian agriculture. They’re also where a whole lot of farmers are gaining leadership, management and decision-making skills. Should you join them?

Reading Time: 9 minutes As summer approaches and the pandemic is beginning to ease, it’s time to take stock. What got agriculture through the COVID-19 pandemic? Who kept things from falling off the rails? It turns out farm organizations played an enormous role. You probably know that already. Understandably, these groups invest heavily in making sure their members know […] Read more

“It can be really challenging to define your goals,” says MNP’s Kim Gerencser, “but without it, the planning process is doomed to fail.”

A practical guide to writing your farm business plan

This eight-point plan can help put you on the right path

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you’re an avid Country Guide reader, you know that farm business planning continues to be a popular topic of discussion among advisors and management gurus. Since the “Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms” study was released by Farm Management Canada last May, we have talked to farmers across the country who are regularly using a written […] Read more


No one can conquer a mountain alone. Building a team is an essential, and the CEO needs to be good at attracting great candidates to yours.

Your CEO interview — six years on

12 questions to ask yourself to discover if you're continuing to fulfill your role as a leader

Reading Time: 12 minutes Let’s say you’re going to interview someone for your job as the CEO of your farm. Or maybe you’re considering someone in the next generation for the job. Or you might even be looking in the mirror, asking yourself where to focus your energy over the next year. What questions would you ask? That was […] Read more

For mid-sized farms like his, collaborations are more essential than ever, says Brock. In Canada, he now believes, joint ventures have nowhere to go but up.

‘That will never work!’

Mark Brock was told it’s a waste of time for independent farmers to try to collaborate with other farmers. Then he did the research

Reading Time: 10 minutes Consolidation is the name of the game in Canadian business, and especially in Canadian agriculture. The pressure is on everywhere to grow bigger. If you’re a farmer, that means buying your neighbour’s land to grow your economy of scale, and it’s the same if you’re a processor, an input dealer, a chain of accountants or […] Read more