GFM Network News


Successful leadership means not only managing day-to-day work on the farm, it’s also being accountable for long- and short-term business results as well.

Leader effectiveness deconstructed

Leadership matters most in tough times ... Will we have what it takes when we need it most?

In my last article I explored the important components of leader development that can improve leader effectiveness. Some who read that article might have thought, “I’m already a good leader.” Or, “I don’t have many employees — it’s mostly family, so leadership doesn’t really apply.” Wrong. Studies have consistently found that leaders who think they […] Read more

Bev Shewchuk with her daughter Stacey and granddaughter, Georgia.

Turning girls into farmers

Should you raise daughters differently to succeed at farming? This mother, daughter and granddaughter know their answer

No matter how progressive we think agriculture is becoming for ourselves, for our wives and for our daughters, there’s still a prevalent attitude that farming is “men’s work.” Now a new ethos is gaining ground, and anyone who subscribes to the men’s-work way of thinking is being asked — well, ordered really — to get […] Read more


When people know how to lead better, they likely will.

Leader development explained

In my last article I reported that leadership has been shown to account for 37.6 per cent of the variability in business performance. I commented that small business leaders haven’t tapped this personal competitive advantage to achieve more with the resources they already have. But as we know, it is one thing to champion the […] Read more



Are you wagging your finger? Are you defensively crossing your arms? Are you avoiding eye contact? These set off a fight-or-flight response in the other person.

Tough talk

How to respond to questions you don’t want to answer

In the age of social media, consumers are feeling empowered to ask more and more questions, which means that answering questions about farm practices has become another “to-do” on your already supercharged list. Farmers not only play an important role in the food conversation, they can be said to have a duty to participate in […] Read more

Developing the communication skills needed to help the business thrive should be a priority of every farm family.

Assertive, or co-operative?

A better way to drive business success on your family farm with effective communication and conflict resolution

I have taught in the CTEAM program for 20-plus years. During sessions on strategic human resource management, participants routinely say that communication — particularly when dealing with conflict — is something they struggle with. Early participants questioned the benefits of formal communication approaches, such as information sharing and decision-making meetings. They were also hesitant to […] Read more


More together

Taking a group and multi-generational approach to upgrading their skills is paying off on the Woods farm

More farmers agree that the old saying has it about right: Failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s too easy to get off-course if you haven’t set your intentions and goals to paper. Besides, how do you track your success if you don’t have goals? Having completed a succession plan that lays the groundwork […] Read more

Only 49 per cent of the study’s surveyed producers were committed to lifelong learning.

Is the class half full or half empty?

Just under half of Canada’s farmers are committed to lifelong learning. Here’s how it makes a difference

“When the human mind is stretched, it never returns to its original size — similar to most new underpants.” That’s a quote from the International Farm Management Congress in Scotland last year, and it’s one that Farm Management Canada (FMC) executive director Heather Watson uses to stress the enduring impact of continuous lifelong learning. “The […] Read more


Which risks should you take and which should you manage?

AME Management: Risk assessment

Canadian agriculture’s business environment seems even more uncertain than usual. Markets are more volatile than historically. President Trump seems bent on causing new uncertainties in, among other areas, international trade. As this is written, it is not completely certain that Canada will remain in NAFTA, or exactly what shape that agreement will take. Meanwhile, the […] Read more

A professional approach to agriculture pays off

Continuous improvement is important in today’s farming community

We all know we are speaking to (and about) a different generation in today’s farming community. It’s a group that is rapidly growing in education, in financial knowledge and in their eagerness to do more, do it better and leave their legacy in the ag world. The idea at the centre of all of it […] Read more