GFM Network News


Trying to disprove myths can actually have the opposite effect ­— the ‘backfire’ effect.”

Get the story right

Why it’s so hard to debunk myths (and the secret to doing it)

The expression “mud sticks” doesn’t just refer to the aggravation you experience during spring planting. It also means that misinformation seems to have an uncanny knack for settling in and never letting go. Take, for instance, these gems that persist despite (or perhaps because of) an online world of information at our fingertips: bovine flatulence […] Read more

One Dutch pork producer is preparing to implement a blockchain initiative to make its production chain more transparent.

Blockchain essentials

At last, here’s a clear explanation of what the blockchain fuss is all about, and why it may be such a winner for agriculture

Traceability, food safety and fighting food fraud are issues of significant importance to food producers around the world. In fact, with supply chains getting more complex and ever-more global, and with consumers becoming increasingly both more curious and more wary about how and from where food gets to their plate, these issues may never have […] Read more


Throwing more information at consumers won’t fill up their knowledge gap. We need to use science.

Filling in the knowledge gaps for consumers

Understanding the science of why consumers get so much wrong about agriculture can help us put them right

It’s not an earth-shattering revelation to those working in agriculture that there is a farm-to-plate knowledge gap. We know that most consumers are generations removed from the farm and have misconceptions or a lack of accurate information about agriculture. The Knowledge Gap theory is that information has traditionally been more accessible to those with higher […] 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


What’s this about blockchains?

The opportunities for agriculture and farming are amazing. It’s time to get learning

For over a decade, farmers have been told that a systems approach will bring greater efficiency to their farms. Quality assurance, nutrient management plans, environmental farm plans, big data, precision ag — they’ll all help increase efficiency and might even improve profitability. In the past six months, a new phrase has exploded into the business […] Read more

Farming still remains a lifestyle, but now it's a lifestyle built on a business mindset.

How we market today

Smart young Millennials are bringing an incredible new level of intelligence and energy to commodity marketing on a growing number of Canada’s farms. But not on all

It’s obvious that today’s farmers have upped their financial management game, working with professionals including accountants and lawyers to build on and execute plans that are miles more sophisticated than ever before. But when it comes to marketing, are our farmers as good at roping in top advice? It depends on the farm, of course, […] Read more


When farmers deviate from their plan, it can often end badly, says one professor of agricultural economics.

Benchmark your marketing

How good are you at marketing? Or maybe more to the point, how bad are you?

Does it necessarily mean you’re poor at marketing if you aren’t actively engaged in daily trading? What if you have never done a paper trade, or if you haven’t ever locked in a private contract with a processer? Does that mean you’re a bad farmer? Obviously, the answer is no. It doesn’t have to mean […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The way we think about markets

As new crops of young farmers help fill their families’ bins this year, will it be agronomic skill that decides if they succeed, or the farm’s asset strength? Or will it be marketing?

All of us complain about our memories, I’m told. None of us complain about our common sense. At least, I think that’s how it goes. We aren’t always as humble as experience tells us we should be about our mental judgments or our mental aptitudes, and for good reason. We can sound awfully good when […] Read more


It cost him his ’67 Cougar, and it wasn’t the only time he’d get burned, but Dennis Pashovitz feels his farm emerged stronger for the lesson.

Taking on the market

Options, futures or forward contracts? Two farmers search for sustainable income

Options, futures or forward contracts? Two farmers search for sustainable income Dennis Pashovitz calls it his ’67 Cougar moment. It was the late 1990s and the grain farmer at Arelee, an hour west of Saskatoon, needed cash to open a trading account. The only way to learn about marketing, he was convinced, was to play […] Read more

For farmers, social media is more than just a platform to “agvocate.

Why you should be on social media

... it isn’t the reason you think

Technology is ubiquitous on today’s farms, and your social life is no exception. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow farmers to share their stories, engage and educate consumers, and connect with and learn from others in their industry around the world. While some current research does point to the pitfalls of social […] Read more