GFM Network News


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

You have to learn about customers — what they want — and figure out what success will look like.” – Gary Morton.

Got what it takes?

Cutting out the ‘middleman’ sounds like an obvious way to increase farm profitability. And sometimes, that’s exactly how it works out

Maybe there really isn’t anything new under the sun. For generations, farmers have looked at the yawning gap between what they get paid for their crops and livestock versus what consumers pay in the grocery store, and thought there’s got to be a way to capture more of the consumer dollar for the farm. No […] Read more


The opportunity is to expand the size and scope and scale of the business,” says Canadian lead Bryce Eger. “That’s why we exist.”

Corteva, huh?

Bryce Eger’s job is to get Canada’s farmers to react as positively to the new Corteva name as they do to the biggest brands in agriculture. Is that even possible?

The question is, should you care? The global merger of Dow and DuPont means that some of the most famous names in farm history are getting roped together under an entirely unknown name — “Corteva.” And somehow, all of us in agriculture are supposed to be persuaded to not only learn the new name, but […] Read more

Step two

After you survive the startup, it takes a whole different set of skills to keep a value-add business growing

When Country Guide first spoke to sisters Natasha and Elysia Vandenhurk six years ago, their lives were hectic. But in that way, it was a story familiar to anyone running a startup. The Vandenhurk sisters were in the midst of creating a direction for Three Farmers, a food company producing camelina oil products from crops […] Read more