GFM Network News


When processors began investing in overseas pineapple production, the writing was on the wall for Hawaii’s island industry.

Is Hawaii the canary in the cornfield?

There is a lesson for us to learn from the island paradise, so get ready for some uncomfortable reading

Since 2012, U.S. grain prices have trended down significantly. Canadian farmers have been somewhat shielded from the price drop by a corresponding slump in the Canadian dollar. However, current prices combined with last year’s weather-related yield and quality losses are resulting in negative margins for many producers. Coffee shop analysts are quick to assign blame […] Read more

Farmer Barbie is one of over 200 “Barbie Career Dolls” from toy maker Mattel.

Farmer Barbie?

Is Farmer Barbie just another way to keep our daughters out of the business of farming, or is something more serious going on?

Next time you check out the toy aisle you might be surprised to find a Farmer Barbie doll on the shelves. She comes ready to farm dressed in a plaid shirt, denim overalls and rubber boots, with a red tractor, pink trailer, and an assortment of farm animals. Farmer Barbie is one of a line […] Read more


Each interaction you have can either advance or destroy your narrative, especially when it comes to social media.

Use science to be a better agvocate

To capture someone’s interest you need to find a way to connect on an emotional level

As a farmer, you use science every day. On a day like today you might even use it to calculate how much snow load your barn can withstand, or to improve the success of your agvocacy efforts. Research shows that to build successful farmer-consumer relationships, we need to connect with people emotionally by telling our […] Read more

A recent Ontario study found that farmers’ markets are seen as as a trusted source for fresh local food.

Growth markets

Sales at farmers markets across Canada are rushing toward $1.5 billion, and their farmers have plans for much, much more

Situated on the south edge of Winnipeg, the farmers market at Le marché St. Norbert was bustling on the chilly Saturday morning in late October when I visited. A fiddler entertained inside the market’s new 11,700 square-foot canvas canopy, and vendors with a range of local products for sale were busy engaging with the crowd. […] Read more


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