GFM Network News


Time to Talk: Creating opportunity

Yes, you can talk your farm to a better bottom line

Since farming is all about productivity, most farmers would rather “do” than talk. The old cliché that time is money is never more true than when seed needs to get into the ground or livestock needs to get to market. And yet, some of the most successful farm businesses in the country are those that […] Read more

The right time

For Brian and Joanne Keunen, off-farm experience created an eye for opportunity. But what really paved the way for Mapleview Agri came from the generations innovating how to work together

Like many newly minted high school grads, when he turned 18 years old Brian Keunen went off to college. His choice? Centralia College in southwestern Ontario. His goal? To get a diploma in agriculture, and then to return to the family dairy farm near Drayton, an hour and a half west of Toronto, where he […] Read more


Creating a culture of participation on the farm

Participation is about more than just joining in. It’s about contributing in a meaningful, valuable way

“Participatory culture” is where this series of columns has led us. That’s because, at the end of the day, when we talk about continuous improvement, it’s not just about changing our business but also our behaviour. It’s about the older generation creating environments where the next generation feels comfortable sharing their opinions and making mistakes. […] Read more

If you’ve bought equipment available to use after November 20, 2018 and before the year 2024, you can write off three times the normal tax deduction under new federal rules.

Tax change: Depreciable purchases written-off faster

For farmers and agribusinesses the new measures will provide a larger tax write-off sooner

This past fall the federal government introduced the Accelerated Investment Incentive, giving Canadian businesses the ability to write off capital expenditures faster. Encased in its 2018 Fall Economic Statement, this incentive allows farmers and other businesses more depreciation in the year an asset is purchased … a lot more. The idea is to spur business […] 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

Model diesel engines under heavy load no longer belch out black soot than those of a couple of decades ago, thanks to today’s sophisticated engine emissions systems.

Chipping away

Tinkering with the environmental control systems on your new tractor or combine could cost a whole lot more than the $3,000 chipset

A few months ago I was talking with Jim Wood, chief sales and operations officer, at the Rocky Mountain Equipment dealership chain. He voiced concern at the time about equipment owners who were deleting the emissions systems in their late-model equipment. Aside from the issues this creates at dealership service departments, he expressed concern that […] Read more


A learning plan in action

Nicole Stratychuk’s sudden need for her own learning plan offers insights into how an HR pro would develop management skills on your farm

When Nicole Stratychuk moved to Alberta she didn’t think she would end up working in agriculture, something she knew nothing about. With two university degrees in kinesiology and human resources (HR), she had been working in various HR roles for large organizations such as Health Canada and a casino resort in Edmonton. In fact, when […] Read more

Jan VanderHout hosts a food tour at his greenhouses.

Canada’s food producers speaking up

Farmers on both sides of the Atlantic are scoring big wins with effective new consumer-outreach strategies

When I was in the Netherlands this past summer, I had the chance to visit a hog farm. That in itself is not unusual, but what stayed with me were the blunt comments of the farmer who hosted us that day. “We need consumers to like us if we want them to buy our products,” […] Read more


Are you willing to give up the comfortable anonymity of commodity sales? If yes, and if you do it well, the market may have room for you. But pay close attention to those costs.

Beyond commodity agriculture: Business decisions for your farm

AME Management: Whatever approach you take, the aim should be to improve your bottom line

When commodity prices are on their way to finding a bottom, many producers look to change their business model away from commodity crop and livestock production. While this is not a new phenomenon, it is becoming a more important strategy as the traditional commodity strategy — i.e. to increase scale — becomes harder to execute. […] Read more

Chad and Erika Maarhuis operate Magnum Meats in Rock Creek, British Columbia.

A cut ahead

With farm support, here’s how this young couple beat the odds to open a successful short-line abattoir

If chat starts to lag at a get-together with strangers, Chad and Erika Maarhuis know just how to get a conversation started: they casually mention their day jobs. First, there’s a few seconds of silence. Then the questions start. “Really?” (Yup). “Isn’t that gross?” (Nope). “What’s it like?” (It’s a job, but one we care […] Read more