GFM Network News

Rail shipping is vital to the Canadian economy and especially important to Prairie farmers.

Rolling coal on the rails

If Alberta approves new coal mines, how will we ship our grains to the West Coast?

Reading Time: 7 minutes The coal question is one that should be on the mind of every western Canadian grain producer, and one that every farm organization should be asking right now. It is a question that every federal, provincial and local politician representing rural ridings should be asking.  Unfortunately, I don’t know of anyone who is asking it. […] Read more

“It takes your whole farm to a new level of professionalism.” – Bonnie den Haan.

Getting involved at the farm level

Farm organizations sustain Canadian agriculture. They’re also where a whole lot of farmers are gaining leadership, management and decision-making skills. Should you join them?

Reading Time: 9 minutes As summer approaches and the pandemic is beginning to ease, it’s time to take stock. What got agriculture through the COVID-19 pandemic? Who kept things from falling off the rails? It turns out farm organizations played an enormous role. You probably know that already. Understandably, these groups invest heavily in making sure their members know […] Read more

“It can be really challenging to define your goals,” says MNP’s Kim Gerencser, “but without it, the planning process is doomed to fail.”

A practical guide to writing your farm business plan

This eight-point plan can help put you on the right path

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you’re an avid Country Guide reader, you know that farm business planning continues to be a popular topic of discussion among advisors and management gurus. Since the “Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms” study was released by Farm Management Canada last May, we have talked to farmers across the country who are regularly using a written […] Read more

Introducing the Grain Discovery app during harvest actually proved to be a great learning tool for users.

A new tool to market grain

Here’s a new app and website service that promises more efficient marketing

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the course of a growing season, farmers face even greater challenges to be as efficient as possible. Time is a rare commodity and rapidly consumed by planting, managing, spraying and harvesting crops, tending to animals, making repairs and more. Any process or device that promises to save time gets a close look. But, of […] Read more

Jill and Vince Stevenson outside Ranch House Meat Company.

Raising the steaks for a hometown business

Can it really make sense for beef producers like Jill and Vince Stevenson to open their own retail shop in town?

Reading Time: 8 minutes You might say that when Vince and Jill Stevenson decided it was time to steer their family’s southwestern Saskatchewan ranch in a new direction, they really went to town with the idea. The Stevensons are owners of Ranch House Meat Company, a built-from-scratch, 6,000-sq.-ft., full-service meat processing and retail store on Centre Street, Shaunavon, located […] Read more

Risk, uncertainty and fear are the inevitable downsides of entrepreneurial life, Amy Stefanik says, but in every sector, including farming, it’s a chance to thrive.

Double team

It can be a roller coaster ride if your farm spouse is highly entrepreneurial. It is in other business sectors too. Now we can all start learning from each other

Reading Time: 11 minutes No matter what sector a person works in, and whether you’re husband or wife, if you’re an entrepreneur’s spouse, you are along for the ride, strapped in with no control over the steering wheel or the brake. On the farm, of course, both partners are dedicated, energetic and business-minded. But that doesn’t necessarily change the […] Read more

A Living Lab tour in September 2019. Researchers are designing their programs using information they’ve heard directly from producers.

Aiming for better, faster farm improvement

This P.E.I. project is pioneering a new way of helping farmers and researchers work together instead of apart

Reading Time: 4 minutes Farming on Prince Edward Island is unlike farming anywhere else in Canada. Rolling hills, a moderate climate and sandy red soil provide unique opportunities for farmers, but also challenges for the environment. Now there’s a collaborative effort to help the island’s agri-food sector generate innovative solutions to issues such as climate change and water contamination […] Read more

“Setting the next generation up so they have a financial stake in the farm helps feed the mentorship process. It’s so they understand the risks and the rewards of farming,” says Lance Stockbrugger.

Serious about mentoring

The idea of mentorship is catching fire in agriculture, with new programs popping up all the time. Should you sign on?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Lance Stockbrugger always knew he wanted to farm. “It was going to be my career,” he says. “It was just a matter of how I was going to get there.” When he was 11, Lance’s father was killed in a motor vehicle accident. The family — Lance, his mother and his three siblings — were […] Read more

No one can conquer a mountain alone. Building a team is an essential, and the CEO needs to be good at attracting great candidates to yours.

Your CEO interview — six years on

12 questions to ask yourself to discover if you're continuing to fulfill your role as a leader

Reading Time: 12 minutes Let’s say you’re going to interview someone for your job as the CEO of your farm. Or maybe you’re considering someone in the next generation for the job. Or you might even be looking in the mirror, asking yourself where to focus your energy over the next year. What questions would you ask? That was […] Read more

“Co-ops are a product of the times,” says Co-operatives First’s Audra Krueger. Today, that means adopting the goals of young, business-minded farmers.

Capitalizing on co-operation

Agricultural co-ops are chasing new goals with the times. Could it be time for you to join a land-trust co-op? Or a branding co-op?

Reading Time: 6 minutes At first, this example might seem on the edge, but it illustrates a bigger point. When Chris Bodnar and Paige Dampier started farming in 2007, finding affordable land was a major roadblock. So, as founders of Close to Home Organics, they purchased a share in the Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative, which provided them affordable […] Read more