GFM Network News


There’s a “million-dollar farm question” in Canadian agriculture as farm parents look to transfer a financially viable farm business to the next generation.

Calculating a fairer, smarter farm inheritance: Part One

Can an estate plan be fair both to the family and to the farm business? Merle Good and Greg Gartner see a way forward

Reading Time: 6 minutes I’m supposed to ask the questions, but Merle Good, Alberta farm business advisor and nationally followed succession expert shoots a question my way before I get a chance. “Suppose you could open all the wills of today’s farmers,” he says. “How many are leaving land to off-farm children?” I expect the number is big — […] Read more

Family Through Succession: Meet the Hunter family

One farm — seven individuals. Each with their own hopes, needs and ambitions. It’s a typically unique Canadian farm, just like yours. And yes, there is a way forward

Reading Time: 6 minutes In launching this series of columns on farm succession, our goal is to offer the readers of Country Guide something unique, something we feel you will be able to relate to and learn from. We want to introduce you to the Hunter family. Of course names will be changed to protect identities of our clients, […] Read more


Does Canada have enough young farmers?

The country has lost 70 per cent of the farmers in its under-35 category in just 25 years

Reading Time: 17 minutes There are encouraging signs all across the country. At the University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture convocation this spring, 58 graduates took home their two-year diplomas. At Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in Ontario, 267 crossed the stage in late May, and at Olds College in Alberta, another 81 diplomas were handed out […] Read more

It is important that the second generation understands that farming is an equity game not a cash game.

Family farms: Recognition + Appreciation > Return on Assets

AME Management: Keep track of good old-fashioned sweat equity

Reading Time: 3 minutes Income is important in a multi-generational farm business, but sometimes the key that actually unlocks a farm’s prosperity has more to do with long-term clarity and its members’ sense of opportunity. Therefore, if you are the second generation (SG), you must ask yourself: “Do I have a career path to ownership? Or am I just […] Read more


On BreadRoot Farm at Canora, Sask., owners Al and Hélène Boyko are finding the new listing services are helping them connect with potential non-family successors. “If we had not found FarmLINK, I don’t know what we would have done,

No one in the family to take over the farm

Where there’s no clear successor, more farmers are looking for ways to sell to a young or new farmer from outside the family. It’s rarely easy, but new listing services and new financial strategies may mean it’s possible

Reading Time: 9 minutes We all know a farm in this situation. Mom and Dad always thought one of the children would stand up at some point and say, “I want the farm.” Now, the time has come for the parents to make retirement plans, and none of the kids is standing up. Or maybe it’s the flipside. Mom […] Read more

There is an urgent need to develop and equip farm advisers with the tools and skills they need to help farm families successfully pass on the farm to the next generation.

Better steps for farm transition

Canadian agriculture is suffering a shortage of family farm advisers with the training and skills to help our farms through succession and transition

Reading Time: 6 minutes It’s expected that three in four Canadian farms will change hands in the next 10 years, many of them from one generation of the family to the next. But where will these farms find help they can trust to navigate their increasingly complex transitions? There aren’t enough trained and experienced farm advisers to go around […] Read more


The ‘succession effect’

Setting transition as a goal for your farm can spur growth and profitability, until about three-quarters of the way through

Reading Time: 5 minutes All farmers, no matter where they farm in the world, share certain characteristics. They are all born worriers, and they all have lots to worry about — weather, crop prices, markets. And on top of the day-to-day production issues, and the management challenges involved in running today’s complex farm operations, farmers also have a lot […] Read more

The Badiou family is well into the process of transitioning the family farm to the next generation.

Impressing Mom and Dad

There’s more reason than ever for farm kids to prove to Mom and Dad that they’ve got what it takes to be trusted with the farm. Question is: do the kids realize it?

Reading Time: 10 minutes Transitioning the family farm to the next generation is never easy. But how much harder when the parents have their doubts whether their next generation has the skills or the personality to manage the operation? On more and more farms, the wise thing would be for the kids to set out to prove to Mom […] Read more


Alec and Shelby Boekhoven farm with Alec’s parents near Appin in southwestern Ontario.

The next farm generation steps up

On this farm, transition planning made real gains once the younger generation learned how to take their role in the process

Reading Time: 11 minutes Alec Boekhoven had turned over at 2 a.m., fretting about ways to reduce feed costs on his family’s 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation. Eventually he drifted off on the couch, which is where his son Evan discovered him and woke him up early. It’s why Alec brought his three-year-old with him to do chores, and it also […] Read more

In the family’s new pack barn, daughter Cate McCorquodale is experiencing their transition planning partly from her perspective as a lawyer. “It takes time to get all the pieces in place,” she says. “It’s not just about transferring ownership.”

Legal insights into transition planning

Today it’s getting even more critical to keep up with your legal documents all through your business planning and succession discussions

Reading Time: 9 minutes At 45,000 sq. feet the new dairy pack barn is impressive, especially the way it captures the spirit of hope that fills the McCorquodale family at Embro, Ont. With the next generation waiting in the wings, their barn represents their shared belief in their future, complete with robotic milking system and the latest in cow-comfort […] Read more