GFM Network News


Without a family successor, Bob and Wynne Chisholm saw they could save the farm by giving it away.

Paying it forward

Could a philanthropic gift be the right succession strategy for your farm?

Reading Time: 8 minutes In terms of size, W.A. Ranches’ gift to the University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary medicine (UCVM) is the biggest donation of ranch property ever made to a North American university, adding up to 19,000 acres of land and 1,000 head of cattle for a total value of $44 million. Although precedent setting in many […] Read more

“The only way it’s going to work is if there’s formality in the system,” warns succession advisor Bob Tosh.

Is your farm transition on-track?

As farms grow in value, it gets tempting to think succession planning is too risky to consider. It’s why only eight per cent of Canadian farms have written plans. But maybe there’s a way after all

Reading Time: 10 minutes Whether you call it a succession plan or a transition plan, if the very idea makes you wince, you’re not alone. Canada’s farmers are older than ever — according to Statistics Canada, more farmers are over 70 than under 35 — yet only about eight per cent of all farmers have a written succession plan. […] Read more


“Why is the son or daughter interested? Is it because they failed elsewhere and the farm is a safe haven, or because it’s Dad’s dream for the next generation to take over?” – Mike Bossy.

Preparing the next generation to take over the farm

How can you be sure they’re ready for the responsibility of running the operation?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Transferring the farm to the next generation is a complicated affair that involves finances, tax implications, legal strategies and good communication among all those affected. With all those balls in the air, the one element that Mom and Dad often think about, but somehow don’t actually get serious about, is whether the next generation is […] Read more

For Craig (left), David, Ryan and Brian, and for the entire family, the path to succession has focued on merging the lessons of two and a half centuries of family history with the realities of running an efficient, profitable farm operation.

The 10th generation farm

In central Nova Scotia, Cornwallis Farms has been in the same family for nine generations. So how are they planning for David’s arrival, and the start of a whole new chapter?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Thinking back to 2011, David Newcombe told his family that they’d missed a milestone on their farm — and a chance to throw a big party. But another chance will come. “In 2061 we’ll have a 300-year anniversary,” says Newcombe, now 28. That’s a lot of confidence, yet on this farm, you might say they’ve […] Read more


The Hunter family has a plan so future generations can carry on the family farm legacy.

Family through succession: Putting the Hunter plan into operation

"The best thing you can do to protect your legacy is to be a part of planning what it will be.”

Reading Time: 7 minutes We wrap up the Hunter family succession story with this final article in our five-part series. It has been a remarkable venture for our team to share with Country Guide readers the transition-planning journey undertaken by this family. The process took just over one year, from the start to the finish of the plan, and […] Read more

Family through succession: The Hunters create a future

The Hunter family is presented with three options for their farm transition

Reading Time: 6 minutes We continue our journey through succession with the Hunter Family as we focus on the transition and the details of what this phase of the process looks like for the family. Many of you have reached out to tell us you and your families are gaining a greater understanding since reading this series, which was […] Read more


Family through succession: Moving succession to a financial discussion

As we look into concrete financial options, a sense of excitement replaces the family’s initial worries

Reading Time: 7 minutes Many of you have been following our journey with the Hunter family. To recap, the Hunters are a fourth-generation farm family with a mixed crop and dairy farm in southwestern Ontario. Mary’s husband Jack passed away two years ago. She is 80 now and continues to live on the farm. Her only child, Bruce, works […] Read more

Family Through Succession: Aligning the Hunter family vision

"In the end, we all want the same thing,” Bruce says. “I just don’t see how we can make everyone happy.”

Reading Time: 7 minutes Last month, our first article introduced the Hunter family and their journey through farm succession. The Hunters aren’t a real family; you won’t find them in a phone book. But they are real in that they’re based on our real-life experience consulting with farm families. You’ll find families like the Hunters across the country. Through […] Read more


Talking about your future plans and how you want to grow is important.

Getting inside a retiring farmer’s head

Knowing the questions that your older neighbours are asking themselves as they start winding down their farms could give you the inside track

Reading Time: 9 minutes Mom and Dad just had coffee with their neighbour, talking about how it’s time to start preparing for retirement. Not just thinking about it, but actually doing it. They’re only a fenceline apart, but they’re in very different situations, though, which for farmers in the area who want to expand could make all the difference. […] Read more

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 Two

Alberta farm advisor Merle Good shares an innovative and tax-smart plan to encourage all your children to be patient investors with a portion of your land

Reading Time: 6 minutes Tom Button: In our previous article, you mentioned a methodology that allows for pooled ownership of farmland between family members. Why is this an objective? Merle Good: In agriculture we need to ask our children, are they willing to be patient capital investors? What this means is, if non-farm children are going to receive family […] Read more