GFM Network News


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

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