GFM Network News


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

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

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?

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

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

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

Let your kids see how you mind your farm’s business

Here’s where the farm succession process really starts

If you’re close to retirement, you may be getting ready to succeed the farm to your children. Or, if you’re younger, you’ll be thinking about what is going to happen to the farm when it’s your turn to retire. In either scenario, your family, your children and the business itself will likely be intermingling, which […] Read more


Doyle Wiebe (l) and Mark Thompson.

Their joint venture

The way Doyle Wiebe and Mark Thompson work together is beginning to look like the future for a big chunk of Canada’s farms, especially in succession

Canada’s farmers are designing ever more creative business arrangements to deal with the scarcity of available land and with the capital requirements for farm expansion, diversification and succession. Now Saskatchewan producer Doyle Wiebe has developed and implemented a joint venture agreement on his farm near Langham, Sask., that may prove one of the most unique […] Read more

The first-born quandary

What if your eldest son isn’t actually the best choice to lead your family farm into the future?

For centuries, it worked for royalty. If you happen to be the first-born son, you were on the path to the throne, no questions asked. And it happened on the farm too. The eldest son was automatically in line to take the reins when Dad got old enough that he needed to step aside. Increasingly, […] Read more


Succession shocker

The percentage of farm families with a succession plan is going down. That’s right —DOWN! — even though those same families still see succession planning as crucial to success

The day I caught up with famed farm family coach, Elaine Froese, she had already had two conversations with families who cannot bring sibling partners to the table. Phrases like “avoidance of conflict,” “bullying” and “silence is a form of violence” tumble out of her. “Procrastination and conflict avoidance are the root of the issue […] Read more

Both parents and children need to take a realistic look at what will happen if succession talks don’t work.

Young and old

The farm version of the generation gap means that succession talks on many farms stall before they even get a fair chance to start. Here, adviser Delores Moskal shares her ideas for seeing eye to eye

When it comes time to put succession planning on your personal agenda, there are only a couple of ways for it to go, says Delores Moskal. There are the parents who are open to talking succession with the next generation. And then there are parents reluctant to even broach the subject with the kids. So […] Read more