GFM Network News


“It was so simple,” Bob McCoubrey says. Instead of putting funds in investments, he’d set up a mortgage to help the Thurstons buy the farm. But it didn’t stay simple for long.

Getting to the dream

A real-life story of making a non-family farm transition work, including all the time, the effort, the talking and the satisfaction

Reading Time: 9 minutes About 15 years ago, Bob and Sharon McCoubrey were facing a dilemma. Bob’s body was telling him it was time to give up his orchard and vegetable farm in British Columbia’s Okanagan. It was time for the next phase of their lives, but past experience had left a bitter taste in their mouths. “We were […] Read more

Bringing in the hay at Wildwood Farm in the Peace region.

Transitioning the farm beyond the family

Maybe keeping the farm in the family isn’t an option for you. Or maybe you’ve seen the statistics and you believe Canada simply doesn’t have enough young farmers, so today’s farmers must open the door to more new entrants. Well, it’s never going to be easy, but check out these creative ways to have your cake and eat it too

Reading Time: 10 minutes Non-family farm transitions are certainly different than traditional family succession plans, and they definitely have their difficulties. But it turns out they aren’t impossible. In fact, non-family transitions are becoming much more common and much more successful. But they do require new strategies, and new ways of thinking. How common are they? “A significant number […] Read more


“That’s the point I think we could have stressed more,” says Kyle. “You say you don’t think it’s a good life, but you’d never do anything else, and we feel the same way.”

‘You can’t hand it to them’

Every transition is unique. This one is too. But inside Kyle (left) and Bryan Maynard’s experience are nuggets that can transform the process for farms across the country

Reading Time: 10 minutes It all makes perfect sense. When, two days before their eighth and 10th birthdays, brothers Bryan and Kyle Maynard lost their dad, Kent, in a tragic farm accident, of course the future of the farm was thrown into disarray. Kent had grown up nearby on a Prince Edward Island dairy and hog farm, but in […] Read more

“Estate planning was much simpler 10 to 20 years ago,” says wealth management advisor Brent Dekoning. In fact, tax changes in even the last couple of years can expose the farm to huge costs.

Five new trends in estate planning

It’s easy to feel like everything is under control. After all, you signed your will years ago. So everything is great, right?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Canada is in the midst of a massive intergenerational transfer of wealth with the owners of trillions of dollars in assets thinking they’ll pass all that wealth on to their children. Despite this historic handoff from one generation to the next, the Investment Planning Counsel reveals that few Canadians have discussed their investment plans with […] Read more


“The previous generation is underused,” says psychologist Michael Rosmann. “If you could address that, it would make a significant contribution to agriculture.”

The retiring farmer

In the dictionary, to be “retiring” means to bow silently out. Now, one of North America’s top farm retirement experts, shares why it’s the wrong strategy for our older farmers

Reading Time: 6 minutes Retirement can be a daunting prospect for nearly everyone, especially if they have had a meaningful career. Still, the adjustment in agriculture really is more acute than in many other sectors. “In agriculture, we have the added problem of being tied closely to the land,” says Iowa psychologist, speaker, author and farmer Dr. Michael Rosmann. […] Read more

Tips on planning a lasting legacy

Seven things you need to know about including charitable giving in your estate plan

Reading Time: 5 minutes When retired farmers Scott and Laura-Lee Lewis of York, P.E.I., shared their plans to bequeath $500,000 from their life insurance policies to two local charities, their generosity made national headlines. In a 2019 article in The Charlottetown Guardian about their planned giving, the couple said, “As business owners, we felt giving an insurance policy was […] Read more


“The formality of it encourages every member at the table to feel equally respected,” Chris Clarke emphasizes.

Working with change, instead of fearing it

Non-farm family businesses are in the throes of succession planning too. With the help of Chris Clarke, here’s how they’re elevating their team skills for superior succession planning — and why it’s driving their business performance as well

Reading Time: 5 minutes By now, every farmer has encountered more than a few articles on succession planning, and maybe the thought of even one more doesn’t seem all that appealing. Indeed, you’ve probably read the first few paragraphs of quite a few of these stories and paused, wondering if you’ll learn anything new. Well, this article is a […] Read more

“I’m not sure the message is getting through,” says CFIB’s Corinne Pohlmann. But the stats are brutal… 70 per cent of businesses that don’t plan for succession end up failing.

Sharing succession stories

What can farmers learn from the transition struggles of Canada’s other independent, family-based businesses?

Reading Time: 5 minutes From a business perspective, whether it’s a family business, a family farm business or any other kind, succession planning is not only smart, it’s a condition of survival. According to the Family Business Institute for example, after the leader of a family business exits the picture for whatever reason, 70 per cent of these enterprises […] Read more


For Josh and Lee Moats, succession planning has focused on keeping their relationship strong and vibrant.

Family farms are finding their way

It’s more than the legalities. The culture of Canada’s farm families is evolving too, and on many farms it’s keeping up quite nicely, thanks

Reading Time: 6 minutes Brett Meinert, of Shaunavon, Sask., knew early on that his son Barclay was hoping to take over the family farm. “He bought land three days after he was old enough to own land, when he was eighteen years old,” Brett says. “We knew at that time that he was going to farm — there was […] Read more

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