GFM Network News


Gaining clarity on what values align and on what “vision for success” means is critical when entering the financial side of transition.

The Succession Advantage — Balancing the farm’s financials

Reading Time: 4 minutes Welcome back to our series, The Succession Advantage. Last time we examined the importance of using the correct tools to improve your family’s communication — a critical step to position your farm for continuity. This article addresses a stickier side — the financial aspects of succession. There’s the difference between what the farm is worth […] Read more

Shane and Donna Mowat with their four children — Bobby (left), Bailey, Brittany and Bethany — at Bailey’s wedding last fall. All are looking forward to their futures in JockValley Farms, which means all need to participate in constructive communication about how to make it happen.

The Succession Advantage – Finding your family’s advantage point

Reading Time: 3 minutes Succession is more than passing the farm to the next generation. It’s about setting the farm up for ongoing success through a continual discovery process, examining every aspect of the farm and its operations, pulling out the very best, and incorporating them into best practices. It’s about having conversations with your family that get to […] Read more


“It’s Mom’s and Dad’s land,” says financial planner Colin Sabourin. “They should focus on themselves first, and on what they need.”

Keep the farm or sell?

Mom and Dad want to retire. What’s the smart move? Should you keep the land for the family, or sell and invest?

Reading Time: 4 minutes As farming parents prepare to retire, conflicting viewpoints can arise with their offspring over keeping the land or selling it. What’s the right way to go? Deciding whether to retain versus divesting the family farm may be the biggest decision that any farm family will ever have to undertake. There’s no right or wrong answer, […] Read more

“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