GFM Network News


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

“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