GFM Network News


The rise of popularity in the internet has generated the unfortunate rise in cybercrime as well.

How to protect yourself online

Cybercriminals used to go after big business. Now they know you’re easier to hit

Reading Time: 4 minutes The internet has been a boon to farm businesses. Whether it’s ordering farm supplies online, hosting an online store, problem solving, communicating with the farm team and other farmers, accessing detailed weather forecasts or marketing info, the list of the ways we rely on the internet every day is long. Unfortunately, as the internet has […] Read more

If you’ve had a really good boss, you’ll know why you liked working for them, and why you got more done than you ever did with a bad boss.

From good boss to great

Saskatchewan farm advisor and HR specialist Marianne Hawkins offers practical tips on making the transition

Reading Time: 5 minutes We’ve all heard the adage “people quit bosses, not jobs.” Maybe you have quit a boss yourself. If so, you’ll remember why. Perhaps they were always complaining, or maybe they played favourites, or they treated you as if they thought you were always trying to cheat them. Maybe, too, they would never admit their own […] Read more


With a third of Canada’s agricultural workforce nearing retirement, the farm labour issue looms large and it will become a huge issue for farms in the 2020s.

The overseas employee

If we look to 2030, where will we find our farm employees?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Agriculture is already looking outside the agricultural community — and in some cases outside the country — to recruit workers. That’s only going to intensify if, as expected, rural populations stagnate or decline, and if farms consolidate and rely more on hired employees. It’s also worth noting that 112,000 of today’s employees (37 per cent […] Read more

It’s been a great advantage to our business already,” says Laura Holtmann. Better employees, better retention… it all adds up.

Crafting a new human resources plan for your farm

Don’t wait any longer. An HR management plan to protect the long-term success of your farm business could be worth working on now. Here’s why

Reading Time: 10 minutes Agriculture is changing. Innovation abounds. More new technology and better automation arrive every year. So it’s worse than ironic that our biggest shortfall is people power. But there it is. Without the right people, can our farms even hope to adopt the technological marvels that are supposed to propel them into the future? Mechanization is […] Read more


The quality and quantity of the data collected saw clear patterns in the behaviour of the most successful farmers.

Seven strategies of successful farmers

Here’s new evidence that business skills increase farm income, no matter what size the farm

Reading Time: 5 minutes With the harvest finally in the bin, farmers across the country are evaluating their farm management practices and they are making management decisions for the future. Business management skills are more important than ever as farmers face huge challenges, including unpredictable weather, volatile markets, labour shortages, succession, and much more. In this environment, a great […] Read more

Before meeting with an employee to discuss areas of improvement, it’s a good idea to create a plan for the conversation.

How to deliver constructive criticism

Focus on end results to eliminate the emotional sting and to improve performance

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you’re like a lot of people, you’d rather do anything than give negative feedback. Even when it is well-intentioned, criticism isn’t easy to deliver. It’s anxiety-producing both for the giver of the negative feedback and for the receiver. As a result, most of us avoid giving negative feedback, which, of course, fixes nothing. Failing […] Read more


Dealing with problem employees effectively

Instead of firing them, use these tips to coach problem cases into good employees

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s getting tougher to find and keep good employees. Nor, by all indications, is the situation going to improve anytime soon. According to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s newly released Labour Market Forecast for the next decade, farmers can expect an already tight labour market to get even tighter. According to the council’s survey […] Read more

“Good retention starts with good recruiting. The challenge is finding people who are willing to be there for the right reasons…”

Tapping into a new source of farm workers

Traditional labour supplies are running short. Why that may not be a bad thing

Reading Time: 5 minutes With farms getting bigger and with rural populations getting smaller, it’s no surprise you’re having trouble finding local employees with the farm skills and the experience you want. That doesn’t mean you have no options, however. The solution may be to look beyond candidates with ag experience and to begin to look in other sectors […] Read more


When looking for a mentor, find someone who isn’t too busy and is a good listener.

Want to be a more successful farmer? Find a mentor

How you can harness the power of mentorship

Reading Time: 4 minutes Research shows the five-year survival rate for small and medium enterprises jumps from fewer than half to more than 70 per cent if mentors are involved. That’s according to Virginia McGowan, a certified mentor who witnessed this powerful transformation while running a mentorship program for a group of 70 female entrepreneurs in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The […] Read more

Employees are looking for a role, not just a job, says Curwen, in cap, front row, right.

Grow your people

On a global tour, Nuffield Scholar Reece Curwen finds the top farms always treat employees as an investment, not a cost

Reading Time: 5 minutes At 32, Reece Curwen farms with his family 500 kilometres south of Perth in Western Australia, where the farm produces canola, barley, wheat and sheep on 8,000 hectares. Yet although the farm is so geographically distant from Canada, when it comes to the people management side of farming, it might be right next door. As […] Read more