GFM Network News


“Our success depends on surrounding ourselves with competent, skilled team members,” says Farm Management Canada’s Heather Watson.

Does your farm team have the skills your farm needs the most?

Summer can be the best time of year to ask

Reading Time: 9 minutes First, let’s start with something everyone can agree on. Investing in developing the skills of the farm team is vital for the continued success of every farm. It’s documented by Farm Management Canada’s Dollars and Sense study too, and by the finding that the number one practice of Canada’s top farmers — in other words, […] Read more

Many farm businesses will need to develop new recruitment strategies over the next decade if they are to compete for the dwindling supply of workers.

In search of new employees for the farm

If it seems you’ve looked everywhere for new employees, maybe it’s time to try a new way of hiring

Reading Time: 7 minutes We keep hearing the numbers. The farm employment crisis is real, and it is getting worse with over 100,000 farm workers expected to retire in the 2020s, and a dwindling number of candidates from traditional sources to replace them. So, why not go to non-traditional sources? Or maybe there are better ways to let potential […] Read more


Tips for better emailing

These apps can make your business and family communications more efficient, but you still need to write clearly

Reading Time: 5 minutes The irony is that even though we have more ways to communicate than ever before, somehow we seem to be always be getting worse at the job. We are inundated with emails and distracted by text messages, and it feels like we’re always trying to puzzle out what some sender meant to say, or whether […] Read more

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