GFM Network News


The right recipe for success? Talking with someone who knows your business and the businesses you are in, but is at arm’s-length from the emotion.

Opinion: Winning with help from a mentor

The editor at Country Guide asked, “After meeting someone who could be a potential mentor, what makes a farmer pursue a full mentorship? When do they make the decision, and why? What is the impact of the relationship for themselves and their business? How do we relate this to leadership?” I didn’t have the answers […] Read more

Canada’s claim of being the world’s premium agricultural producer is questionable in the minds of many consumers.

Canada’s agricultural brand has fizzled

Canada used to be known as the top producer of the world’s best food. Now, if we’re lucky, we’re considered second-rate

As you sit in the cab of your combine, swather or truck this harvest season, a point to ponder is how Canadian agriculture will be remembered by the next generation. I think back to my grandfather’s farming days when Canada was considered part of the “bread basket of the world.” Grain buyers depended on the […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The way we think about markets

As new crops of young farmers help fill their families’ bins this year, will it be agronomic skill that decides if they succeed, or the farm’s asset strength? Or will it be marketing?

All of us complain about our memories, I’m told. None of us complain about our common sense. At least, I think that’s how it goes. We aren’t always as humble as experience tells us we should be about our mental judgments or our mental aptitudes, and for good reason. We can sound awfully good when […] Read more



Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Six ingredients of an ideal farm successor

Several articles in our May/June issue of Country Guide examine what may be the toughest question of all. Does your farm’s next generation have what it’s going to take to succeed in 2050? Fortunately, science can help. I’ve suggested before in this space that as farms continue their likely evolution in asset value and in […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The right way to end the winter

It wasn’t a phone call that I had expected to get. The caller wasn’t from what you’d call our target audience. But then, he had been good enough to call, and after all, he did have a point. The call actually came from a Home Hardware franchisee who had taken over a small-town store not […] Read more


Advisor vs. adviser

Are you sure you should trust the person who is advising you on your financial future?

Life, business and farming are all becoming increasingly complicated. As a result, individuals in every walk of life, including farmers, are turning to advisers for help. The public has an expectation that these advisers are highly trained, that they are experts in their field, and that they will work in the best interests of the […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: A better way to start the day

Of all the bright and memorable things you’ll find in our March 27, 2018 issue, the one I keep coming back to is the advice from Harvard prof Linda Hill in Maggie Van Camp’s, “Are you a good boss?” Her advice is simple. Let me lift it straight from the story: “She (Hill) suggests starting […] Read more


Opinion: Winners and losers

We should take a much harder look at those yield contests

The following is my opinion. Enough said. This started out as a column that was going to extol the farming abilities of some of the winners of canola growing contests. But as I talked with farmers about how they achieved their amazingly high yields, it became clear to me the highest yield isn’t really the […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: One more question for mid-size farms

For almost a decade, mid-size farms have been the winners in Canadian agriculture, growing their equity without taking extravagant gambles. Can that continue?

I’ve just been rereading an editorial I wrote 10 years ago. Such things happen to all of us from time to time when we stumble across a note in a drawer or a friend we knew at the time. If nothing else, it teaches humility. The editorial had to do with the contradictory signals farmers […] Read more


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