GFM Network News


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: How good is the advice I’m getting?

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s a question we didn’t ask farm accountants when we asked them what traits separate their average from their above-average farm clients. The days of bookkeepers and cash accounting aren’t over, of course. Every farm has different needs. But accountants and accrual-based accounting are the new norm, and the transition has helped enable the professionalization […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: A motion that needs support

Reading Time: 2 minutes As farmers across the country churn their way through this winter’s virtual meeting season, here’s a proposal for adding a useful (and profitable) bit of debate. It’s way past time for more farm groups to start investing a slice of their research budgets into exploring the business questions that will be crucial to their members’ […] Read more


What farmers want are loyalty programs that are based on product quality and service, not complex, unfair rebates.

Rebates: The ‘gift’ that has gone too far

Are retailers focused on selling the best product to meet a grower’s needs, or the product that will maximize their own business returns?

Reading Time: 5 minutes For years farmers have questioned and complained about the rebate and reward programs offered on agricultural inputs. Most complaints focus on the complexity of the programs and the inability for farmers to calculate the value of the rebate when making pesticide purchase decisions. Farmers need to know the after-rebate cost of pesticides if they are […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: In control, and ready to take on 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes We’ve all heard it. There’s that proverb that says farmers make their worst decisions in good times. Well, after the last decade, it’s pretty clear that it just isn’t true. When we think about innovation in farming, it’s no surprise that we all rush to point at farm machinery, smart phones, new genetics, and new […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Into 2021 with a change of plan

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the century-plus that Country Guide has been publishing, there have been few times with as much change in the air for Canada’s farms as there is heading into this January. If this were any other industry, it would be the stuff of headlines. It isn’t just that change is afoot on Canada’s farms, it’s […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: A historic year for the family farm

Reading Time: 2 minutes Across the country, 2020 has demonstrated once again that the family is the right management unit for Canada’s farms, in part because it is so amazingly adaptable. In fact, there’s every reason to think the family will see us through future changes too. It’s November already, and already you can feel the calendar beginning to […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Getting together on a plan for 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes Agriculture is getting more and more diverse and the gaps between our farms are growing, which is why we need a higher percentage of farmers getting involved in farm organizations. Here are two questions we almost never ask in our Country Guide interviews. What farm organizations are you involved in? And how much emphasis do […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Where are the big ideas?

Reading Time: 2 minutes One of the reasons why agriculture has mainly adapted so quickly to COVID-19 is that farmers are used to dealing with black swans. But it isn’t the only reason. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to underestimate the real pain that some sectors have faced. Whether that’s the logistical nightmare of beef processing or the […] Read more


“The windfall to the seed industry comes from the pockets of their farm customers.”

Driving up the cost of seed

Is the new Seeds Canada getting foisted on farmers just to make us boost seed company profits?

Reading Time: 6 minutes The summer of 2020 will go down in history for changing the fundamentals of grain production in Canada. And it seems many farmers are not even aware this is happening. I am talking about the ratification of Seeds Canada. I hear you ask, “Who, or what, is Seeds Canada?” Seeds Canada is the proposed name […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: At its core, agriculture is winning

Reading Time: 2 minutes Are farmers more alike, or more different from each other? Hmmm… those might be the only questions you can ask on every farm across the country and get the same sorts of answers. You can slice agriculture in so many ways, i.e. by commodity sectors, by sales volumes, by the farmer’s age, by technology usage… […] Read more


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