GFM Network News


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Finding the next great idea

So often in any business sector, the key is to make a solid decision where to invest your willpower and your self. Decide which way to go, we feel, and we’ll get there for sure

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s a great idea for a winter day. Make a list of at least five and as many as 10 farms that you know reasonably well and that you think have charted a good course, and ask yourself (a) what are the core ideas that they had, and (b), where did those ideas come from. […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Before we get to 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes We’re talking in our shop about 2020 and, of course, about 2030 too. Probably you’re talking about it in your shop as well. On the brink of any new decade, it’s unavoidable. But this time, the future looks different by a country mile. The reason why it looks different is amazing in its own right. […] Read more


Women often face skepticism when starting a career in agriculture, with many being told they won’t make it on their own.

Defining the culture for a successful female in agriculture

How women overcome challenges they've faced in business

Reading Time: 3 minutes In my first Trailblazer column last spring, I reported on my interviews with trailblazing women across Canada. I focused on creating a culture in agriculture that is inclusive of women, and I looked at the life of the girl and how gender has an impact on the road to starting a new business. In this […] Read more

The new age of agriculture will require a combined and co-ordinated effort from both the public and private sectors.

Preparing the future of Canadian agriculture

Canada’s share of global agriculture tech investment was just 3.4 per cent last year

Reading Time: 3 minutes Canada’s economic prospects have long been underpinned by trade. No industry better illustrates this than agriculture, where more than 90 percent of our producers depend on selling their goods to the world. In recent years, exports in agriculture and agri-food have grown dramatically, generating millions more in annual sales for producers and billions more to […] Read more


Metamorphosis

Empower the people around you to be transformational leaders

Reading Time: 3 minutes We’ve all seen a fuzzy caterpillar make its way across our path. Inching across the pavement makes it vulnerable to the traffic and the weather, but it must get to a cocooning spot. It seems so small and sluggish but it has something more inside it. It will become that something more. It will morph […] Read more

Pundits have been pushing Alberta’s western separation narrative as a solution to the economic doldrums caused by low commodity prices.

Is western separation a real possibility? The cost of Alberta secession

Why is it farmers will tour countless variety plots and study mounds of test data to find a one or two per cent yield advantage, yet are willing to bet the farm on key structural changes based on nothing more than political slogans?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Case in point: Once again western separation has become a hot topic. Many readers will argue this shouldn’t be taken seriously; it’s just coffee-shop talk. But is it? In February an Angus Reid Institute poll showed 50 per cent of Albertans would support secession from Canada. Since then Premier Jason Kenney on multiple occasions has […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Did farms make the right choices?

We have all heard it before. It’s the saying that most bad decisions get made in good times. So, in the midst of the bull market a decade ago, we wondered what we’d be looking back on in 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes Here is what I wrote in September 2008: “Somewhere in the land and in the barns that are being bought and sold, and in the equipment purchases, and in the new partnerships that are being formed and the old ones that are falling apart, there are the beginnings of trends that we’ll point to in […] Read more

Good listening is more than simply hearing what's said; it's also the art of hearing what's not being said.

Trailblazing (Part 3): Family leadership — all together now!

A good leader knows how to deal with feelings honestly without harming other family members

Reading Time: 3 minutes Of our 96 living decedents on my father’s side, most show up for our annual family Christmas party. It is a fun affair with games, crafts, sharing, potluck dinner and a dance. Our history covers the walls of the hall in documents and photographs. It’s our “not to be missed” event of the year. For […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The breathtaking nerve of young farmers

Despite the tangle of current farm issues, nothing matters more in this fall’s federal election than how we encourage more young farmers to get find their feet

Reading Time: 2 minutes It was only a few years ago when, in every group of farmers, someone could be relied on to shake their heads and complain that the upcoming generation of Canada’s young farmers was marked by nothing so much as its sense of entitlement. Too many of us were too fast to see young farmers standing […] Read more

In walking beside and in learning with your family and team, the curious leader builds resilience and invites growth.

Trailblazing (Part 2)

The curious leader — trailblazing women farmers

Reading Time: 3 minutes When talking leadership for Country Guide, female trailblazers have repeatedly told me it was a real benefit to them that they had a curious parent in their earlier years. They also rank their own curiosity as a key contributor to their success. The value of curiosity also came up repeatedly when I spoke to global […] Read more


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