GFM Network News


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: More different, more the same

Reading Time: 2 minutes COVID-19 has brought our differences into the spotlight. For all sorts of reasons, no two farms have been affected in exactly the same way. And yet… Sometimes it’s because the commodities they produce are different. Obviously, anyone with hogs has some different concerns than grain farmers. Sometimes too it’s because of differences in how we […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: What it means to farm in Canada

Reading Time: 2 minutes With coronavirus, we’re finally seeing that there actually is such a thing as a Canadian farmer, not just a Western or an Eastern farmer, or a crop or a livestock farm. Is there something that makes all Canadian farmers more like each other than like American or Australian or French farmers? It’s a question we’ve […] Read more


The information landscape is changing, and some organizations are exploring new ways of offering that information to farmers other than traditional methods.

Who’s getting educated?

It’s time for ag suppliers to get as good as farmers at technology, and to treat us with the respect we have earned

Reading Time: 6 minutes Technology and big data have changed nearly every facet of agriculture. My tractor performance is continually monitored, not only by the operator but by the manufacturer. If the operator slips the clutch or stalls the tractor while under load, I can expect an immediate notification on my cell phone. If it’s anything more serious, a […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: How do we choose farms to profile?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Country Guide is built on the belief that the real energy driving the evolution of agriculture is the individual farm, making its decisions one decision at a time. It has a drama all its own. I get asked sometimes how we choose the farms that we profile in Country Guide, but I haven’t addressed the […] Read more


As farmers head into spring seeding and livestock is raised and brought to market, it’s comforting to see that Ottawa is recognizing the importance of their efforts.

Opinion: The changing conversation around food 

Stating that food security is critical during the COVID-19 crisis means farm issues won't be sidelined

Reading Time: 3 minutes On one hand, the federal government stated the obvious when it identified the food system as one of the 10 critical infrastructures supporting Canadians during the pandemic crisis. After all, who can survive without food? Nevertheless, the guidance document issued by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair this week sent an important signal, […] Read more

To claim that the carbon tax will put farmers out of business is simply feeding a political firefight. – Gerald Pilger.

The carbon tax and how farmers can truly mitigate climate change

Take a deep breath. The real numbers don’t come close to justifying the anger of groups like APAS

Reading Time: 7 minutes “If the treatment doesn’t kill you, the disease will!” I can’t remember when I first heard this saying, or who said it but given the recent carbon tax costing by the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), it seems an apt analogy. First, some background. In 2017, APAS hosted the Prairie Agricultural Carbon Summit, where […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: A better test of your resiliency

Reading Time: 2 minutes Much of the focus in our March 17, 2020 issue of Country Guide is on new technologies and new farm management strategies. After all, that’s where much of your focus is too. But maybe we’re missing something. It’s like how farmers will often say that when they go to conferences, even though the big name […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Can you see it from here?

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s a question I asked in one of my first columns after Country Guide shifted to its business focus. Can we see where we’re heading? I was worried. We were all worried. What would happen if the good times ended? It’s a question to come back to after reading “10th Generation,” associate editor Lorraine Stevenson’s […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The price of farm innovation

Among the emails that flow into my in-box, I can always expect to hear from farmers who are concerned about our farms becoming too different from one another, to the danger of all

Reading Time: 2 minutes Their concerns are valid. It is getting more and more difficult to frame national policies that are supported across the farm sector. Over the decade that I’ve been at Country Guide, we’ve made a stab two or three times at doing a story on whether there is such a thing as a Canadian farmer. Or […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: A challenge we need to take on

Farmers believe in themselves. Looking at their progress in technology and management, they’ve got every reason to. It’s a great platform for tackling women’s and diversity issues

Reading Time: 2 minutes In my job, it can sometimes feel like every other story arrives on my desk with a “this is the biggest threat to agriculture ever,” or “this is biggest technology ever” kind of breathlessness. It’s easy to see how it happens. After all, any major change to the farm sector quickly rings up billions of […] Read more


Upcoming events