GFM Network News


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


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Those predictions for mid-size farms

The question is no longer, can the mid-size farm survive? Instead, on the brink of the 2020s, it might be better to ask, does any other farm size have such a chance?

Reading Time: 2 minutes You’ll find remarkably few statistics in associate editor Lorraine Stevenson’s article on Canada’s mid-size farms in our January 2020 issue of Country Guide. Nor will you find that we’ve sought out every expert or every farmer with an opinion on the future of the mid-size farm. We wanted to keep the story as clear as […] Read more



Comment: Why does agriculture only have room for women who fight?

Reading Time: 3 minutes A recent article ‘Why aren’t farm women fighting harder?,‘ for the December 2019 issue of Country Guide has garnered a significant amount of attention online and on social media. Upon reading our article, Angela Straathof wrote the response below as a “call to action” for the agricultural industry. – Country Guide staff “Be bold. Speak […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: How will farms grow in the 2020s?

On the lip of the 2020s, it’s a question that deserves more than casual thought. And it needs more than one perspective, for there will be more kinds of success than ever in history

Reading Time: 2 minutes April Stewart writes in our December 2019 issue of Country Guide to tell us the proof is in. The more technological and digital a farm gets, the more important its leadership and its soft skills become. To a degree, it’s no surprise. Technology does many things, and the technology of the 2020s will do more of […] Read more


Today’s women in agriculture know that they bring more than a plate to the table.

Defining the culture for a successful female in agriculture (Part 2)

“By knowing my own value, I hold my own space.” These wise words from one interviewee can be a mantra for Canada’s farm women

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the last two columns, I have reported on my research into the lives of successful women professionals in farming and agricultural business. Their honest and engaging stories are varied, and they outline how we can create a culture of inclusion. An inclusive culture starts with parenting that offers boys and girls the same opportunities, […] Read more

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


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