GFM Network News


When college grads come home to the farm

If your kids come back from college and just end up behind the wheel of a tractor, you're missing some serious opportunities

Reading Time: 9 minutes On a sun-dappled morning in mid-September, 80 young men and women assemble in a large auditorium at the University of Manitoba’s campus. They’re here for a day of orientation as they begin two years of study towards their agricultural diplomas. Among them is 18-year-old George Meggison. He’s following in the footsteps of two sisters, as […] Read more

Throwing more information at consumers won’t fill up their knowledge gap. We need to use science.

Filling in the knowledge gaps for consumers

Understanding the science of why consumers get so much wrong about agriculture can help us put them right

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s not an earth-shattering revelation to those working in agriculture that there is a farm-to-plate knowledge gap. We know that most consumers are generations removed from the farm and have misconceptions or a lack of accurate information about agriculture. The Knowledge Gap theory is that information has traditionally been more accessible to those with higher […] Read more


The associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan says that for more than a decade there have been more women than men in the ag programs.

‘Super Keen’

Ag education is hot, and enrolment is booming from coast to coast

Reading Time: 8 minutes It’s inspiring for anyone in agriculture to talk to the principals and deans at ag-related academic institutions across the country. More than ever in history, young Canadians are pursuing careers in ag. In a nutshell, it’s because there are jobs in agriculture after school — good jobs that offer exciting and interesting career paths for […] Read more

“My experience in agriculture is lifelong, and the MBA has definitely helped me weave my way through my career off-farm and on the farm,” Steve Koeckhoven says.

Making a leader

As farms get bigger and more complex, more farmers like Steve Koeckhoven are drawing leadership insights from other business sectors

Reading Time: 9 minutes When we think of strong leaders we often leap to examples like politicians, sport coaches and the CEOs of large corporations, so it’s little surprise that our ideas of leadership can be mixed in with the skills it takes to manage large groups of employees, or to chair meetings or grab the microphone like a […] Read more


650,000 blue jackets

Future Farmers of America brings more young people into agriculture, and gives them the tools to succeed

Reading Time: 5 minutes There are almost 650,000 of them spread across the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and they can be found everywhere from large, urban cities to small, rural towns. Every single one of the 650,000 is also a unique individual, with their own background and interests. But there is at least one thing […] Read more

The “FFA” stands for Future Farmers of America, yet none of these urban Chicago students had any farm background before attending CHSAS.

Chicago high school turning learners into leaders

Near the top in the academic rankings in Chicago, the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences is transforming city kids into graduates eager for careers in agriculture

Reading Time: 5 minutes Rarely does someone wish they could go back to high school, but that was certainly the feeling I had when I toured a school in Chicago last June during my Nuffield Scholarship. The institution is about 30 km south of downtown Chicago, and in many ways, it is a standard high school. It has lockers, […] Read more


Agriculture is the hot new program on campus, with enrolments booming and corporate grants up too.

Agriculture classes on university campuses continue to grow

It isn’t only a robust farm economy that’s driving post-secondary ag education, but job opportunities and heavy recruitment too

Reading Time: 5 minutes The story is the same across the country. “Our application numbers in all of our programs are up,” says Joe Varamo, manager of academic programs for Ontario Agricultural College, Canada’s largest ag university, where total ag enrolment has climbed to 2,600, up from 2,000 just four years ago. “We’ve gone from accepting approximately 450 students […] Read more

Farming will take more than knowledge, insists Ridgetown director Ken McEwan. It needs vision, people skills, and perhaps most important, energy.

What students need for future success as farmers

Top ag educators tell us the good and the not so good they see in Canada’s next generation of farm hopefuls

Reading Time: 7 minutes The future stretches and sways like a Prairie grain field, endless and heavy with possibilities. Like storm clouds, though, threats and risks also gather. What strengths and skills will farmers need to succeed in the future we’re rushing toward? With the turnover between generations accelerating, it’s a question that is coming squarely into play on […] Read more