GFM Network News


Businesses can avoid becoming hamstrung by finding out what customers want instead of focusing on selling what they have.

Outward-looking business

AME Management: It takes discipline, but an outward focus pays off in more business

Reading Time: 4 minutes Have you ever been disappointed that people who work for you don’t take initiative to do what you want done? You don’t feel comfortable getting away for a week because things won’t get done the way they are supposed to? You and the generation ahead of or behind you have ongoing tension that stands in […] Read more

It is important that the second generation understands that farming is an equity game not a cash game.

Family farms: Recognition + Appreciation > Return on Assets

AME Management: Keep track of good old-fashioned sweat equity

Reading Time: 3 minutes Income is important in a multi-generational farm business, but sometimes the key that actually unlocks a farm’s prosperity has more to do with long-term clarity and its members’ sense of opportunity. Therefore, if you are the second generation (SG), you must ask yourself: “Do I have a career path to ownership? Or am I just […] Read more


Are you willing to give up the comfortable anonymity of commodity sales? If yes, and if you do it well, the market may have room for you. But pay close attention to those costs.

Beyond commodity agriculture: Business decisions for your farm

AME Management: Whatever approach you take, the aim should be to improve your bottom line

Reading Time: 4 minutes When commodity prices are on their way to finding a bottom, many producers look to change their business model away from commodity crop and livestock production. While this is not a new phenomenon, it is becoming a more important strategy as the traditional commodity strategy — i.e. to increase scale — becomes harder to execute. […] Read more

Developing a strategic and operating plan for your farm business can offer clarity and a clear vision.

Entrepreneurial confidence – and how to get it

AME Management: Entrepreneurial confidence is a necessary quality in business

Reading Time: 4 minutes Business success is largely influenced by entrepreneurial confidence. It is one of the most consistent characteristics across businesses that succeed. Thriving entrepreneurs believe in themselves — their capabilities to learn, apply new knowledge and skills. They reach their desired objectives, and ultimately, realize their vision. In agriculture, where we are challenged with many uncertainties, it […] Read more


Shiny, new equipment is great, but depending on your budget and where you are in the timeline of your operation, running what you own or leasing equipment may be a better option.

Is there a ‘best’ farm machinery strategy?

AME management: There is never a guarantee that, without the analysis, the right strategy can be forecast

Reading Time: 4 minutes Country Guide’s editor asked whether we see a trend in the machinery strategy of the farmers who take CTEAM, our management course. Behind this is the idea that their experiences may be of value to others. The reality is that many strategies exist, ranging from turning over the complement of equipment every year, to squeezing […] Read more

Which joint venture will work for you?

AME Management: Building a business structure that works for your farm

Reading Time: 6 minutes The whole world acknowledges the brilliance of Albert Einstein. He is famous for his discoveries about relativity and the pull of gravity, and for his equation E=mc2, which says that the increased relativistic mass (m) of a body times the speed of light squared (c 2) is equal to the kinetic energy (E) of that […] Read more


Using futures and options in uncertain times

AME Management: Every year has its unique events, but with this strategy, farmers can provide profit opportunities that an “ordinary” year simply wouldn’t make available

Reading Time: 4 minutes Already, 2017 has been a year of uncertainty due both to unpredictable weather and political patterns. (We won’t speculate on which is the less predictable!) Uncertainty breeds large amounts of price volatility. Many farmers argue that using futures and options is too hard and carries the risk of cash-flow drains. They prefer to use the […] Read more

Progress is best made not by trying to break bad habits, but rather by developing good habits.” — Larry Martin

From planning to implementation

AME Management: Get into these management habits. They will help you develop the strategic objectives that will drive your farm where you want it to go, and then help you achieve real progress toward them

Reading Time: 4 minutes In our past column, we reviewed the habits of successful agricultural managers. One habit is that successful managers don’t just do strategic and operational planning, they translate their plans into action — i.e. they have a process to implement the plan. Like most farmers, many CTEAM participants have had little experience or training in planning […] Read more


The value of learning

AME Management: Learning business management can contribute to self-esteem and confidence

Reading Time: 4 minutes Farmers sometimes wonder whether additional courses and learning are of great value after taking into account course fees, travel, sometimes hotels, and always valuable time away from your business. Peer pressure can add to the psychological cost if the destinations are at all interesting or exotic. Neighbours may think you are simply taking a tax-deductible […] Read more

How financially healthy is your farm?

AME Management: These two examples show how standardized financial statements can be a powerful source of insight into your operational management

Reading Time: 5 minutes Three articles in this space over the last year (see links further down) focused on the management information to be obtained from standardized farm accounting statements. This month, we illustrate it here with two farm examples, concentrating on the operating (profit and loss) statement. The organization of our operating statements is based on three principles: […] Read more