GFM Network News


No one can conquer a mountain alone. Building a team is an essential, and the CEO needs to be good at attracting great candidates to yours.

Your CEO interview — six years on

12 questions to ask yourself to discover if you're continuing to fulfill your role as a leader

Reading Time: 12 minutes Let’s say you’re going to interview someone for your job as the CEO of your farm. Or maybe you’re considering someone in the next generation for the job. Or you might even be looking in the mirror, asking yourself where to focus your energy over the next year. What questions would you ask? That was […] Read more

How to know if your farm business skills are keeping up

How to know if your farm business skills are keeping up

In the last five years, every farm has upped its business management. So is your farm middle-of-the-pack? Above average? Below? Get ready for some surprises

Reading Time: 8 minutes When you ask Shawn Hass, vice-president and portfolio manager at RBC Dominion Securities in Lethbridge, Alta., what his cutting-edge farm clients are doing that sets them apart from the rest of the pack, his first answer will likely surprise you. “They’ve built an office or have one on site,” Hass says. “The most successful farm […] Read more


In the face of dealing with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, so much has come down to resilient operations.

Resilient farmers vs. COVID-19: How one Ontario farm got so resilient

Rather than focussing on pandemic problems, the next generation brings solutions to the table

Reading Time: 4 minutes Our series on farm resiliency has been a fascinating one to write. We have spoken with several farm families about the challenges they faced and overcame during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it affected the ag community. We focused on the positives — stories of families and communities coming together to get last year’s crop […] Read more

“The formality of it encourages every member at the table to feel equally respected,” Chris Clarke emphasizes.

Working with change, instead of fearing it

Non-farm family businesses are in the throes of succession planning too. With the help of Chris Clarke, here’s how they’re elevating their team skills for superior succession planning — and why it’s driving their business performance as well

Reading Time: 5 minutes By now, every farmer has encountered more than a few articles on succession planning, and maybe the thought of even one more doesn’t seem all that appealing. Indeed, you’ve probably read the first few paragraphs of quite a few of these stories and paused, wondering if you’ll learn anything new. Well, this article is a […] Read more


Beyond startup

Launching a new supply chain is hard enough. But will yours have legs? Can you grow it into a sustainable business that will thrive through all the changes coming your way? Here’s what Three Farmers’ Natasha Vandenhurk has learned on her own road

Reading Time: 7 minutes This is the third time Country Guide has interviewed Natasha Vandenhurk, CEO of Saskatoon-based Three Farmers. If anything, this time it feels more urgent. The reason isn’t exactly the pandemic. At least, let’s put it a bit more accurately. It’s the opportunities that COVID-19 is creating, and the impetus for farmers to take more ownership […] Read more

Owning the supply chain

B.C.’s third-largest hog producers Charlotte and Bob Lepp thought they’d test the waters with a small step into retail. It’s led to incredible learning, and growth

Reading Time: 8 minutes It isn’t exactly unusual. Time and again, all across the country, and especially now with COVID-19, farmers have looked at what they produce and thought, “If only I could cut some distributors and wholesalers out of the chain, I’d get to keep a lot more of what the end-user actually pays for the food I […] Read more


(Jevtic/iStock/Getty Images)

Report links business management, mental health of farmers

Farm women, young farmers report higher levels of stress, difficulties coping

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ottawa — A new report from Farm Management Canada (FMC) calls for action after determining 75 per cent of Canadian farmers reported being moderately to highly stressed about unpredictable interference, workload pressure and financial pressures. But how a farmer plans his or her business — and associated risks — can help lower that statistic. The […] Read more

Farm CEO: The complete farm executive

Reading Time: 3 minutes What does the basic mindset of a farm CEO look like? I’m currently using a three-factor model to describe what I think makes a highly effective farm executive. The first is business results. Obviously at the end of the day if we don’t define success and achieve objectives that keep us in business, never mind […] Read more


A business whose culture doesn’t support the values of its employees will ultimately struggle.

Farm CEO: Culture matters

Are you paying attention to the culture of your farm or farm business?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Why should we care about the culture of our business? Culture captures the essence of what makes a business tick, yet it is poorly understood. Culture has reached cliché status as a management concept, and that’s regrettable because understanding what culture really is, its connection to leadership, how it is created and how it has […] Read more

Grumpy farmers rejoice: Research has shown that unhappiness can actually make you more creative.

Managing your business through stress and rough times

Make your point | Being innovative when problem solving is an essential skill

Reading Time: 3 minutes Feeling a little grumpy and stressed these days? Seems it’s been that kind of year so far. In an age of mental health awareness, it’s no surprise to learn that stress can easily mess with your mental and physical health. Feeling foggy, distracted or listless can ultimately lead to less-than-optimal decisions as your focus is […] Read more