GFM Network News


“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

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

“For people small and starting out, you have to have relationships,” Ray Price says. “Whether it’s family, friends, bankers or workers… you have to find places to have relationships.”

The look of leadership

Known for Sunterra’s bold, future-looking moves, what traits does Ray Price see in the farmers he thinks can up their game for the 2020s?

Reading Time: 9 minutes If Japan starts handing out honourary citizenships, you better believe Ray Price will be on their short list. Already, the Alberta-born farm boy has been to the Land of the Rising Sun more than 100 times representing Sunterra, the Price family’s storied, successful and diversified business. The Prices export a majority of their pork directly […] Read more


“If you don’t even bother to weigh the pros and cons, you have a big ego,” Davies says. When you hear new ideas, “you should always be picking their brains.”

Me, myself and I

Yes, it takes self-confidence to run a farm. But every farmer also knows a neighbour whose ego is always getting in the way. Could it be you?

Reading Time: 6 minutes The business of farming is a constant battle with weather, prices, weeds, diseases and much more. It means identifying the risks, learning how to measure them, learning about all the tools to counteract them… and maybe it should also involve buying a mirror. Ego by itself is neither good nor bad. It’s simply a Latin […] Read more

“We are turning a corner,” says UFA boss Carol Kitchen. “While we still have more work to do, the work that we have done is starting to pay off.”

Turnaround

UFA boss Carol Kitchen reveals how the co-op defied the odds and got back on the track to prosperity

Reading Time: 7 minutes Anyone could see it. Over the past decade, profits and patronage payments had become sporadic at United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (UFA). The organization that had been spawned in a moment of political fervour in 1909 had now become the home of empty shelves and poor customer service at the local level. At the […] Read more