GFM Network News


Pandemic planning: Write it down, add it up

Pandemic planning: Write it down, add it up

It's the big lesson of 2020. A business plan is practically guaranteed to up your game, make you more money, and keep you happier and healthier. So what are you doing this winter?

Reading Time: 6 minutes The number gap is stark. In fact, it’s hard to think where you’d find one that’s wider: 88 per cent of farmers who have a written business plan say their plan has so many benefits (both to the farm and to themselves as farmers) that it more than pays for itself. Yet only 21 per […] Read more

How do you bridge the gap between the reality of how best to run the farm while making room for your own kids’ ideas?

Prepping the kids for the financial reality of farm ownership

It may be the biggest question of all. When is the right time to give the kids a voice in business planning?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Now that summer’s on the doorstep, the kids are home from school, and your planning and preparation for the growing season are over, it’s an ideal time to have some important conversations with your family members around succession planning. As anyone who has gone through the process knows, succession planning within the family can be […] Read more


Spouses are realizing that farm operations require a much more structured business planning approach.

Between spouses

Formalizing the informal partnership

Reading Time: 3 minutes Joint ownership between spouses has been a long-standing fixture in the farming community, with each holding equal influence when it comes to making key business decisions. It is widely acknowledged and recognized that spouses are key influencers in business decisions. They have always stood front and centre in financial negotiations, are equal participants in professional […] Read more

“They come to realize that it’s not just driving tractors or hauling grain,” Colin Penner says. “It’s the whole picture.”

Smarter than you think

Here’s what your kids come home having learned about business at ag college. It’s much, much more than even a few years ago

Reading Time: 9 minutes When Colin Penner enrolled as a student in the University of Manitoba’s agricultural diploma program 10 years ago, he had to prepare a business plan for his farm. Today, he is back at the U of M as an instructor, teaching other students how to complete today’s planning assignments, which are miles ahead. Preparing a […] Read more


Hand going through the field

Small SWOT, big ideas

Summer Business: This exercise to determine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats can be a best next step for smaller farms

Reading Time: 4 minutes Over the last four years Ontario organic farmer and consultant David Cohlmeyer has completed over 20 business plans for smaller and medium-sized farms. But before doing a business plan, with updated budget, balance sheets, marketing plans and cash flow statements, Cohlmeyer works with the clients to do a SWOT analysis. “It’s a tool, a good […] Read more

Top financial tools for farmers

January is a great time to review the financial tools that help you make the best decisions

Reading Time: 4 minutes For many of us, the new year is a time of reflection. It’s an opportunity to take stock of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going, both personally and professionally. This is certainly important for farmers, as January is a good month for a detailed review of the administrative side of the […] Read more


young farmer

Planning value-add ideas for your farm

In the third of her series, Helen Lammers-Helps talks to farmers about how the time they spent planning their new value-added ventures saved them money and aggravation

Reading Time: 5 minutes There’s a business school maxim that says, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Based on the experience of Canadian farmers, it’s certainly true of value adding. Gary Morton, a Nova Scotia ag business consultant who has helped farmers launch value-added products for more than 20 years, likes to begin talking to those farmers by […] Read more