GFM Network News


“Co-ops are a product of the times,” says Co-operatives First’s Audra Krueger. Today, that means adopting the goals of young, business-minded farmers.

Capitalizing on co-operation

Agricultural co-ops are chasing new goals with the times. Could it be time for you to join a land-trust co-op? Or a branding co-op?

Reading Time: 6 minutes At first, this example might seem on the edge, but it illustrates a bigger point. When Chris Bodnar and Paige Dampier started farming in 2007, finding affordable land was a major roadblock. So, as founders of Close to Home Organics, they purchased a share in the Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative, which provided them affordable […] Read more

For mid-sized farms like his, collaborations are more essential than ever, says Brock. In Canada, he now believes, joint ventures have nowhere to go but up.

‘That will never work!’

Mark Brock was told it’s a waste of time for independent farmers to try to collaborate with other farmers. Then he did the research

Reading Time: 10 minutes Consolidation is the name of the game in Canadian business, and especially in Canadian agriculture. The pressure is on everywhere to grow bigger. If you’re a farmer, that means buying your neighbour’s land to grow your economy of scale, and it’s the same if you’re a processor, an input dealer, a chain of accountants or […] Read more


The High Level Bridge in Lethbridge, Alta., is the longest and highest bridge of its type on Earth.

Farming’s hottest boomtown

Guide Canada: Lethbridge has emerged as one of Canada’s hottest centres of farm and ag entrepreneurialism. How hot is that? Well, read on…

Reading Time: 11 minutes Ask anyone what they think of when they think of Alberta, and the same handful of images always come to mind. Think Banff, Jasper and the rolling foothills for a start. Now, add Lethbridge, especially if you’re a farmer. Then think excitement. Young people might be fleeing other parts of rural Canada, but not here. […] Read more

“You can’t be a farmer without the drive and passion for what you do every day,” says Katie Keddy. And as the Keddy farm shows, if the passion is there, all sorts of impossible things become possible.

Roots and branches

The popular idea is that farming is a closed shop: If you aren’t born on a farm, you will never farm. But it isn’t quite true

Reading Time: 12 minutes Unconventional stories are becoming conventional in today’s agriculture. In fact, they’re becoming surprisingly conventional. Yes, agriculture across the decades has always found unexpected ways to replenish itself. Still, the barriers to entry have never been as astronomic as they are today for anyone who isn’t among the fortunate few to have been born into long-established, […] Read more


Jen and Brooks White have always focused on improving their management decision-making.

Value in your farming peers

Could a peer group be right for you? Country Guide talks to one Ontario group to find out

Reading Time: 6 minutes When Ontario’s Janet O’Rourke and her husband Kevin took CTEAM — the executive management program designed specifically for Canadian farmers and ranchers — they got their first taste of peer feedback and the benefits it can bring. As part of the program, their class of farmers met four times over two years and got to […] Read more

For Saik, another key learning is ensuring age and gender diversity not only makes the benefits more broadly available, but improves the experience for everyone.

Making it their business

A growing number of Western Canada’s farmers are using peer groups to drive their performance. This one is ready made

Reading Time: 6 minutes It turns out that size can matter. It makes a difference. Farming at different scales doesn’t necessarily make anyone a better or a worse farmer, but it does change the kinds of problems you have to tackle every day, the kinds of decisions you have to make and, of course, the kinds of questions that […] Read more


Lauren and Ryan Maurer of Land and Sky Grains.

Managing more, working less

For Lauren and Ryan Maurer, it’s the challenge of 2021. How do they keep from getting personally overwhelmed as the farm gets bigger and more complex?

Reading Time: 7 minutes It was 27 years ago that Lauren and Ryan Maurer moved to Lauren’s family grain farm near Grenfell, Sask., and started with 800 cultivated acres. In 2010 the couple was named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers, and now Land and Sky Grains seeds 24,000 owned and rented acres. Another 3,000 acres are committed to pasture and […] Read more

To help insulate a farm business in unpredictable times it needs internal strength, but what does that look like?

How fit is your farm?

Financial fluency helps the farm prepare for anything

Reading Time: 5 minutes A growing number of financial advisors are talking a different language today than they were 10 or 15 years ago. Increasingly they see the financial health of the farm in terms that go way beyond the numbers on the balance sheet or income statement. So, what are those fundamentals? “Healthy finances and internal strength in […] Read more


For brothers John, Michael and Paul Sharpe, the key to scalable growth lies in management and in finding ways to build teams that continually expand their skillsets.

Scaling growth at Sharpe Farm

Three Ontario brothers grow their ability to achieve their goals

Reading Time: 7 minutes In today’s business world, few concepts are more important than growth. Most entrepreneurs are constantly looking for ways to expand their business to increase profitability and improve their shot at long-term survival. Of course, farmers and other agribusiness owners are no exception, and for Michael, Paul and John Sharpe — the three brothers behind Sharpe […] Read more

“I’m not sure the message is getting through,” says CFIB’s Corinne Pohlmann. But the stats are brutal… 70 per cent of businesses that don’t plan for succession end up failing.

Sharing succession stories

What can farmers learn from the transition struggles of Canada’s other independent, family-based businesses?

Reading Time: 5 minutes From a business perspective, whether it’s a family business, a family farm business or any other kind, succession planning is not only smart, it’s a condition of survival. According to the Family Business Institute for example, after the leader of a family business exits the picture for whatever reason, 70 per cent of these enterprises […] Read more