GFM Network News


Only 49 per cent of the study’s surveyed producers were committed to lifelong learning.

Is the class half full or half empty?

Just under half of Canada’s farmers are committed to lifelong learning. Here’s how it makes a difference

“When the human mind is stretched, it never returns to its original size — similar to most new underpants.” That’s a quote from the International Farm Management Congress in Scotland last year, and it’s one that Farm Management Canada (FMC) executive director Heather Watson uses to stress the enduring impact of continuous lifelong learning. “The […] Read more

Which risks should you take and which should you manage?

AME Management: Risk assessment

Canadian agriculture’s business environment seems even more uncertain than usual. Markets are more volatile than historically. President Trump seems bent on causing new uncertainties in, among other areas, international trade. As this is written, it is not completely certain that Canada will remain in NAFTA, or exactly what shape that agreement will take. Meanwhile, the […] Read more


Social financing

Helping investors offer low-risk loans for farm projects that big lenders won’t take seriously

A new fund is being developed in Ontario to help farmers and small food processors obtain local financing to grow their businesses. “Better access to capital comes up all the time when we ask our members what they would like us to do for them,” says Sally Miller, project manager with Local Food and Farm […] Read more

Importing the LEAN philosophy to your farm

Money Management: At first, it seemed ‘Lean’ might only work on small farms. Now it’s showing how to drive out waste and pump up profit on large farms too

Lean” is a management and organizational system originally developed by car manufacturer Toyota. There wasn’t a farm in sight. But now, after boosting balance sheets for so many other businesses worldwide, some think it’s about time mainstream agriculture got onboard. We will meet Indiana farmer Ben Hartman who has been applying Lean principles to his […] Read more


Business risk management options for Canadian farmers in 2018

Government farm business risk programs are evolving, especially in Quebec

As farmers know well, risks to financial success in any year are many. Weather, crop and livestock health issues, market factors and spiking input costs are perennial threats, and they are all as large or larger than ever in 2018. It’s why business risk management (BRM) programs are so very important. Federally, AgriStability provides support […] Read more

With a key farm investor, Pickard says InfraReady doesn’t need to make a lot of noise. Instead, their focus is on knowing the job, and on execution.

New business

InfraReady’s success, crafted by entrepreneur Mark Pickard, reveals what it takes to grow an idea into a corporate success in today’s ag and food sector

InfraReady Products occupies a modest grey building in Saskatoon’s industrial area, across the street from Maple Leaf Foods. Inside is a business that produces over 250 food products for companies from around the world. On a late August day, a delegation of Mexican business people has stopped at InfraReady for lunch. The menu features food […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: In 2018, we know what really works

Who thinks of financial management when we have those road-trip discussions about which innovations should get how much credit for making today’s agriculture so great?

If it was a scientific technology that was adding as much capability to today’s farms as effective financial management, we’d all be quick to sing it’s praises. We’d also have a pretty clear sense of how much value it was adding to the farm. It’s an interesting exercise to think about it in terms of […] Read more

Farming still remains a lifestyle, but now it's a lifestyle built on a business mindset.

How we market today

Smart young Millennials are bringing an incredible new level of intelligence and energy to commodity marketing on a growing number of Canada’s farms. But not on all

It’s obvious that today’s farmers have upped their financial management game, working with professionals including accountants and lawyers to build on and execute plans that are miles more sophisticated than ever before. But when it comes to marketing, are our farmers as good at roping in top advice? It depends on the farm, of course, […] Read more


With so much volatility in the market, 2018 could be a great year to place standing pricing orders with your elevator.

A strategy for uncertain corn markets

Market fundamentals are excellent, and European sales will surely help. But what will Mr. Trump do next?

Growing corn can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Over the years we have seen amazing genetic improvements from the hybrid corn that we grow in our fields. Then, with planting taking place in late April and early May in Ontario and Quebec, it takes almost no time before the corn is poking through the […] Read more

Industry moves toward allowing producers to share field data.

Practical data

Brands look to break down the barriers that prevent farmers from integrating big data across lines

When telematics and digital data gathering technologies began appearing as options on major brand equipment a decade or so ago, it was a world full of boundaries — between those digital program offerings, that is. Some brands decided early on to go down the path of proprietary systems. Buy a green tractor, pair it with […] Read more