GFM Network News


David and Paul Waldner of Clear Lake Hutterite Colony.

Alberta Hutterite colony bottles water to diversify

Clear Lake Colony is challenging the definition of “value-added” with bottled water production

Across the West, Hutterite colonies are successfully diversifying into other business ventures, but this is a unique story at the very rural Clear Lake Hutterite Colony, an hour and a half southeast of Calgary. Clear Lake, it turns out, is home to a natural spring well — and to a group of very forward-thinking farmers, […] Read more



The job vacancy rate in agriculture is now pegged at 5.4 per cent, much higher than the national average at just under 2.9 per cent.

More lost sales forecast in new labour market forecast study released June 25

Nearly half of Canada's farmers with jobs unfilled have delayed or cancelled farm business expansion plans

Workforce challenges are having a worsening effect on farmers’ ability to meet their production and marketing goals and contribute to the economy according to new data published this week. Farms across the industry are poised for lost sales worth $2.9 billion in potential sales due to unfilled job vacancies, up from a previous forecast of […] Read more

Versatile just introduced the 170- to 210-horsepower Nemesis tractor line. It will also be sold under the Kubota brand. Production is set to begin this summer.

One line, two brands?

Kubota and Versatile partner up to build a tractor

It’s been no secret that Winnipeg-based Versatile has had a new tractor line in development for the past several years. But maybe there’s more you need to know. Versatile has long been thought of as a producer of high-horsepower tractors. Historically, though, it has had a presence in a lower horsepower class with production of […] Read more


Deciding the culture you want for your business and then creating is a difficult process.

Creating the outward-looking business

AME management: Do you know the type of culture you want for your business?

Last month’s column addressed outward-looking versus inward-looking businesses. The idea sensitized me to watch other organizations (and to check myself!) to find evidence of one or the other. Often, the evidence is mixed. Three examples A hotel where we have hosted CTEAM for several years had the same three young guys providing support for the […] Read more

Farmers who think leasing equipment will allow them a faster tax write-off may find the opposite to be true.

Lease or buy?

Accountant dispels the tax advantage myth of leasing

It’s been offered as accepted fact in more than a few coffee shop conversations that leasing equipment offers significant tax advantages to farmers. Talk to the sales staff at dealerships and you’ll likely hear them make the same claim. Even so, Lance Stockbrugger, a chartered accountant and cash crop producer from Saskatchewan, says the idea […] Read more


The Farmers Business Network revolution

FBN says it is going to revolutionize agriculture, making farmers way more competitive. The service is off to a good start

As farmers, we may be on the verge of a transformational change in the way farmers conduct business and manage their operations all because of the Silicon Valley start-up: “Farmers Business Network.” History is littered with farmer and peasant uprisings. Because of the disorganization of these farmer rebellions and quick suppression by governing elites, most […] Read more

Organic food and beverage markets totalled $4.4 billion, up from $2.8 billion in 2012, COTA estimates. Exports for 2017 were predicted to reach $607 million.

Room to grow organic

Farmers are upping their organic output, but they’re still a long way from meeting the demand of the two-thirds of Canadians who sometimes or always shop for organic

Led by Millennial buyers, demand for organic food across Canada is growing robustly. Demand is surging ahead of domestic production, which has been growing but not nearly fast enough to keep up. “Demand is definitely outpacing supply,” says Jill Guerra, research and special projects co-ordinator for Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA). “We need more producers […] Read more


It is important that the second generation understands that farming is an equity game not a cash game.

Family farms: Recognition + Appreciation > Return on Assets

AME Management: Keep track of good old-fashioned sweat equity

Income is important in a multi-generational farm business, but sometimes the key that actually unlocks a farm’s prosperity has more to do with long-term clarity and its members’ sense of opportunity. Therefore, if you are the second generation (SG), you must ask yourself: “Do I have a career path to ownership? Or am I just […] Read more

A successful partnership is one that shares in the achievements of whatever the individuals are jointly involved in.

Leader effectiveness meets the leader

Good leadership points you in the direction of building a successful business

I want to share what I’m noticing in small business these days in terms of leadership, and what I say to those who ask about leader effectiveness. First, I also want to say that I do not share client stories even with the names redacted. Agriculture is just too small, and my work with leaders […] Read more