GFM Network News


Learning to identify, analyze, monitor and control risk will help you achieve your business objectives.

Thinking about risk?

Next Steps: As Seth Godin says, it’s easier to paddle a canoe on a calm lake. Here’s a practical strategy for smoothing out the waves

Reading Time: 7 minutes Agriculture is not for the faint of business heart. If ever there was a job that should come with the warning “avoid if allergic to risk” in bright red letters, it’s farming with its cantankerous and cumbersome risk factors like weather, trade agreements and regulations. Risk has been part of human lives since we crawled […] Read more

Choosing a growth strategy that is aligned with your overall business goals is a good first step to get you started.

You want to grow your farm business. But how?

Next Steps: These tools are a mix of business theory and practical on-farm wisdom, which is why they’ll help you find opportunities

Reading Time: 7 minutes In January’s column we looked at how the process of business strategy planning helps orient you on the goals map. But that still leaves a big question: How do you get there? If you’re an existing farm, this means developing a growth strategy. In 1957, Igor Ansoff, known as the father of strategic management, established […] Read more


“With technology, if you come late to the party on a disruption, once you realize you’ve been disrupted, you can never fix it,” says Wade Barnes.

Our ‘Amazon moment’

As Wade Barnes sees it, farms and farm suppliers can either embrace today’s tech disruption, or get ready to sell to those who will

Reading Time: 5 minutes More ag companies are testing the winds of change. They believe agriculture is on the cusp of another technological revolution, this time fueled by digitization and online connectivity. This revolution will bring risk, and it will bring opportunity. And, for sure, it will bring disruption. It will change what it takes to be successful, both […] Read more

“It’s important to build leadership skills in younger members of the family,” Davies says. “It’s important that offspring step up and be able to explains how a new idea will work.”

Is your farm keeping up with the times?

These eight practices are becoming the standard for smart Canadian farmers. Are you using them all?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Farmers across Canada are doing their very best to integrate business practices into their farming operations. They understand that maximizing the success of a farm business takes more than production excellence. But what business practices should they make standard, and why? Let’s first look at where farmers have started from, based on a study called […] Read more


If you’ve had a really good boss, you’ll know why you liked working for them, and why you got more done than you ever did with a bad boss.

From good boss to great

Saskatchewan farm advisor and HR specialist Marianne Hawkins offers practical tips on making the transition

Reading Time: 5 minutes We’ve all heard the adage “people quit bosses, not jobs.” Maybe you have quit a boss yourself. If so, you’ll remember why. Perhaps they were always complaining, or maybe they played favourites, or they treated you as if they thought you were always trying to cheat them. Maybe, too, they would never admit their own […] Read more

A successful land lease is more than simply a negotiated rental price.

Reaching fair rents for farmland

There are at least eight ways to negotiate land rental rates. But is there a right way?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Back-to-back years of ugly weather mean many farmers will be re-thinking rents this December, especially farmers who still have crop out in the field or who have experienced yield or quality losses, or who’ve been hit with increased harvest and drying costs. If a land lease is up for renewal next year, they’ll be asking […] Read more


The quality and quantity of the data collected saw clear patterns in the behaviour of the most successful farmers.

Seven strategies of successful farmers

Here’s new evidence that business skills increase farm income, no matter what size the farm

Reading Time: 5 minutes With the harvest finally in the bin, farmers across the country are evaluating their farm management practices and they are making management decisions for the future. Business management skills are more important than ever as farmers face huge challenges, including unpredictable weather, volatile markets, labour shortages, succession, and much more. In this environment, a great […] Read more

“You’re going to be noticed,” says new FMC lead Darren Dillenbeck. “It better be for something good.”

Making a name in crop protection

Can FMC build a new company you’ll actually want to do business with?

Reading Time: 7 minutes The insiders at FMC have a plan for getting you to become a loyal customer of a company you’ve barely heard of in an industry dominated by huge names you can’t forget, like BASF, Bayer and Syngenta. Can FMC do it? The big test may be in your mailbox right now. As a company, FMC […] Read more


With plans in hand, Brett Sheffield consults with NextGen’s Clint Sibbick.

Farm skills shape a path for fast-growing business venture

In a growing trend, Brett Sheffield has used his farm business know-how to build one of Western Canada’s largest and fastest-growing tile drainage companies

Reading Time: 8 minutes Something big jumps out at you when you scan the Growth 500 list of Canada’s fastest growing companies for 2019. It’s produced by Canadian Business magazine based on the five-year revenue growth posted by each company, and tucked in amongst all the names of all the non-agricultural, big-city enterprises on the list, is one very […] Read more

WestGen’s board president Eric L. Iversen says giving back to their industry is an important duty any farmer may take on

On board at WestGen

The unique co-op celebrates its 75th anniversary by focusing on its farm board’s “direct and protect” role

Reading Time: 7 minutes WestGen began life in Surrey, B.C in September 1944 under the moniker of the Lower Fraser Valley Artificial Insemination Association, and in many ways it’s the same group that currently operates out of Abbotsford, B.C., despite a litany of name and location changes over the years. Over those years, too, the co-operative-minded group has become […] Read more