GFM Network News


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


There’s a “million-dollar farm question” in Canadian agriculture as farm parents look to transfer a financially viable farm business to the next generation.

Calculating a fairer, smarter farm inheritance: Part One

Can an estate plan be fair both to the family and to the farm business? Merle Good and Greg Gartner see a way forward

Reading Time: 6 minutes I’m supposed to ask the questions, but Merle Good, Alberta farm business advisor and nationally followed succession expert shoots a question my way before I get a chance. “Suppose you could open all the wills of today’s farmers,” he says. “How many are leaving land to off-farm children?” I expect the number is big — […] Read more

Developing a CEO mindset and the skills needed to serve that mindset are essential if Canadian farms are to succeed.

Become a farm CEO: Why make the shift?

Executive-level behaviour is good for both the farm and farmer

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s time that farmers develop beyond being the world-class farm managers they are today. That’s the vibe I’m getting from clients, program participants and industry professionals. The conversation around what abilities Canadian farmers need to develop, and how they should acquire them, is already underway. If a farmer is successfully operating his or her business, […] Read more


“Better is better before bigger is better,” says agricultural economics professor David Kohl. In other words, focus on operational efficiency before expansion.

Boost the survival odds of your farm

Farm finance expert David Kohl reflects on what farms — both small and large — must do for success in the 2020s and beyond

Reading Time: 6 minutes We all know the basics of health: Get exercise, watch our weight, don’t smoke. But for better health success over the long term, we know we can go further. We should get regular checkups, eat more vegetables, nurture our personal relationships, maintain good sleeping habits and more. Similarly, we know the basics of farm business […] Read more

Family Through Succession: Meet the Hunter family

One farm — seven individuals. Each with their own hopes, needs and ambitions. It’s a typically unique Canadian farm, just like yours. And yes, there is a way forward

Reading Time: 6 minutes In launching this series of columns on farm succession, our goal is to offer the readers of Country Guide something unique, something we feel you will be able to relate to and learn from. We want to introduce you to the Hunter family. Of course names will be changed to protect identities of our clients, […] Read more


The new age of agriculture will require a combined and co-ordinated effort from both the public and private sectors.

Preparing the future of Canadian agriculture

Canada’s share of global agriculture tech investment was just 3.4 per cent last year

Reading Time: 3 minutes Canada’s economic prospects have long been underpinned by trade. No industry better illustrates this than agriculture, where more than 90 percent of our producers depend on selling their goods to the world. In recent years, exports in agriculture and agri-food have grown dramatically, generating millions more in annual sales for producers and billions more to […] Read more

Farm kids often get plenty of experience on the production side of the business, but aren’t taught about budgeting or financial statements.

How to make your kids more financially literate

Don’t overlook how powerful it is to teach your children about managing money on the farm

Reading Time: 4 minutes Financial literacy is essential for everyone, but it is particularly critical for farmers. Defined as “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being,” it’s a must in modern agriculture. Parents agree. They want their children to be financially independent. Yet Stephanie Szusz, who works in […] Read more


Since the WGRF’s inception in 1981, it has helped develop hundreds of wheat and barley varieties.

Take a new look at the Western Grain Research Foundation

The organization is ready to embark on the next 40 years of funding vital crop and agronomic research to benefit western Canadian growers

Reading Time: 5 minutes When you do a job well for a long time, it can sometimes go unnoticed — people simply get used it. That’s why every once in a while it’s good to take a step back and see things with fresh eyes. Agricultural research, for instance — just gets done. New varieties come out regularly, new […] Read more

A variety of factors are combining to make the competition for acres very real.

The ever-changing landscape of farmland rentals

The risks are growing. So is the pressure to lease more land. What does a smart rental strategy look like as we head into 2020?

Reading Time: 8 minutes There’s a small panic in the air, the muted response you might expect from farmers who hold their cards close and practise a stoic realism that helps them navigate the risks they can’t control: weather, grain prices, the impact that a single Chinese tech executive might have on an important market. Most of these are […] Read more