GFM Network News


Dealing with problem employees effectively

Instead of firing them, use these tips to coach problem cases into good employees

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s getting tougher to find and keep good employees. Nor, by all indications, is the situation going to improve anytime soon. According to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s newly released Labour Market Forecast for the next decade, farmers can expect an already tight labour market to get even tighter. According to the council’s survey […] 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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


Beating the odds: Gurpreet Singh, Murray Froebe and Tapinder Singh found a way to connect that helps the farm and them too.

New hires

On Canada’s farms, the cost of all the work that can’t be done because there are no workers to do it is spinning out of control

Reading Time: 10 minutes Farmers around Carman, Man., know the small convenience store in the town called the Lite Stop Foods. They know they’ll find what they want there — a few groceries, the local newspaper, a snack to tide them over. It also happens to be where Murray Froebe found two very good employees for his farm. Froebe […] Read more

Workers who aren’t the right fit for their job aren’t happy, and seldom stick around.

‘I didn’t sign up for this!’

The new AgriHR Toolkit from the national ag human resources council can help in heading off conflict before it happens

Reading Time: 4 minutes Many of us have heard it from a disgruntled employee or possibly a family member. Maybe, at some point in our lives, we have even said it ourselves. “I didn’t sign up for this!” Workers who aren’t the right fit for their job aren’t happy, and they seldom stick around. In fact, 80 per cent […] Read more


If you feel your employee turnover is too high, talk to other farmers with similar-sized farms to see how they compare.

Keep employees on the farm

Do you really know if your employees are thinking of quitting?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Hiring and training the right people is costly, and the last thing you need as you head into the busy season is the added stress of losing a key person. The good news is there is a lot you can do as an employer to keep your staff. Even better, it’s not just about higher […] Read more

Hiring: Get it right the first time

Searching for the ideal employee starts well before you place the want ad

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s a number that should wake us up: 80 per cent of employee turnover is the result of hiring the wrong person. That’s according to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), a national non-profit organization focused on addressing human resource issues in the ag sector. Since hiring and training new employees is a costly […] Read more


With a labour shortage in the agricultural industry, retaining employees is critical, says a University of Guelph professor.

Strategies for successful onboarding

There are better ways for getting a new employee off to a great start, and they really do pay

Reading Time: 5 minutes “I wish they’d told me I was expected to make it a priority for my job” is a refrain Michelle Painchaud hears all too often. Employers somehow think that new employees should simply “get it,” say Painchaud, president of a Winnipeg company that specializes in helping farm businesses recruit and retain new employees. Unfortunately, it’s […] Read more

Alec and Shelby Boekhoven farm with Alec’s parents near Appin in southwestern Ontario.

The next farm generation steps up

On this farm, transition planning made real gains once the younger generation learned how to take their role in the process

Reading Time: 11 minutes Alec Boekhoven had turned over at 2 a.m., fretting about ways to reduce feed costs on his family’s 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation. Eventually he drifted off on the couch, which is where his son Evan discovered him and woke him up early. It’s why Alec brought his three-year-old with him to do chores, and it also […] Read more


It can be challenging to explain to some men, and even some women, why diversity on a board is important,” says new canola director Pam Bailey.

A woman’s place at the board table

In different parts of the country, Amanda Jeffs and Pam Bailey are rising to the same challenge, curbing the dominance of men on so many farm boards

Reading Time: 10 minutes Bailey has always bucked the trend. As a child, she was far more interested in Lego and Tonka trucks than dolls, and she had dreams of becoming a mechanic instead of a nurse, teacher or the other jobs that “girls were supposed to do.” At 34, she’s still bucking the trend. Bailey has just become […] Read more

The next generation of farmers has shown more of an interest in human resources issues.

Top HR issues for farmers

Concerns about employment standards and employee performance are driving more farmers into HR training

Reading Time: 6 minutes When human resources consultant Janice Goldsborough first gets a telephone call from a farmer, it’s usually with questions related to employment standards. “They might be asking about whether they have to pay overtime, the rules around statutory holidays, or is their farm even covered under employment standards; those are typically the kind of questions that […] Read more