GFM Network News


Adam and Meghan Gregory were succeeding on the farm and continuously improving its performance. Then they asked, is that good enough?

The next big step: mid-career mentorship

You’re already smart and dedicated, but is that really enough for today’s challenges?

Reading Time: 6 minutes When Adam Gregory signed up for LeaderShift’s year-long national farm leadership program, he didn’t anticipate waking up at the crack of dawn to do group yoga. “Some people were way out of their comfort zone,” Gregory laughs. “I’m open to trying anything, so it wasn’t a hurdle for me.” There’s more to LeaderShift’s program than […] Read more

Jen and Brooks White have always focused on improving their management decision-making.

Value in your farming peers

Could a peer group be right for you? Country Guide talks to one Ontario group to find out

Reading Time: 6 minutes When Ontario’s Janet O’Rourke and her husband Kevin took CTEAM — the executive management program designed specifically for Canadian farmers and ranchers — they got their first taste of peer feedback and the benefits it can bring. As part of the program, their class of farmers met four times over two years and got to […] Read more


Lauren and Ryan Maurer of Land and Sky Grains.

Managing more, working less

For Lauren and Ryan Maurer, it’s the challenge of 2021. How do they keep from getting personally overwhelmed as the farm gets bigger and more complex?

Reading Time: 7 minutes It was 27 years ago that Lauren and Ryan Maurer moved to Lauren’s family grain farm near Grenfell, Sask., and started with 800 cultivated acres. In 2010 the couple was named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers, and now Land and Sky Grains seeds 24,000 owned and rented acres. Another 3,000 acres are committed to pasture and […] Read more

“We really started to ask ourselves some hard questions,” Amy Cronin says. “We knew we had to change something if we were going to give our children an opportunity to farm.”

Farm planning for what lies ahead

How can a business plan be worth writing when farming is so unpredictable? For Mike and Amy Cronin, that’s the wrong question

Reading Time: 5 minutes If there’s one thing certain about farming, it’s the uncertainty. Prices, weather and other variables are constantly changing and farmers in most sectors are tasked with doing business without being able to predict future outcomes. Research released by Farm Management Canada last year indicated three in every four Canadian farmers are working at mid-level or […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: In control, and ready to take on 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes We’ve all heard it. There’s that proverb that says farmers make their worst decisions in good times. Well, after the last decade, it’s pretty clear that it just isn’t true. When we think about innovation in farming, it’s no surprise that we all rush to point at farm machinery, smart phones, new genetics, and new […] Read more

Patricia Bishop and Josh Oulton are building a business plan to bring linen flax back to their farm, and to the country.

From flax in the field to shirt sleeves

Meet a Nuffield Canada farmer scholar with a vision for a value chain for Canadian-grown linen

Reading Time: 10 minutes [UPDATED: Jan. 11, 2021] Josh Oulton and his partner Patricia Bishop have grown flax on their Nova Scotia farm for nearly a decade, but not with an eye to the market that most Canadian flax growers are after. Instead, Oulton and Bishop grow varieties of flax that produce the plant-based fibre used to make linen, […] Read more


“We are diversified now but we had even more ventures in the past.” – Ryan Schuyler.

Next level farm management

Business planning practices are driving success on these three farms

Reading Time: 8 minutes There are two halves to farming — production and business. They are correlated, of course. You can’t really succeed in one if you aren’t also up to scratch at the other. That said, we’ve always known that every farmer brings their own mix of management skills and energies to the table, which means every operation […] Read more

Farmer in field

Farm fit

Maybe the phrase “Standardized Financial Benchmarks for Canadian Farm Financial Statements” doesn’t instantly get your blood pumping. But read on. Could this be the tool that lets you control your future?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Like many others, Larry Martin is convinced that Canada’s agriculture is evolving far faster than anyone driving a few miles of country sideroad could guess. The scenery hasn’t changed. At least, it hasn’t been transformed. It’s still a patchwork of crisp farmsteads and open fields, and of barns and bins. But those who live here […] 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?

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Businesses can avoid becoming hamstrung by finding out what customers want instead of focusing on selling what they have.

Outward-looking business

AME Management: It takes discipline, but an outward focus pays off in more business

Reading Time: 4 minutes Have you ever been disappointed that people who work for you don’t take initiative to do what you want done? You don’t feel comfortable getting away for a week because things won’t get done the way they are supposed to? You and the generation ahead of or behind you have ongoing tension that stands in […] Read more