GFM Network News


It is as viable as any other type of production,” she says, and for Rachel Hebert, here with husband Tyler and children Avery and William, added benefits come with a secure, branded business and loyalty-based links to their customers.

Strategically grass-fed

In the heart of Alberta feedlot country, this farm secures its future in value-add

Reading Time: 8 minutes The story of Trail’s End Beef reads like the script for a reality television show. First, there’s a female protagonist — city-raised, private-school educated, a show jumper with an MA in history, a book author. She’s tall, lanky, blonde, engaging, a go-getter. Vegetarian. Then, there’s the male lead, also tall, also lanky. Raised on a […] Read more

Step two to value adding: Preparation

What you should know before you open your farm gate to the public

Reading Time: 6 minutes Direct marketing and value adding can be the logical next step on the path to farm expansion. Whether it’s growing strawberries to sell through your own retail outlet, or hosting dinners in the old bank barn, or any of the 1,000 other possibilities, such opportunities can help the farm capitalize on its investments and expand […] Read more


Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek of Fresh Roots Farm.

Five years on: Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek

Country Guide revisits Fresh Roots Farm and its focus on direct-marketing

Reading Time: 7 minutes Back in 2012, Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek’s biggest goal was to quit their off-farm jobs and farm full time. It’s something that Stozek has more or less managed to do, although Schram still works part-time at her parents’ ranch supply store. Schram and Stozek originally established Fresh Roots Farm as a Community Supported Agriculture […] Read more

Selling farm-direct to consumers

Small, direct-market farmers are building better business cases for their farms. But will business smarts be enough?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Allison Fenske pulls a reluctant grey cat off her dining room table to make room for her jars of homemade pea-shoot pesto, pickled beets and spicy slices of jicama turnip. She points to the turnips. “Jonathan says he always tells people you can eat them the way you’d eat an apple, and I was like, […] Read more


The sign at the entrance to the City of Munich’s Gut Karlshof farmyard is well within the limits of the city.

Urban agriculture in Germany

Could Munich’s urban farm be a model for Canada, helping improve quality of life in our cities and narrow the urban-rural divide?

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you have never heard of the now-extinct Schlüter tractor brand, what you need to know is that the company produced some famously unique looking machines during its corporate life. Now, this was the first opportunity I’d ever had to see a working Schlüter tractor, and it came in a city — although still on […] Read more

One way to improve your direct farm marketing efforts is to take part in off-site activities that fit your brand – free samples are also a good idea.

Best practices for direct farm marketing and five things you need to avoid

Once you’ve got your value-added product or service ready to go, the hard part’s done, right?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Not so fast. Chances are you are going to need to work hard to build product awareness. The experts agree you need a plan for how you’re going to let your potential customers know why they’re going to want to do business with you. The marketing plan is a vital part of your business plan […] Read more


Will value adding on the farm work for you?

This first in our four-part series on value adding for farmers starts with the most important question of all

Reading Time: 5 minutes So you think you have a great idea for a value-added business on your farm. Before you even begin to evaluate your idea to see if it will fly, however, it’s a good idea to ask the even more basic question: Is this kind of business venture a good fit for you and your family? […] Read more

Consumers want to connect to their family, their land, and their shared values.

The direct option for marketing ethical beef

At first, direct marketing gave Dylan and Colleen Biggs hope to save the farm. Now it’s driving robust expansion

Reading Time: 7 minutes They told me I would fail,” says Colleen Biggs, remembering the phone call she made soon after taking over sales and marketing on the home ranch. It was 1995, and with no room to cut costs any deeper, she had called the Alberta Ag Ministry to find out more about direct marketing, thinking their way […] Read more