GFM Network News


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: At its core, agriculture is winning

Reading Time: 2 minutes Are farmers more alike, or more different from each other? Hmmm… those might be the only questions you can ask on every farm across the country and get the same sorts of answers. You can slice agriculture in so many ways, i.e. by commodity sectors, by sales volumes, by the farmer’s age, by technology usage… […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: More different, more the same

Reading Time: 2 minutes COVID-19 has brought our differences into the spotlight. For all sorts of reasons, no two farms have been affected in exactly the same way. And yet… Sometimes it’s because the commodities they produce are different. Obviously, anyone with hogs has some different concerns than grain farmers. Sometimes too it’s because of differences in how we […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: What it means to farm in Canada

Reading Time: 2 minutes With coronavirus, we’re finally seeing that there actually is such a thing as a Canadian farmer, not just a Western or an Eastern farmer, or a crop or a livestock farm. Is there something that makes all Canadian farmers more like each other than like American or Australian or French farmers? It’s a question we’ve […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: How do we choose farms to profile?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Country Guide is built on the belief that the real energy driving the evolution of agriculture is the individual farm, making its decisions one decision at a time. It has a drama all its own. I get asked sometimes how we choose the farms that we profile in Country Guide, but I haven’t addressed the […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: A better test of your resiliency

Reading Time: 2 minutes Much of the focus in our March 17, 2020 issue of Country Guide is on new technologies and new farm management strategies. After all, that’s where much of your focus is too. But maybe we’re missing something. It’s like how farmers will often say that when they go to conferences, even though the big name […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Can you see it from here?

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s a question I asked in one of my first columns after Country Guide shifted to its business focus. Can we see where we’re heading? I was worried. We were all worried. What would happen if the good times ended? It’s a question to come back to after reading “10th Generation,” associate editor Lorraine Stevenson’s […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The price of farm innovation

Among the emails that flow into my in-box, I can always expect to hear from farmers who are concerned about our farms becoming too different from one another, to the danger of all

Reading Time: 2 minutes Their concerns are valid. It is getting more and more difficult to frame national policies that are supported across the farm sector. Over the decade that I’ve been at Country Guide, we’ve made a stab two or three times at doing a story on whether there is such a thing as a Canadian farmer. Or […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: A challenge we need to take on

Farmers believe in themselves. Looking at their progress in technology and management, they’ve got every reason to. It’s a great platform for tackling women’s and diversity issues

Reading Time: 2 minutes In my job, it can sometimes feel like every other story arrives on my desk with a “this is the biggest threat to agriculture ever,” or “this is biggest technology ever” kind of breathlessness. It’s easy to see how it happens. After all, any major change to the farm sector quickly rings up billions of […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Those predictions for mid-size farms

The question is no longer, can the mid-size farm survive? Instead, on the brink of the 2020s, it might be better to ask, does any other farm size have such a chance?

Reading Time: 2 minutes You’ll find remarkably few statistics in associate editor Lorraine Stevenson’s article on Canada’s mid-size farms in our January 2020 issue of Country Guide. Nor will you find that we’ve sought out every expert or every farmer with an opinion on the future of the mid-size farm. We wanted to keep the story as clear as […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Finding the next great idea

So often in any business sector, the key is to make a solid decision where to invest your willpower and your self. Decide which way to go, we feel, and we’ll get there for sure

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s a great idea for a winter day. Make a list of at least five and as many as 10 farms that you know reasonably well and that you think have charted a good course, and ask yourself (a) what are the core ideas that they had, and (b), where did those ideas come from. […] Read more