GFM Network News


“Good retention starts with good recruiting. The challenge is finding people who are willing to be there for the right reasons…”

Tapping into a new source of farm workers

Traditional labour supplies are running short. Why that may not be a bad thing

With farms getting bigger and with rural populations getting smaller, it’s no surprise you’re having trouble finding local employees with the farm skills and the experience you want. That doesn’t mean you have no options, however. The solution may be to look beyond candidates with ag experience and to begin to look in other sectors […] 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

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

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

Performance management pays off, says a University of Guelph associate professor. “Research shows it can improve employee performance, productivity and safety.”

The annual performance review

Does it really make sense to put employees and team members through a performance appraisal?

You’re busy, of course, so finding an excuse for not doing annual performance evaluations with employees and team members looks so very tempting. Would it really be so bad if you pushed the reviews onto the back burner? The answer is an unequivocal “yes,” according to Dr. Sara Mann, an associate professor specializing in human […] Read more


When it comes to deciding who to hire or fire, skill is much less important than attitude.

Time to talk: Building teamwork

In this pair of articles, we find all this talk about communication is more than a trend gone wild. It really does pay

When bad farm managers have bad farm teams, they blame bad employees. And sometimes it seems they have a point. I mean, who hasn’t had an employee who never gets down to work, who makes endless mistakes and who constantly gripes with other staff? But the trouble is, ineffective or inexperienced farm managers can’t see […] 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?

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


A detailed list of requirements will help ensure that you hire the right person for the job.

Job descriptions

Two farm specialists build the case to prove why job descriptions will save you time, money and aggravation

Are job descriptions worth the effort? Simply put, the experts say the answer is a clear yes. Or maybe we should make that YES! Job descriptions are foundational for good management, says Jade Reeve, manager of agri-jobs at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) in Ottawa. Their usefulness goes beyond recruitment, she adds. “They […] Read more

Hiring: Get it right the first time

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

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

“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

Feeling burned out may involve more than just the feeling of having too much to do or never getting a break.

Beating burnout

No one is immune, so it’s smart to know if you’re showing these symptoms of burnout. For most of us, it’s the best way to avoid the trap

Do you feel exhausted no matter how much sleep you get? Do you feel mentally drained, or do you lack energy or feel like you’re not really accomplishing anything? All of these symptoms can point to burnout, says Dr. Arla Day, a professor in occupational health at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. If this sounds […] Read more