GFM Network News


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

Family through succession: Moving succession to a financial discussion

As we look into concrete financial options, a sense of excitement replaces the family’s initial worries

Reading Time: 7 minutes Many of you have been following our journey with the Hunter family. To recap, the Hunters are a fourth-generation farm family with a mixed crop and dairy farm in southwestern Ontario. Mary’s husband Jack passed away two years ago. She is 80 now and continues to live on the farm. Her only child, Bruce, works […] Read more


Talking about your future plans and how you want to grow is important.

Getting inside a retiring farmer’s head

Knowing the questions that your older neighbours are asking themselves as they start winding down their farms could give you the inside track

Reading Time: 9 minutes Mom and Dad just had coffee with their neighbour, talking about how it’s time to start preparing for retirement. Not just thinking about it, but actually doing it. They’re only a fenceline apart, but they’re in very different situations, though, which for farmers in the area who want to expand could make all the difference. […] Read more

There is an urgent need to develop and equip farm advisers with the tools and skills they need to help farm families successfully pass on the farm to the next generation.

Better steps for farm transition

Canadian agriculture is suffering a shortage of family farm advisers with the training and skills to help our farms through succession and transition

Reading Time: 6 minutes It’s expected that three in four Canadian farms will change hands in the next 10 years, many of them from one generation of the family to the next. But where will these farms find help they can trust to navigate their increasingly complex transitions? There aren’t enough trained and experienced farm advisers to go around […] Read more


A professional approach to agriculture pays off

Continuous improvement is important in today’s farming community

Reading Time: 5 minutes We all know we are speaking to (and about) a different generation in today’s farming community. It’s a group that is rapidly growing in education, in financial knowledge and in their eagerness to do more, do it better and leave their legacy in the ag world. The idea at the centre of all of it […] Read more

The next generation of famers is ready to lead and show their skills using technologies that create opportunities for improvement.

A farmer’s appetite for learning

Continuous improvement: The next generation of farmers is ready to lead

Reading Time: 3 minutes Today’s farmers are confident. They are finding their voices and they are finally becoming viewed as the powerhouses they are. Farmers are hungry to learn and they are also hungry to educate others. They are educating politicians, society and industry on the strength of their operations and on the economic contributions they make. Today’s farmers […] Read more


The ‘succession effect’

Setting transition as a goal for your farm can spur growth and profitability, until about three-quarters of the way through

Reading Time: 5 minutes All farmers, no matter where they farm in the world, share certain characteristics. They are all born worriers, and they all have lots to worry about — weather, crop prices, markets. And on top of the day-to-day production issues, and the management challenges involved in running today’s complex farm operations, farmers also have a lot […] Read more

Get over it

When succession talks start, it doesn’t take long for Dad to think everyone just wants to cut him down to size

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s impossible to think about the transition of any business — and perhaps more so the family farm — without talking about the governance structure that is going to allow that farm business to operate, thrive and be sustainable for generations to follow. It’s easy to find. Just look for the fireworks. “The flashpoints usually […] Read more


Parents at some point need to transition from shareholder to creditor,” says Merle Good. That’s a big step, because creditors don’t make the farm’s decisions.

Who controls the purse strings on your farm?

By the time the parents hit their mid-60s, financial decision-making should be in the hands of the next generation. Really!

Reading Time: 5 minutes Two decades ago, U.K. professor Andrew Errington identified three stages of farm transfer: succession, retirement and inheritance. He defined succession as the gradual handing over of managerial control. Retirement was the owner withdrawing from active participation in the business of the farm, and inheritance was how the assets were finally signed over to the successor. […] Read more

The Badiou family is well into the process of transitioning the family farm to the next generation.

Impressing Mom and Dad

There’s more reason than ever for farm kids to prove to Mom and Dad that they’ve got what it takes to be trusted with the farm. Question is: do the kids realize it?

Reading Time: 10 minutes Transitioning the family farm to the next generation is never easy. But how much harder when the parents have their doubts whether their next generation has the skills or the personality to manage the operation? On more and more farms, the wise thing would be for the kids to set out to prove to Mom […] Read more