GFM Network News


Thinking ‘tomorrow’

Saskatchewan grain producer Kristjan Hebert looks for COVID-19 insights to make his operation even more productive

Reading Time: 4 minutes While Kristjan Hebert’s working life hasn’t changed drastically through COVID-19, the pandemic has helped refine his ideas on how the grain industry could move forward from here. Mainly, it’s convinced him even more than before that farming is a people business. “I still feel that people are our number one asset,” he says. “If we […] Read more

Pandemic planning: Write it down, add it up

It's the big lesson of 2020. A business plan is practically guaranteed to up your game, make you more money, and keep you happier and healthier. So what are you doing this winter?

Reading Time: 6 minutes The number gap is stark. In fact, it’s hard to think where you’d find one that’s wider: 88 per cent of farmers who have a written business plan say their plan has so many benefits (both to the farm and to themselves as farmers) that it more than pays for itself. Yet only 21 per […] Read more


Meaningful change rarely happens overnight, but there are techniques you can employ to help ensure that the changes you make are the right ones for your farm.

Why you should go slow to go fast

Next Steps: Meaningful change rarely happens overnight, but the Kaizen and “5-Why” techniques can help ensure that the changes we do make are the right ones for our farms

Reading Time: 6 minutes Abraham Lincoln famously said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” In short, if you want to do a job right and do it well, you first need to spend adequate time preparing yourself, the tools and the process. How does this translate […] Read more

Report links business management, mental health of farmers

Farm women, young farmers report higher levels of stress, difficulties coping

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ottawa — A new report from Farm Management Canada (FMC) calls for action after determining 75 per cent of Canadian farmers reported being moderately to highly stressed about unpredictable interference, workload pressure and financial pressures. But how a farmer plans his or her business — and associated risks — can help lower that statistic. The […] Read more


Wade Bleier runs three companies from his farm in Saskatchewan.

Summer days

On more farms like Wade Bleier’s, summer can’t just be about crops and livestock anymore. Those days had vanished even before COVID-19 arrived. Now the challenge is even greater. How will they use this summer to take back control?

Reading Time: 13 minutes All Canadians pay close attention to the calendar and clock, but no one more than the Canadian farmer, whose livelihood has always depended on the tactical use of limited hours, days and months. Now comes summer 2020, and on top of all the uncertainties of weather, pests and markets, there’s no end to the COVID-19 […] Read more

Tara Sawyer, centre, with husband Matt, right, and from left, Quin, Emmett and Cassidy.

At the edge

Five strategies that the new generation of farmers are embracing to take their farm businesses to the next level

Reading Time: 6 minutes “A wise person once said to me ‘if you don’t stretch, you don’t grow.’” That’s straight from Jake Ayre, the chair of Manitoba Young Farmers who crops 1,900 acres north of Minto together with his parents Heather and Andrew, sister Caitlin and an employee. It’s become his mantra, and a mission. “Be open-minded and try […] Read more


Cervus to expand Saskatchewan reach

Deere chain announces Nipawin shop, Farm At Hand tie-in

Reading Time: 2 minutes Deere farm equipment dealer chain Cervus Equipment is set to expand its reach in northeastern Saskatchewan next month. Calgary-based Cervus — which operates 21 Deere dealerships in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia along with 42 other machinery dealerships in Canada, Australia and New Zealand — announced Thursday it plans to have a new dealership open […] Read more

Choosing a growth strategy that is aligned with your overall business goals is a good first step to get you started.

You want to grow your farm business. But how?

Next Steps: These tools are a mix of business theory and practical on-farm wisdom, which is why they’ll help you find opportunities

Reading Time: 7 minutes In January’s column we looked at how the process of business strategy planning helps orient you on the goals map. But that still leaves a big question: How do you get there? If you’re an existing farm, this means developing a growth strategy. In 1957, Igor Ansoff, known as the father of strategic management, established […] Read more


Finding people you trust in order to build good working relationships doesn’t happen overnight, so start building your team as soon as possible.

Want a super farm business? Build your ‘superteam’

Top tips from the frontline on creating and optimizing a business management team for your farm

Reading Time: 6 minutes The words can be heard all across the country. “Our accountant, lawyer and bank manager are key players in decision-making on our farm,” says Luanne Lynn, who is currently past president of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program (she and husband Philip were Outstanding Young Farmers in 2005). The Lynns have a cash crop operation in […] Read more

Terry and father Harry Aberhart find their advisory team widens their management options.

A farm advisory team that works — for you

Advisors can help take the emotion out of business decisions

Reading Time: 8 minutes A few years ago, Harvey Aberhart came to a family farm meeting looking stressed out. Like many farmers across the country, he wanted the family to find their way to a healthy, forward-looking succession plan, but the night before the meeting, he had been kept up all through the early hours by thoughts of a […] Read more