GFM Network News


“It takes your whole farm to a new level of professionalism.” – Bonnie den Haan.

Getting involved at the farm level

Farm organizations sustain Canadian agriculture. They’re also where a whole lot of farmers are gaining leadership, management and decision-making skills. Should you join them?

Reading Time: 9 minutes As summer approaches and the pandemic is beginning to ease, it’s time to take stock. What got agriculture through the COVID-19 pandemic? Who kept things from falling off the rails? It turns out farm organizations played an enormous role. You probably know that already. Understandably, these groups invest heavily in making sure their members know […] Read more

“Your time isn’t free; there is a value to it,” says the author of ‘The Farmer’s Office.’

Above board

Pay yourself, and put the numbers in your budgets right from the start. It’s better for you, and for the business too

Reading Time: 5 minutes The thing is, you’re going to eat anyway, and probably wear clothes too. When a farmer doesn’t build a salary into their business model, they’ll still spend money on their personal needs and desires. The money just gets sucked out some other way. Of course a salary can take some getting used to, says Julia […] Read more


“You can’t be a farmer without the drive and passion for what you do every day,” says Katie Keddy. And as the Keddy farm shows, if the passion is there, all sorts of impossible things become possible.

Roots and branches

The popular idea is that farming is a closed shop: If you aren’t born on a farm, you will never farm. But it isn’t quite true

Reading Time: 12 minutes Unconventional stories are becoming conventional in today’s agriculture. In fact, they’re becoming surprisingly conventional. Yes, agriculture across the decades has always found unexpected ways to replenish itself. Still, the barriers to entry have never been as astronomic as they are today for anyone who isn’t among the fortunate few to have been born into long-established, […] Read more

Jen and Brooks White have always focused on improving their management decision-making.

Value in your farming peers

Could a peer group be right for you? Country Guide talks to one Ontario group to find out

Reading Time: 6 minutes When Ontario’s Janet O’Rourke and her husband Kevin took CTEAM — the executive management program designed specifically for Canadian farmers and ranchers — they got their first taste of peer feedback and the benefits it can bring. As part of the program, their class of farmers met four times over two years and got to […] Read more


For Saik, another key learning is ensuring age and gender diversity not only makes the benefits more broadly available, but improves the experience for everyone.

Making it their business

A growing number of Western Canada’s farmers are using peer groups to drive their performance. This one is ready made

Reading Time: 6 minutes It turns out that size can matter. It makes a difference. Farming at different scales doesn’t necessarily make anyone a better or a worse farmer, but it does change the kinds of problems you have to tackle every day, the kinds of decisions you have to make and, of course, the kinds of questions that […] Read more

Digitizing the farm

Digitizing the farm

Digitization got its start with a focus on the agronomic side, but now you’re going to hear more promises of business benefits

Reading Time: 9 minutes Farms that go digital may find a myriad of wins that go way beyond just better agronomic and production planning. All that information can help at the bank too. It can also lead to better business decisions, and it can even help develop new partnership or succession agreements. Of course the agronomic decisions may be […] Read more


“I thought several times we’d be in a wreck. I marvelled at his resilience and mental fortitude.” – Art Lange.

From ‘no’ to ‘yes’

How one farmer and his financial advisor persevered to find a route out of financial disaster

Reading Time: 6 minutes American psychologist B.F. Skinner once said: A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. This is a story about a farmer who never stopped trying, even as his finances went so horribly off track that he risked […] Read more

Paul and Anne Burnham of Burnham Family Farm Market.

Resilient farmers vs. COVID-19: A ‘cover story’ family farm

For the Burnhams, the lesson of COVID-19 is more of a reminder, really. Family is the core of a farm business

Reading Time: 6 minutes This family deserves special attention, so as we conclude this series with Country Guide we wanted to bring you the story of a family that we call our “Cover Story Family.” In our view, they seemed to pretty much get it right over the past year. Getting it right refers to the bold steps our […] Read more


Lauren and Ryan Maurer of Land and Sky Grains.

Managing more, working less

For Lauren and Ryan Maurer, it’s the challenge of 2021. How do they keep from getting personally overwhelmed as the farm gets bigger and more complex?

Reading Time: 7 minutes It was 27 years ago that Lauren and Ryan Maurer moved to Lauren’s family grain farm near Grenfell, Sask., and started with 800 cultivated acres. In 2010 the couple was named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers, and now Land and Sky Grains seeds 24,000 owned and rented acres. Another 3,000 acres are committed to pasture and […] Read more

“We really started to ask ourselves some hard questions,” Amy Cronin says. “We knew we had to change something if we were going to give our children an opportunity to farm.”

Farm planning for what lies ahead

How can a business plan be worth writing when farming is so unpredictable? For Mike and Amy Cronin, that’s the wrong question

Reading Time: 5 minutes If there’s one thing certain about farming, it’s the uncertainty. Prices, weather and other variables are constantly changing and farmers in most sectors are tasked with doing business without being able to predict future outcomes. Research released by Farm Management Canada last year indicated three in every four Canadian farmers are working at mid-level or […] Read more