GFM Network News


Telus buys Farm At Hand

Vancouver farm management software development firm Farm At Hand has become an arm of one of the Big Five in Canada’s communication services sector. Farm At Hand, which makes the cloud-based Crop Planner software suite for farmers and the Farm At Hand Agronomy suite for agronomists, announced Tuesday it has been wholly acquired by Telus […] Read more

Increasing costs related to farming are making your decisions more important and sometimes more difficult as well.

Farm fit

Maybe the phrase “Standardized Financial Benchmarks for Canadian Farm Financial Statements” doesn’t instantly get your blood pumping. But read on. Could this be the tool that lets you control your future?

Like many others, Larry Martin is convinced that Canada’s agriculture is evolving far faster than anyone driving a few miles of country sideroad could guess. The scenery hasn’t changed. At least, it hasn’t been transformed. It’s still a patchwork of crisp farmsteads and open fields, and of barns and bins. But those who live here […] Read more


Women are talking with their families to start practising what they learned, and to take more of a team approach on the farm.

A better agenda

Workshops for farm women are teaching both men and women across the country how to score more with business education

Whether you are male or female, you know you need more business know-how to thrive in today’s ag world. Also regardless of whether you’re male or female, you’re probably actively seeking to increase those skills and your knowledge base. Everyone is upping their game. It’s part of the farmer’s basic job description. Maybe, though, the […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Get more from the next six months

The further we go with the business focus of Country Guide, the more we believe in the ‘summer business’ concept. In fact, it’s the reason for our April issue

Farmers have always been decision-makers. It’s been true throughout the generations. But there are three reasons why it’s different today. The first is clear. It’s because of the number of zeroes in play. Farm decisions have always been make or break, but today’s dollar sums are beyond the imagining of farmers of only a few […] Read more


In a farm family context, the Goal Tree can help parents explain their decisions to the next generation.

The Goal Tree

Big corporations use this decision-making system. Should you too?

We all know what it’s like to sit at the kitchen table with the whole family and to ask yourself, “Should I bring it up now? We’re all together… is this the right time to talk about the next big step for the farm?” Agriculture prides itself on its family foundations. But sometimes, those family […] Read more

“We get paralysed about ‘how.’ We only see obstacles,” says Bossy. “We need to understand obstacles are the raw materials to get to our goals.” – Mike Bossy.

Service please

Are you keeping up with the level of business service your neighbours are getting from their accountants and advisors?

Country Guide compares notes with two insiders in Canada’s booming farm advisory sector. As they tell us, there’s a lot to keep up with. There are two reasons why Canadian farmers are now using more business services than they did five or 10 years ago — and neither of them is going away any time […] Read more


Time to Talk: Creating opportunity

Yes, you can talk your farm to a better bottom line

Since farming is all about productivity, most farmers would rather “do” than talk. The old cliché that time is money is never more true than when seed needs to get into the ground or livestock needs to get to market. And yet, some of the most successful farm businesses in the country are those that […] Read more

More together

Taking a group and multi-generational approach to upgrading their skills is paying off on the Woods farm

More farmers agree that the old saying has it about right: Failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s too easy to get off-course if you haven’t set your intentions and goals to paper. Besides, how do you track your success if you don’t have goals? Having completed a succession plan that lays the groundwork […] Read more


“If you don’t even bother to weigh the pros and cons, you have a big ego,” Davies says. When you hear new ideas, “you should always be picking their brains.”

Me, myself and I

Yes, it takes self-confidence to run a farm. But every farmer also knows a neighbour whose ego is always getting in the way. Could it be you?

The business of farming is a constant battle with weather, prices, weeds, diseases and much more. It means identifying the risks, learning how to measure them, learning about all the tools to counteract them… and maybe it should also involve buying a mirror. Ego by itself is neither good nor bad. It’s simply a Latin […] Read more

Excelling as a team leader, not just a boss, means family members and employees will invest themselves in your goals, Bob Milligan says. “They’ll be working with their head and heart.”

Are you a good boss?

Of course you’re a good leader. You wouldn’t have got this far if you weren’t. But the next opportunities may only go to those with a whole new set of attitudes

Farmers today are being called to be leaders, not just managers,” says Bob Milligan, professor emeritus of applied economics and management at Cornell University. Minnesota-based Milligan is now semi-retired and consults with farmers about their human resources. He says leadership of a farm business today is much more than developing an annual strategy. Farmers today […] Read more