GFM Network News


For Craig (left), David, Ryan and Brian, and for the entire family, the path to succession has focued on merging the lessons of two and a half centuries of family history with the realities of running an efficient, profitable farm operation.

The 10th generation farm

In central Nova Scotia, Cornwallis Farms has been in the same family for nine generations. So how are they planning for David’s arrival, and the start of a whole new chapter?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Thinking back to 2011, David Newcombe told his family that they’d missed a milestone on their farm — and a chance to throw a big party. But another chance will come. “In 2061 we’ll have a 300-year anniversary,” says Newcombe, now 28. That’s a lot of confidence, yet on this farm, you might say they’ve […] Read more

Family Through Succession: Meet the Hunter family

One farm — seven individuals. Each with their own hopes, needs and ambitions. It’s a typically unique Canadian farm, just like yours. And yes, there is a way forward

Reading Time: 6 minutes In launching this series of columns on farm succession, our goal is to offer the readers of Country Guide something unique, something we feel you will be able to relate to and learn from. We want to introduce you to the Hunter family. Of course names will be changed to protect identities of our clients, […] 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

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


Younger generations often don’t know where they stand regarding a farm transition and may feel reluctant to address the issue.

How do you know when the younger generation is ‘ready’?

AME Management: How succession can be successfully planned

Reading Time: 5 minutes A tough question for any family business is how to know when the next generation is equipped to take over management decisions. Like many other things, the answer is often lost in a range of factors, not least the attitudes of the individuals in the family. My experience is that many families have unresolved “stuff” […] Read more

Growing good leaders requires proper mentoring so they can gain the confidence and understanding needed to succeed.

Seeing eye to eye

Part one in a five-part series on successful farm leadership

Reading Time: 3 minutes There are shelves full of books and articles on leadership, yet it can still be a struggle to apply their principles on our farms and to decide who leads and how. Even so, today’s farmers must recognize that fewer than one third of family-owned businesses succeed to the next generation, and we must learn to […] Read more


The power of a letter to get unstuck

Sometimes we have to go back to basics in order to keep healthy change happening on our farms. Lately in my transition seminars I have been encouraging frustrated young farmers to write a letter of intent to their founding parents. People who are stuck with a large degree of anxiety and overwhelm from not knowing[...]
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Coming to the table to talk about farm transition

Farmers often stop me in the hall of conferences to ask deeper questions that are keeping them awake at night. The most common question is, “Elaine, how do we even get people to the table? My parents are refusing to talk, and my grandparents are even more stubborn!” Farm families are stuck because they give[...]
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