GFM Network News


“Good retention starts with good recruiting. The challenge is finding people who are willing to be there for the right reasons…”

Tapping into a new source of farm workers

Traditional labour supplies are running short. Why that may not be a bad thing

Reading Time: 5 minutes With farms getting bigger and with rural populations getting smaller, it’s no surprise you’re having trouble finding local employees with the farm skills and the experience you want. That doesn’t mean you have no options, however. The solution may be to look beyond candidates with ag experience and to begin to look in other sectors […] Read more

Does Canada have enough young farmers?

The country has lost 70 per cent of the farmers in its under-35 category in just 25 years

Reading Time: 17 minutes There are encouraging signs all across the country. At the University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture convocation this spring, 58 graduates took home their two-year diplomas. At Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in Ontario, 267 crossed the stage in late May, and at Olds College in Alberta, another 81 diplomas were handed out […] Read more


Alberta extends deadline again for farm trucker training

Reading Time: 2 minutes Alberta farmers who want the Class 1 license needed to drive commercial-scale tractor trailers but haven’t yet met the new training requirements can now apply for another extension to do so. The provincial transportation department on Friday announced further extensions are now available for farmers and farm workers seeking Class 1 licenses and for school […] Read more

The job vacancy rate in agriculture is now pegged at 5.4 per cent, much higher than the national average at just under 2.9 per cent.

More lost sales forecast in new labour market forecast study released June 25

Nearly half of Canada's farmers with jobs unfilled have delayed or cancelled farm business expansion plans

Reading Time: 2 minutes Workforce challenges are having a worsening effect on farmers’ ability to meet their production and marketing goals and contribute to the economy according to new data published this week. Farms across the industry are poised for lost sales worth $2.9 billion in potential sales due to unfilled job vacancies, up from a previous forecast of […] Read more


Who’s too old?

Farm families know that age diversity makes them stronger. But did you know that a spread of ages in your employees adds strength too?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Diversity in the workforce is a good thing, but diversity doesn’t mean just diversity of gender or ethnicity. It also means age diversity. Increasingly, older workers aren’t retiring gracefully to play golf and potter in the garden. Instead, they are making a conscious decision to change careers later in life, when the experience and skills […] Read more

Is agriculture ageist?

We tend to respect our elders more in agriculture,” says Tracy Biernacki-Dusza. Even so, ageism is one of the last and most common areas of bias

Reading Time: 3 minutes More than four in 10 Canadians feel that ageism is the most tolerated form of social prejudice, according to the Revera Report on Ageism: Independence and Choice as We Age, released in May 2016 by Revera Inc. and the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research. This is more than double the number who rated racism or […] Read more


New Alberta labour standards for paid farm workers tabled

Reading Time: 3 minutes Waged farm workers in Alberta will be allowed to unionize and get new rules governing vacation pay and youth employment, under a provincial labour bill tabled Wednesday. The new rules are tucked into Bill 17, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, which went through first reading Wednesday and, if passed, would take effect Jan. 1, […] Read more

Proposed labour rules for Alberta farms go public

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Alberta public will get about a month to speak its mind on proposed changes to provincial labour laws, with the goal of applying those changes to farms and ranches. The province on Monday released a pair of reports from technical working groups (TWGs) reviewing farm and ranch operations’ status under the Employment Standards Code […] Read more


California first state to promise overtime to farmworkers

Reading Time: 1 minute Sacramento | Reuters — California will become the first U.S. state to require farmers to pay overtime to field workers and fruit pickers under a bill signed Monday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. The bill would phase in overtime pay for farmworkers from 2019 to 2022. In an industry where a workweek during the harvest […] Read more

I married an engineer but it turns out he’s a farmer,” says Kristi Burns, here with Dustin. Happily, when his parents had set up the family farm, it was with exactly such an eventuality in mind.

A farm for all

For the Burns family, the goal has always been a farm with a place for the entire family. Now it’s the reality too

Reading Time: 5 minutes John Burns had spent eight years getting a PhD in chemistry and two years working at the Department of National Defence in Kingston, Ont., but his Saskatchewan farm roots began to beckon and he jumped at the chance to get out of the lab and do some off-campus teaching, which led him to the area […] Read more