GFM Network News


Today’s women in agriculture know that they bring more than a plate to the table.

Defining the culture for a successful female in agriculture (Part 2)

“By knowing my own value, I hold my own space.” These wise words from one interviewee can be a mantra for Canada’s farm women

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the last two columns, I have reported on my research into the lives of successful women professionals in farming and agricultural business. Their honest and engaging stories are varied, and they outline how we can create a culture of inclusion. An inclusive culture starts with parenting that offers boys and girls the same opportunities, […] Read more

The best advice one University of Lethbridge professor can give farmers when it comes to accounting for unpredictable weather is to be flexible.

How farmers can adapt to the new weather abnormal

The stable weather patterns of the ’80s and ’90s are gone, so we ask three climate scientists how to farm when the weather is unreliable

Reading Time: 6 minutes For many western Canadian farmers this is the fourth consecutive year with harvest progress seriously stymied by weather issues. Fall rains and snows have resulted in significant loss of crop quality and/or an increased reliance on costly drying of crops in each of those years. For some farmers, inclement weather has even resulted in crops […] Read more


Pundits have been pushing Alberta’s western separation narrative as a solution to the economic doldrums caused by low commodity prices.

Is western separation a real possibility? The cost of Alberta secession

Why is it farmers will tour countless variety plots and study mounds of test data to find a one or two per cent yield advantage, yet are willing to bet the farm on key structural changes based on nothing more than political slogans?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Case in point: Once again western separation has become a hot topic. Many readers will argue this shouldn’t be taken seriously; it’s just coffee-shop talk. But is it? In February an Angus Reid Institute poll showed 50 per cent of Albertans would support secession from Canada. Since then Premier Jason Kenney on multiple occasions has […] Read more

Knowing why you are a farmer is especially important given the changes that are occurring in agriculture today.

Why I farm

The message is essentially your mission statement

Reading Time: 5 minutes The primary role of a farm manager is to find the best solution to the myriad questions and problems encountered each and every day. Farmers regularly fret over questions like: What will the markets do? Should I buy, contract, or sell today? Has a pest reached threshold levels, and is a pesticide application justifiable economically? […] Read more


In walking beside and in learning with your family and team, the curious leader builds resilience and invites growth.

Trailblazing (Part 2)

The curious leader — trailblazing women farmers

Reading Time: 3 minutes When talking leadership for Country Guide, female trailblazers have repeatedly told me it was a real benefit to them that they had a curious parent in their earlier years. They also rank their own curiosity as a key contributor to their success. The value of curiosity also came up repeatedly when I spoke to global […] Read more

Today, food branding often focuses on Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD).

Oh FUD!

This new anti-farm marketing strategy makes even farmers feel like swearing. But here’s a better way to fight back

Reading Time: 6 minutes The food industry used to market food products on the basis of nutrition, quality and value. Companies spoke of the care farmers took to provide the healthiest, safest, best food in the world. Oh, how times have changed. Today, food branding often focuses on Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD). The nutritional label is overshadowed by […] Read more


My 11 steps to making better decisions

What does making a documentary in India have to do with farm management decision-making? As it turns out, a lot

Reading Time: 6 minutes Are the decisions you make based on solid information and knowledge, or are they based on bias and emotions? This is a critical question everyone needs to ask because the basis on which decisions are made ultimately determines the quality of the decisions. In the run up to New Year’s, I realized that 2019 marks […] Read more

The Farmers Business Network revolution

FBN says it is going to revolutionize agriculture, making farmers way more competitive. The service is off to a good start

Reading Time: 6 minutes As farmers, we may be on the verge of a transformational change in the way farmers conduct business and manage their operations all because of the Silicon Valley start-up: “Farmers Business Network.” History is littered with farmer and peasant uprisings. Because of the disorganization of these farmer rebellions and quick suppression by governing elites, most […] Read more


When processors began investing in overseas pineapple production, the writing was on the wall for Hawaii’s island industry.

Is Hawaii the canary in the cornfield?

There is a lesson for us to learn from the island paradise, so get ready for some uncomfortable reading

Reading Time: 7 minutes Since 2012, U.S. grain prices have trended down significantly. Canadian farmers have been somewhat shielded from the price drop by a corresponding slump in the Canadian dollar. However, current prices combined with last year’s weather-related yield and quality losses are resulting in negative margins for many producers. Coffee shop analysts are quick to assign blame […] Read more

It's important to let your mentor see your desire for learning and growth.

Opinion: Find the right mentor

Yes, approaching a mentor takes time and a bit of courage. But the payoffs can be huge

Reading Time: 4 minutes At very least, establishing a relationship with a mentor is an adventure and an opportunity for growth and enlightenment. It can represent a great step forward for your farm. But, as always, it’s best to know how to get what you want. Finding a mentor can come through predictable channels such as having a mentor […] Read more