GFM Network News


The ‘winter blues’ are a real thing that can lead to depression with a variety of debilitating symptoms.

Coping with the winter months

“It’s okay not to be okay,” says therapist Deborah Vanberkel. All of us are subject to the winter blahs and cabin fever

Reading Time: 6 minutes As if farming wasn’t already stressful enough, Canadian winters bring additional challenges. Frozen water lines, icy driveways and tractors that won’t start are just a few of the many physical challenges that farmers must contend with during our harsh winters. On top of that, when the short days of winter arrive, some of us will […] Read more

Once you realize you’re procrastinating, the solution is to ask yourself what the next step would be and act on it.

Promises to yourself

When the pressure is on, farmers get amazing things done. Now, a new technique called WOOP can help you score when the pressure is off as well

Reading Time: 5 minutes Farmers are good at getting things done under pressure. When the crop needs to get in the ground or the hay has to be baled before the rain, farmers follow through. But when there’s no deadline, farmers can fall prey to procrastination just like everybody else, says Carleton University professor Dr. Tim Pychyl, who also […] Read more


A lack of communication can be a serious barrier in how to transition farms from one generation to the next.

Continuous communication

There are three simple steps to establish a family business code of conduct

Reading Time: 4 minutes There is a change in how families communicate today. I see the evidence in my daily work. You probably see it around the farm tables, in the barn, or with your accountant. Different discussions are happening now. Discussions are being driven by different players — sons-in-law, spouses, children — people coming into a farm family […] Read more

As stress levels spiral out of control and the rational front cortex of the brain shuts down, it’s more difficult to think and act rationally.

How to argue, intelligently

It's the Old Brain vs. the New Brain

Reading Time: 4 minutes In an increasingly polarized world, arguing seems to be a favourite pastime. Trolls (those delightful online creatures who start quarrels and sow discord for fun) treat the internet like a no-holds-barred Wild West. Others get lost in detailed rants and forget to listen — or forget what they were arguing about in the first place. […] Read more


Feeling burned out may involve more than just the feeling of having too much to do or never getting a break.

Beating burnout

No one is immune, so it’s smart to know if you’re showing these symptoms of burnout. For most of us, it’s the best way to avoid the trap

Reading Time: 5 minutes Do you feel exhausted no matter how much sleep you get? Do you feel mentally drained, or do you lack energy or feel like you’re not really accomplishing anything? All of these symptoms can point to burnout, says Dr. Arla Day, a professor in occupational health at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. If this sounds […] Read more

Guide HR: Sibling rivalry

… and how to prevent it destroying your family business!

Reading Time: 4 minutes A family business can have many positive advantages, including strong cohesion among members and a shared commitment to success. However, family businesses can also sometimes be highly conflictual and chaotic. It seems your strength can become your weakness. Managing a business with family members creates several issues that can have a huge impact on the […] Read more


Meditating on the farm

Work better, sleep better, and bring some calm to your world

Reading Time: 4 minutes With 5,000 acres of crops to seed and harvest, Tamina Miller used to be so anxious, she could only sleep three hours a night. Miller, who farms with her family near Alliance, Alta., was suffering from stress overload. Then seven years ago, Miller started meditating 10 minutes a day, and it changed her life. Before […] Read more

Guide HR: Vacations: Why do you need them?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout have never been so high across all industries, but we see it particularly in the farming business. Even though technology purports to simplify our lives, we’re experiencing more and more over-investment in work. Many farmers tell me they’re exhausted, with no time to catch up. Moreover, everyone wants it […] Read more


Guide HR: Can you develop a thriver’s mindset?

These seven steps will help you thrive, not just survive

Reading Time: 3 minutes We face challenges and disappointments. What is it that determines whether you will overcome these and thrive, or merely survive? Some people have developed a thriver’s mindset. They are masters of challenge and change. They grow during difficulties by leaning into stress, and by relying on special resources. There is good news, however. Science is […] Read more

What’s your cultural intelligence quotient?

Creating an environment that welcomes and is open to other cultures actually helps boost farm performance

Reading Time: 4 minutes Along with the country overall, our rural communities are becoming much more culturally diverse. The evidence is that this is a good thing for agriculture. Research shows that diversity enhances innovation in the workplace. As well, agriculture relies on newcomers to fill the growing demand for workers in the industry. However, diversity in the workplace […] Read more