GFM Network News


Dealing with problem employees effectively

Instead of firing them, use these tips to coach problem cases into good employees

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s getting tougher to find and keep good employees. Nor, by all indications, is the situation going to improve anytime soon. According to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s newly released Labour Market Forecast for the next decade, farmers can expect an already tight labour market to get even tighter. According to the council’s survey […] Read more

Workers who aren’t the right fit for their job aren’t happy, and seldom stick around.

‘I didn’t sign up for this!’

The new AgriHR Toolkit from the national ag human resources council can help in heading off conflict before it happens

Reading Time: 4 minutes Many of us have heard it from a disgruntled employee or possibly a family member. Maybe, at some point in our lives, we have even said it ourselves. “I didn’t sign up for this!” Workers who aren’t the right fit for their job aren’t happy, and they seldom stick around. In fact, 80 per cent […] Read more


Employees are looking for a role, not just a job, says Curwen, in cap, front row, right.

Grow your people

On a global tour, Nuffield Scholar Reece Curwen finds the top farms always treat employees as an investment, not a cost

Reading Time: 5 minutes At 32, Reece Curwen farms with his family 500 kilometres south of Perth in Western Australia, where the farm produces canola, barley, wheat and sheep on 8,000 hectares. Yet although the farm is so geographically distant from Canada, when it comes to the people management side of farming, it might be right next door. As […] Read more

A learning plan in action

Nicole Stratychuk’s sudden need for her own learning plan offers insights into how an HR pro would develop management skills on your farm

Reading Time: 5 minutes When Nicole Stratychuk moved to Alberta she didn’t think she would end up working in agriculture, something she knew nothing about. With two university degrees in kinesiology and human resources (HR), she had been working in various HR roles for large organizations such as Health Canada and a casino resort in Edmonton. In fact, when […] Read more


“HR tends to get put on the back burner,” says Jennifer Doelman.

Get professional with your HR

The Doelman family is finding their HR plan is an essential pillar for their farm’s success. You may too

Reading Time: 5 minutes With the current shortage of good labour in the ag industry, putting more effort into HR planning can help you keep your staff, thereby saving the cost and aggravation of recruiting and training new people — if you can find them. Hiring new staff is worse than dating, says Jennifer Doelman, who farms with her […] Read more

A detailed list of requirements will help ensure that you hire the right person for the job.

Job descriptions

Two farm specialists build the case to prove why job descriptions will save you time, money and aggravation

Reading Time: 4 minutes Are job descriptions worth the effort? Simply put, the experts say the answer is a clear yes. Or maybe we should make that YES! Job descriptions are foundational for good management, says Jade Reeve, manager of agri-jobs at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) in Ottawa. Their usefulness goes beyond recruitment, she adds. “They […] Read more


Hiring: Get it right the first time

Searching for the ideal employee starts well before you place the want ad

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s a number that should wake us up: 80 per cent of employee turnover is the result of hiring the wrong person. That’s according to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), a national non-profit organization focused on addressing human resource issues in the ag sector. Since hiring and training new employees is a costly […] Read more

The next generation of farmers has shown more of an interest in human resources issues.

Top HR issues for farmers

Concerns about employment standards and employee performance are driving more farmers into HR training

Reading Time: 6 minutes When human resources consultant Janice Goldsborough first gets a telephone call from a farmer, it’s usually with questions related to employment standards. “They might be asking about whether they have to pay overtime, the rules around statutory holidays, or is their farm even covered under employment standards; those are typically the kind of questions that […] Read more


Eight steps for your HR strategy

The labour gap in Canadian agriculture continues to widen and is expected to double by 2025. That’s prompting more farm businesses to focus on recruiting and retaining employees. At the same time, with employment standards constantly changing, and with considerations such as health and safety and workers compensation to think about, some farms are beginning[...]
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