GFM Network News


VRP Farms Ltd. is proud of its farm team made up of people hired both locally and internationally. Staff pictured here, who represent a range of jobs on the farm, come from Canada as well as Mexico, France and the U.K.

Alberta farm builds labour diversity into its core

Is there a better way to find and retain farm employees in Canada’s tough market? Van Raay Paskal Farms figured there must be, with innovative thinking and a readiness to look to non-traditional sources

Reading Time: 9 minutes The sun is barely up but VRP Farms Ltd., a half hour north of Lethbridge, is already humming. Pen riders saddle their horses and barn labourers are shipping, sorting and processing. Feed drivers put their trucks in gear, operators of high hoes and manure trucks shuttle about the site, and truck drivers back up to […] Read more

“We are diversified now but we had even more ventures in the past.” – Ryan Schuyler.

Next level farm management

Business planning practices are driving success on these three farms

Reading Time: 8 minutes There are two halves to farming — production and business. They are correlated, of course. You can’t really succeed in one if you aren’t also up to scratch at the other. That said, we’ve always known that every farmer brings their own mix of management skills and energies to the table, which means every operation […] Read more


“About 80 per cent of farmers fall into two categories,” says one Australian agronomist.

What type of person are you?

Across the business world, personality testing is growing exponentially. Now, it’s coming to the farm

Reading Time: 3 minutes We’ve met them all before. In fact, many Canadian farmers don’t even have to drive down the lane to meet them all. Australian agronomist Cam Nicholson says farmers can be divided into four basic types: Dependables are the reliable types who defend the status quo. Doers work fast but don’t always finish every job. Pioneers […] Read more

COVID-19 and farm workers: How do we manage on the farm?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Keeping up to date with COVID-19 details and recommended protocols is challenging for everyone at this time. CAHRC has created a dedicated web page with the latest information, recommendations, employee management tips, tools (posters, policies) and links to authorities. These details will help you respond to the pandemic and limit the impact and spread of […] Read more


“Why is the son or daughter interested? Is it because they failed elsewhere and the farm is a safe haven, or because it’s Dad’s dream for the next generation to take over?” – Mike Bossy.

Preparing the next generation to take over the farm

How can you be sure they’re ready for the responsibility of running the operation?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Transferring the farm to the next generation is a complicated affair that involves finances, tax implications, legal strategies and good communication among all those affected. With all those balls in the air, the one element that Mom and Dad often think about, but somehow don’t actually get serious about, is whether the next generation is […] Read more

If you’ve had a really good boss, you’ll know why you liked working for them, and why you got more done than you ever did with a bad boss.

From good boss to great

Saskatchewan farm advisor and HR specialist Marianne Hawkins offers practical tips on making the transition

Reading Time: 5 minutes We’ve all heard the adage “people quit bosses, not jobs.” Maybe you have quit a boss yourself. If so, you’ll remember why. Perhaps they were always complaining, or maybe they played favourites, or they treated you as if they thought you were always trying to cheat them. Maybe, too, they would never admit their own […] Read more


It’s been a great advantage to our business already,” says Laura Holtmann. Better employees, better retention… it all adds up.

Crafting a new human resources plan for your farm

Don’t wait any longer. An HR management plan to protect the long-term success of your farm business could be worth working on now. Here’s why

Reading Time: 10 minutes Agriculture is changing. Innovation abounds. More new technology and better automation arrive every year. So it’s worse than ironic that our biggest shortfall is people power. But there it is. Without the right people, can our farms even hope to adopt the technological marvels that are supposed to propel them into the future? Mechanization is […] Read more

Before meeting with an employee to discuss areas of improvement, it’s a good idea to create a plan for the conversation.

How to deliver constructive criticism

Focus on end results to eliminate the emotional sting and to improve performance

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you’re like a lot of people, you’d rather do anything than give negative feedback. Even when it is well-intentioned, criticism isn’t easy to deliver. It’s anxiety-producing both for the giver of the negative feedback and for the receiver. As a result, most of us avoid giving negative feedback, which, of course, fixes nothing. Failing […] Read more


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