GFM Network News

Farmer Types on tablet computer with combine harvester in the background

Build a learning farm

This summer, start your lifelong educational strategy

Reading Time: 9 minutes Farmers always have their hands full, so it’s not always easy to think that signing up for a seminar, conference or training course is a wise investment or a good use of time. The business case, however, is pretty clearly in favour of doing just that. “If you look at it purely from an economist’s […] Read more

We’re a family business, not a business family,” Gale says. “We believe in empowering individuals… not just in the workplace but in the family too.” – Wayne Gale

Meet in the boardroom

Change Makers: A two-pronged plan helped Stokes Seeds grow its business, despite strong personalities within the family

Reading Time: 9 minutes Wayne Gale never forgot something he heard at a seminar 20 years ago, just after he had made the decision to enter the family business and work with his father. “When there are only two people running a business,” the speaker said, “it’s an argument.” So what do you do when you have two smart, […] Read more

financial paperwork

Financial analysis and planning

AME Management: These examples show how standardized financial statements can be a powerful source of insight into your operational management

Reading Time: 3 minutes Past columns in this space addressed aspects of strategic planning and financial management. Experience suggests that their close connection is not always recognized by managers. The intent of this column is to show how financial ratios can affect strategic direction and help focus on plans. The Planning Model We follow Harvard strategist, Michael Porter and […] Read more

Farm boards are under intense pressure to put more tools in the hands of their farmer members.

Not your same old board

Today’s farming is increasingly sophisticated. Now its boards are too, which is good news all around

Reading Time: 5 minutes Agricultural boards are under pressure. They can no longer do business the way they always used to, says Rob Black, chief executive officer at the Rural Ontario Institute, a charitable organization in Guelph, Ont. that helps build leadership skills. This time, though, the pressure is coming from their farmers, and especially from the farmers they […] Read more

Your own HR scorecard

Guide Excellence: These tools can help you assess your skills and figure out what strengths you can build on, what skills you need to sharpen, and where you should hire help

Reading Time: 5 minutes There was a time when going up against your neighbours in a plowing match was the best and sometimes really the only way for farmers to assess their skill level. But that was then. Today, farm businesses have grown way more sophisticated and, although they still aren’t always easy to find, skills assessments have improved […] Read more

bank papers and coins

Financing proposals — what to take to the bank

AME Management: Provide the essential information to your lender so they can better understand your business and assess your "ask"

Reading Time: 3 minutes In farming, where access to adequate financing is key to success, lender relationships can’t be ignored. Nor can you neglect your approach to your annual review meeting with your lender. This is an important management function that needs focus. How can we best manage those relationships and your annual review for long-term positive outcomes? “Lending […] Read more