GFM Network News



Are you willing to give up the comfortable anonymity of commodity sales? If yes, and if you do it well, the market may have room for you. But pay close attention to those costs.

Beyond commodity agriculture: Business decisions for your farm

AME Management: Whatever approach you take, the aim should be to improve your bottom line

When commodity prices are on their way to finding a bottom, many producers look to change their business model away from commodity crop and livestock production. While this is not a new phenomenon, it is becoming a more important strategy as the traditional commodity strategy — i.e. to increase scale — becomes harder to execute. […] Read more


As a producer, are you getting enough feedback from the consumers of your grains? If not, you need to ask why.

Time to take control

When it comes to the future of Canada’s grains sector, no one is steering the ship. We can’t let that continue

In September, I challenged farmers to think about how Canada’s agricultural production should be branded. I questioned how consumers and foreign buyers view the commodities we produce. And most importantly, I wanted every farmer to ask themselves if production practices they use add or diminish that brand. That column upset some farmers. Readers felt my […] Read more

Farming still remains a lifestyle, but now it's a lifestyle built on a business mindset.

How we market today

Smart young Millennials are bringing an incredible new level of intelligence and energy to commodity marketing on a growing number of Canada’s farms. But not on all

It’s obvious that today’s farmers have upped their financial management game, working with professionals including accountants and lawyers to build on and execute plans that are miles more sophisticated than ever before. But when it comes to marketing, are our farmers as good at roping in top advice? It depends on the farm, of course, […] Read more


When farmers deviate from their plan, it can often end badly, says one professor of agricultural economics.

Benchmark your marketing

How good are you at marketing? Or maybe more to the point, how bad are you?

Does it necessarily mean you’re poor at marketing if you aren’t actively engaged in daily trading? What if you have never done a paper trade, or if you haven’t ever locked in a private contract with a processer? Does that mean you’re a bad farmer? Obviously, the answer is no. It doesn’t have to mean […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The way we think about markets

As new crops of young farmers help fill their families’ bins this year, will it be agronomic skill that decides if they succeed, or the farm’s asset strength? Or will it be marketing?

All of us complain about our memories, I’m told. None of us complain about our common sense. At least, I think that’s how it goes. We aren’t always as humble as experience tells us we should be about our mental judgments or our mental aptitudes, and for good reason. We can sound awfully good when […] Read more


For farmers, social media is more than just a platform to “agvocate.

Why you should be on social media

... it isn’t the reason you think

Technology is ubiquitous on today’s farms, and your social life is no exception. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow farmers to share their stories, engage and educate consumers, and connect with and learn from others in their industry around the world. While some current research does point to the pitfalls of social […] Read more

You have to learn about customers — what they want — and figure out what success will look like.” – Gary Morton.

Got what it takes?

Cutting out the ‘middleman’ sounds like an obvious way to increase farm profitability. And sometimes, that’s exactly how it works out

Maybe there really isn’t anything new under the sun. For generations, farmers have looked at the yawning gap between what they get paid for their crops and livestock versus what consumers pay in the grocery store, and thought there’s got to be a way to capture more of the consumer dollar for the farm. No […] Read more



When it comes to social media, don’t overthink it. “Done is better than perfect. Just get started.”

Step three to value adding: Social media

Social media is a powerful tool to attract customers, but mastering it isn’t as easy as it looks

There’s no doubt that social media platforms are making it easier than ever to stay in touch with existing customers and to expand your market beyond your current reach. But social media is always evolving, and businesses need to be nimble to use these new tools successfully. The electronic landscape is shifting so fast that […] Read more