GFM Network News


Red Shed Malting adds value to the farm’s barley by producing premium-quality base malts, plus lightly kilned and roasted specialty malts made from them.

Why marketing is the test, no matter how great your idea

“It’s a mind-shift,” says value-add pro Gary Morton. Success takes groundwork, strategic planning… and money

Reading Time: 3 minutes Branding that identifies you as the producer and connects buyers to your farm product is a key strategy for adding value to farm products, says Halifax-based business consultant Gary Morton with Morton Horticultural Associates. “You are kind of in a sea of sameness,” says Morton, who has worked with all types of farms, not only […] Read more

“For people small and starting out, you have to have relationships,” Ray Price says. “Whether it’s family, friends, bankers or workers… you have to find places to have relationships.”

The look of leadership

Known for Sunterra’s bold, future-looking moves, what traits does Ray Price see in the farmers he thinks can up their game for the 2020s?

Reading Time: 9 minutes If Japan starts handing out honourary citizenships, you better believe Ray Price will be on their short list. Already, the Alberta-born farm boy has been to the Land of the Rising Sun more than 100 times representing Sunterra, the Price family’s storied, successful and diversified business. The Prices export a majority of their pork directly […] Read more


Ontario beef checkoff to rise by $1.50

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario beef farmers have approved an increase of $1.50 in checkoff per animal to fund an ambitious industry-wide marketing effort for Ontario beef. Producers at the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) annual meeting in Mississauga on Wednesday voted 87 per cent in favour of the plan. A similar plan was rejected at last year’s annual […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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?

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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?

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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