GFM Network News


“We’re not able to eliminate the stresses that farmers experience but we can help them build their resilience.” – Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton, University of Guelph.

Admitting you have a mental health problem

Learn to look in the mirror… really look. Dealing with stress and anxiety may never be easy, but it helps if you’re alert for these warning signs

Reading Time: 6 minutes For several years, Wayne Black couldn’t see what was happening. He drove himself to be better as a farmer and then, when he became a sales manager at a central Ontario farm input dealership, he was always striving for the highest results for his customers. But early in 2018, he began to notice that he […] Read more

This is the way farming should look, yet mental health challenges are changing this imagery.

Struggling on the farm

You’re already trained for first aid on the farm. But what about mental illness?

Reading Time: 8 minutes By now, most people involved in agriculture have heard something about depression and anxiety disorders. Whether it’s been through the survey of farmer mental health, started in 2015 and highlighted in 2018, or through the efforts of groups like Do More Ag, word has spread. Now, it’s important that this awareness gets translated into action, […] Read more


You can help your community by being trained to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and how to help.

Reaching out

Your neighbour is diagnosed with depression. What do you say next time you meet?

Reading Time: 5 minutes When it comes to talking about mental health, there’s a shift taking place in agriculture. Producers are bravely sharing their stories at farm meetings and on social media. Corporations and organizations are creating supportive resources. All this is helping to reduce the stigma around mental health. With the incredibly high levels of stress farmers face […] Read more

Down on the farm

Farming is a mental health challenge. It isn’t your fault. The numbers prove it. So maybe this is the right moment to talk about whether you’re one of the many who would benefit from some help

Reading Time: 7 minutes Every farmer knows that the sun can’t always shine. That the rain sometimes comes too early, too late, too hard, or not at all. That markets can fall, costs can jump, crops can fail, and even the best thought-through decisions can prove painfully, expensively, brutally wrong. It isn’t easy being a farmer. No matter how […] Read more


Build a non-profit

Got an issue that somebody really needs to look at? Here’s how two farm entrepreneurs created Do More Ag, and learned important lessons along the way

Reading Time: 9 minutes Charities and other non-profits are such an everyday part of Canadian life, they can seem as imperceptible as water to a fish. Everything from local library boards to hospital foundations are run largely on non-profits, together with an increasing number of organizations that advance the cause of agriculture in every conceivable way. Establishing and running […] Read more

There are risk management tools available to help farmers navigate uncertainty as well strategies for emotional well-being.

2018 in doubt

With the constant flow of inflammatory NAFTA headlines, it’s no wonder farmers are feeling more anxious and stressed than in years. Here’s what you can do about it

Reading Time: 8 minutes Hundreds of heads silently bobbed up and down as Canada’s 18th prime minister introduced the topic producers had gathered earlier this winter in Winnipeg to hear about — the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Act. “We will need to be extremely vigilant in safeguarding access to our most vital market and in resisting […] Read more


Farmers, take care of yourself

The truth is that farming is hard on your mental health. So take this advice, and protect yourself

Reading Time: 6 minutes When Stewart Skinner returned to the family farm near Listowel, Ont., after university, he was eager to put what he had learned into practice. Despite careful planning, however, adding a second sow herd in a rented barn did not go well. As hog prices fell and corn prices soared, the operation was losing money, and […] Read more

Guide HR: Vacations: Why do you need them?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout have never been so high across all industries, but we see it particularly in the farming business. Even though technology purports to simplify our lives, we’re experiencing more and more over-investment in work. Many farmers tell me they’re exhausted, with no time to catch up. Moreover, everyone wants it […] Read more


Guide HR: The dark side for entrepreneurs

Reading Time: 4 minutes Since you are an entrepreneur, some people imagine that you get to do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it. They think running a business means you can follow your passions and have the freedom to work with whomever you like. Some even believe an entrepreneur can choose to buy almost […] Read more

Guide HR: ‘Is he suffering from the god complex?’

A narcissistic personality can come in any shape or size and can put your business at risk

Reading Time: 3 minutes He is always right,” says Matthew, age 25. “We always have to do things his way. Not even my mother can voice any kind of opinion. I’ve had enough.” When I met Matthew’s father, his initial comment was, “You will see right away that my son and my wife have problems.” At that point, I […] Read more