GFM Network News


Self-care specialists Emilio Jose Garcia Rodriguez and Samantha Kristoferson.

Find time for self-care

If it seems you haven’t a moment for your physical and mental health, read this

Reading Time: 5 minutes We all read the headlines. We know that self-care can make it easier to cope with high levels of stress. But too often, we feel we are already stretched so thin, it would only make matters worse if we stopped what needs doing and spent any time on self-care. To get some tips and tools […] Read more

Report links business management, mental health of farmers

Farm women, young farmers report higher levels of stress, difficulties coping

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ottawa — A new report from Farm Management Canada (FMC) calls for action after determining 75 per cent of Canadian farmers reported being moderately to highly stressed about unpredictable interference, workload pressure and financial pressures. But how a farmer plans his or her business — and associated risks — can help lower that statistic. The […] Read more


Make self-care your priority

Actually, you do have time to take care of yourself, especially with these incentives

Reading Time: 5 minutes Grain farmers Jennifer and Michael Doelman are making self-care a priority in 2020. Years of hard work, sleepless nights caring for young children, and a stressful farm succession process have left the Renfrew, Ont. couple suffering from burnout. The couple love their work but have been stretched too thin giving to farm, family and community. […] Read more

If you’re feeling more isolated lately out in the country you’re not alone. According to Stats Canada, rural populations are on a slow decline.

Alone on the farm, or lonely?

Farm life can be more isolating and more challenging than ever, making it even more important to ask yourself these questions

Reading Time: 5 minutes Christi Friesen has learned to recognize signs that she’s heading into a spiral of negative thinking — and it usually happens when she’s pulling 18-hour days on the tractor on her Peace River farm in Alberta. “When you’re out in the boondocks, your closest neighbour is a half-mile away and you’re working alone and you’re […] Read more


The ‘winter blues’ are a real thing that can lead to depression with a variety of debilitating symptoms.

Coping with the winter months

“It’s okay not to be okay,” says therapist Deborah Vanberkel. All of us are subject to the winter blahs and cabin fever

Reading Time: 6 minutes As if farming wasn’t already stressful enough, Canadian winters bring additional challenges. Frozen water lines, icy driveways and tractors that won’t start are just a few of the many physical challenges that farmers must contend with during our harsh winters. On top of that, when the short days of winter arrive, some of us will […] Read more

“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