GFM Network News


When college grads come home to the farm

If your kids come back from college and just end up behind the wheel of a tractor, you're missing some serious opportunities

Reading Time: 9 minutes On a sun-dappled morning in mid-September, 80 young men and women assemble in a large auditorium at the University of Manitoba’s campus. They’re here for a day of orientation as they begin two years of study towards their agricultural diplomas. Among them is 18-year-old George Meggison. He’s following in the footsteps of two sisters, as […] Read more

“They come to realize that it’s not just driving tractors or hauling grain,” Colin Penner says. “It’s the whole picture.”

Smarter than you think

Here’s what your kids come home having learned about business at ag college. It’s much, much more than even a few years ago

Reading Time: 9 minutes When Colin Penner enrolled as a student in the University of Manitoba’s agricultural diploma program 10 years ago, he had to prepare a business plan for his farm. Today, he is back at the U of M as an instructor, teaching other students how to complete today’s planning assignments, which are miles ahead. Preparing a […] Read more


Smart stuff

Do parents really recognize the skills their children are bringing back from college and university, and how those skills can make the farm stronger?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Skip the smiley faces and the acronyms. In the new age of digital soft skills, agricultural schools are embracing the same modes of electronic communication as their students, albeit with a dose of finesse, professionalism and, at times, trepidation. “Don’t use emojis, they’re cute, but they’re not professional,” Mark Fournier of Alberta’s Olds College tells […] Read more

Trio of groups proposes Alberta-based agrifood ‘supercluster’

Reading Time: 2 minutes Agrium, Olds College and global satellite communications corporation MDA have submitted an application to the federal government to form an agrifood “supercluster.” The Liberal government committed up to $950 million (over five years) in its March budget to create hubs that would focus on key economic sectors in an effort to kickstart investment, boost exports […] Read more


Kent Sereda and Holly White.

Growing professional

Across the country, young farmers like Holly White and Kent Sereda are building respect for a new generation of business skills

Reading Time: 9 minutes Newlyweds Holly White and Kent Sereda were already quite good at tackling what you might call their legal due diligence, updating their wills and preparing marital agreements. Then they realized they should go even further. This was the right time, they decided, to review the whole succession plan for the fourth-generation family farm that they […] Read more

Tom Towers (l) was looking to retire, but wanted to ensure their farm would live on. Blake Hall wanted to farm, but didn’t have the equity. With the help of legal agreements, an outside facilitator, and a commitment to open communication, each is reaching their goal.

Taking the farm beyond the family

It takes smarts and determination to use your farm to help a new farmer get their start, but the rewards can be deeply satisfying

Reading Time: 9 minutes Four years ago, Tom and Margaret Towers were facing a dilemma that’s becoming increasingly common for farm couples as they move into what are politely called their senior years. The Towers knew they couldn’t continue to manage alone forever, and they also knew they wouldn’t want to leave the farm near Red Deer, which they’d […] Read more


Farming will take more than knowledge, insists Ridgetown director Ken McEwan. It needs vision, people skills, and perhaps most important, energy.

What students need for future success as farmers

Top ag educators tell us the good and the not so good they see in Canada’s next generation of farm hopefuls

Reading Time: 7 minutes The future stretches and sways like a Prairie grain field, endless and heavy with possibilities. Like storm clouds, though, threats and risks also gather. What strengths and skills will farmers need to succeed in the future we’re rushing toward? With the turnover between generations accelerating, it’s a question that is coming squarely into play on […] Read more