GFM Network News


The ‘succession effect’

Setting transition as a goal for your farm can spur growth and profitability, until about three-quarters of the way through

All farmers, no matter where they farm in the world, share certain characteristics. They are all born worriers, and they all have lots to worry about — weather, crop prices, markets. And on top of the day-to-day production issues, and the management challenges involved in running today’s complex farm operations, farmers also have a lot […] Read more

Parents at some point need to transition from shareholder to creditor,” says Merle Good. That’s a big step, because creditors don’t make the farm’s decisions.

Who controls the purse strings on your farm?

By the time the parents hit their mid-60s, financial decision-making should be in the hands of the next generation. Really!

Two decades ago, U.K. professor Andrew Errington identified three stages of farm transfer: succession, retirement and inheritance. He defined succession as the gradual handing over of managerial control. Retirement was the owner withdrawing from active participation in the business of the farm, and inheritance was how the assets were finally signed over to the successor. […] Read more


Research is showing a new trend among farm retirees is finding something rewarding to do, which may involve doing something they’ve delayed due to career or family responsibilities.

‘Redirection’

Is it better to keep farming into your 70s, or to retire off the farm in your early 60s? New research suggests that what you may really need is a rewarding change of direction

It’s easy to see the two pincers coming together, at least when you look at farming from a national perspective. The average Canadian farmer is 55, on the one hand, and the average Canadian retires at 62 on the other. But let’s put a best-case face on it. For self-employment Canadians — the category that […] Read more

Let your kids see how you mind your farm’s business

Here’s where the farm succession process really starts

If you’re close to retirement, you may be getting ready to succeed the farm to your children. Or, if you’re younger, you’ll be thinking about what is going to happen to the farm when it’s your turn to retire. In either scenario, your family, your children and the business itself will likely be intermingling, which […] Read more


Flood warning

Will Canada’s land market drown in a torrent of new listings as more farmers get to retirement age? The truth is… nobody knows

We’ve all heard the predictions. They say that with so many of our farmers reaching their 60s and 70s all at the same time, we’re soon going to see the biggest rush of land onto the market that this country has ever witnessed. Will it happen? Will the land market get flooded sometime in the […] 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

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



New owner Graham Sorgard’s respect for the work that the Kaedings had done helped create an impetus to make the complex sale come together.

Selling the farm

Inside the sale of a modern, diversified and complex family farm

Once you decide it’s time to retire from farming, there’s a pile of planning, strategy and communication to fork your way through. Here’s how one couple from Saskatchewan proactively approached the sale of their seed farm, and how they captured value beyond piecemeal selling of their hard assets. Warren and Carla Kaeding and Roger and […] Read more


For Joas and Lisa, a clear retirement goal provides a framework for decision-making all through their farming career.

A retirement goal of Freedom 52

What’s the right age for Mom and Dad to step back? It might be a lot younger than we have traditionally thought

It is an early fall afternoon, and while their four young children bounce across this picturesque New Brunswick dairy farm, 35-year-old Joas van Oord and his wife Lisa talk about their dreams. In the barn, that same afternoon, the farm’s 58-year-old patriarch, Maarten van Oord shows off the farm’s new robotic milker, and as he […] Read more