GFM Network News


Women are very effective at bringing people together and bringing out the best in individuals.

Farm CEO: Women farm executives

“Women are showing up in business, and what they are doing is working. It should be seen as a model for all of us.”

Reading Time: 3 minutes Women make great farm CEOs. Did you hear that, Dad? Studies are showing that women have a lot to offer as executive decision-makers, and the reason why has some lessons to teach agriculture about what are the most valuable professional competencies needed on the farm, and why. What does the research say? One global study […] Read more

Choosing a growth strategy that is aligned with your overall business goals is a good first step to get you started.

You want to grow your farm business. But how?

Next Steps: These tools are a mix of business theory and practical on-farm wisdom, which is why they’ll help you find opportunities

Reading Time: 7 minutes In January’s column we looked at how the process of business strategy planning helps orient you on the goals map. But that still leaves a big question: How do you get there? If you’re an existing farm, this means developing a growth strategy. In 1957, Igor Ansoff, known as the father of strategic management, established […] Read more


What action do you take when some people in your organization are underperforming, and those who can are leaving?

Leader development versus the quick fix

Management without leadership is like tightening a nut with no wrench on the bolt head

Reading Time: 4 minutes Every once in awhile I have a casual conversation that goes like this: “Leadership is nice (guess what comes next), but I have real problems right now, and I have to do something; I don’t have time for leader development, I’m busy.” In my view, we are all busy, but this sentiment is the verbal […] Read more

Highly effective leaders are often described as seeing what few others see.

Characteristics of highly effective leadership

Part two in a series on leadership

Reading Time: 4 minutes In my last article I described six characteristics of highly effective leaders. This article concludes this series and describes leader characteristics that can be expressed only by adequately possessing the previous six attributes. Here goes: Highly effective leaders are capable of making bold decisions and abandoning the past if necessary This is the next step […] Read more


Leadership is a necessary skill that can be developed, offering a competitive advantage for your operation.

The difference maker: on-farm leadership

On-farm leadership is the X-factor that can be quantified and developed into competitive advantage

Reading Time: 4 minutes Leadership is the overlooked skill set that can explain why some farms move forward and grow, overcoming difficult periods to successfully transition from one generation to the next. It can also explain why some others don’t. In recent decades, research into the fields of leadership, adult development and neuro-science have been converging. We now know […] Read more

Developing a strategic and operating plan for your farm business can offer clarity and a clear vision.

Entrepreneurial confidence – and how to get it

AME Management: Entrepreneurial confidence is a necessary quality in business

Reading Time: 4 minutes Business success is largely influenced by entrepreneurial confidence. It is one of the most consistent characteristics across businesses that succeed. Thriving entrepreneurs believe in themselves — their capabilities to learn, apply new knowledge and skills. They reach their desired objectives, and ultimately, realize their vision. In agriculture, where we are challenged with many uncertainties, it […] Read more


How do you bridge the gap between the reality of how best to run the farm while making room for your own kids’ ideas?

Prepping the kids for the financial reality of farm ownership

It may be the biggest question of all. When is the right time to give the kids a voice in business planning?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Now that summer’s on the doorstep, the kids are home from school, and your planning and preparation for the growing season are over, it’s an ideal time to have some important conversations with your family members around succession planning. As anyone who has gone through the process knows, succession planning within the family can be […] Read more

Spouses are realizing that farm operations require a much more structured business planning approach.

Between spouses

Formalizing the informal partnership

Reading Time: 3 minutes Joint ownership between spouses has been a long-standing fixture in the farming community, with each holding equal influence when it comes to making key business decisions. It is widely acknowledged and recognized that spouses are key influencers in business decisions. They have always stood front and centre in financial negotiations, are equal participants in professional […] Read more


Step one to value adding: Evaluation

You’ve got a great idea for a new product. Or maybe not

Reading Time: 5 minutes There are many reasons why farmers are drawn to value adding. You might have excess capacity in the field or the barn, for instance, or maybe if you milled grain into flour, you could retain good staff by providing year-round positions. Or maybe you’re wondering if an on-farm market could solve your problems by creating […] Read more

You’re the ‘leader’?

Even if you farm on your own, these CEO strategies will make your operation more successful, and more sustainable too

Reading Time: 8 minutes No one would really question whether any farmer serving on a commodity or other type of farm board might need some leadership skills. After all, that’s what those farmers are doing, right? They’re being farm leaders. The same goes too for any farmer who manages a large operation with multiple employees. Obviously, if they’ve got […] Read more