GFM Network News


With their Lakeland background, students like Craig de Jong return home having already managed farm operations. “You want to make it the best year they’ve had,” Craig says.

A lesson in farming

At Lakeland College, an innovative student-managed farm is turning out business-minded young farmers ready for the job ahead

Nearly 10 years ago, April Thomi faced the same dilemma as many high school students the world over. She was trying to decide where to go to college. April knew she wanted to farm. She had grown up on the Stanko family farm in southern Alberta, where her family had raised cattle and still grew […] Read more

I am more of a hands-on learner,” says Meagan Schwenk-Gattey, who adds, “I strongly encourage students to look into it.”

Alberta’s Green Certificate

This high school program lets students graduate by gaining agricultural and on-farm experience

Agriculture is all about cultivating, nurturing and producing, so it’s no coincidence that a unique and highly successful high school training program in Alberta is using those exact words to describe its vision. “The Green Certificate Program cultivates partnerships, and allows us to nurture Alberta’s youth to produce the province’s agricultural future,” says Raelene Mercer, […] Read more


Young farmers talk about their future

We find out what these university students are thinking as they prepare to head home to the farm. They know their opportunities are great, but their challenges are humbling too

A gaggle in ball caps, T-shirts, jeans and flannel politely stumbled off the bus. They’re third-year students in the University of McGill’s farm management and technology program, and they were on a tour of Ontario farms. They stopped at mine to discuss business structure, succession and the future of agriculture. On closer look and listen, […] Read more

Agriculture is the hot new program on campus, with enrolments booming and corporate grants up too.

Agriculture classes on university campuses continue to grow

It isn’t only a robust farm economy that’s driving post-secondary ag education, but job opportunities and heavy recruitment too

The story is the same across the country. “Our application numbers in all of our programs are up,” says Joe Varamo, manager of academic programs for Ontario Agricultural College, Canada’s largest ag university, where total ag enrolment has climbed to 2,600, up from 2,000 just four years ago. “We’ve gone from accepting approximately 450 students […] Read more


If we want the best and brightest kids to look at agriculture, Parker says, we must invest in really connecting with their lives.

Better ag education

Getting more young Canadians more interested in working in agriculture can be an achievable goal, says Becky Parker, whose Nuffield scholarship is supported by Glacier FarmMedia. First, though, we need to learn some lessons for ourselves

If you need to make a big splash, says Nuffield scholar Becky Parker, throw a big rock. A lot of little stones will only create a lot of little ripples. It’s an insight that Parker has brought home from her Nuffield tour of Britain, New Zealand and Australia, and it’s among the strategies that she […] Read more

Blake Vince (far left) shares all he’s learned about productivity, soil health and agricultural sustainability to undergraduate and graduate students from University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus.

The class of agricultural learning

These farmers find it rewarding and enlightening to host student field trips. Should you?

Farmers need to open their farms to more people!” It’s a modern rallying cry from both inside and outside the agri-food industry as the two sides try to build better bridges to each other. But when do dairy or hog producers have time to conduct tours? And are grain farmers supposed to stop planting or […] 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

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