GFM Network News


For Craig (left), David, Ryan and Brian, and for the entire family, the path to succession has focued on merging the lessons of two and a half centuries of family history with the realities of running an efficient, profitable farm operation.

The 10th generation farm

In central Nova Scotia, Cornwallis Farms has been in the same family for nine generations. So how are they planning for David’s arrival, and the start of a whole new chapter?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Thinking back to 2011, David Newcombe told his family that they’d missed a milestone on their farm — and a chance to throw a big party. But another chance will come. “In 2061 we’ll have a 300-year anniversary,” says Newcombe, now 28. That’s a lot of confidence, yet on this farm, you might say they’ve […] Read more

Family through succession: Moving succession to a financial discussion

As we look into concrete financial options, a sense of excitement replaces the family’s initial worries

Reading Time: 7 minutes Many of you have been following our journey with the Hunter family. To recap, the Hunters are a fourth-generation farm family with a mixed crop and dairy farm in southwestern Ontario. Mary’s husband Jack passed away two years ago. She is 80 now and continues to live on the farm. Her only child, Bruce, works […] Read more


There’s a “million-dollar farm question” in Canadian agriculture as farm parents look to transfer a financially viable farm business to the next generation.

Calculating a fairer, smarter farm inheritance: Part One

Can an estate plan be fair both to the family and to the farm business? Merle Good and Greg Gartner see a way forward

Reading Time: 6 minutes I’m supposed to ask the questions, but Merle Good, Alberta farm business advisor and nationally followed succession expert shoots a question my way before I get a chance. “Suppose you could open all the wills of today’s farmers,” he says. “How many are leaving land to off-farm children?” I expect the number is big — […] Read more

For Dean, Devin, Darren and father Bernie, on-farm manufacturing provides a kind of balance. But make no mistake… this is a farm first, with all the challenges that implies.

Auger-steer invention drives farm family’s business success

Diversifying into manufacturing creates more opportunity for the Toews family, but there have been many lessons along the way

Reading Time: 12 minutes It was 2008 and things just weren’t working out for Bernie Toews. From his tractor cab, he’d tried again and again to manoeuvre an auger around a tight corner on the family farm near MacGregor, an hour and a half west of Winnipeg, and it just wasn’t going to happen. Now, Toews was backing the […] Read more


Family Through Succession: Meet the Hunter family

One farm — seven individuals. Each with their own hopes, needs and ambitions. It’s a typically unique Canadian farm, just like yours. And yes, there is a way forward

Reading Time: 6 minutes In launching this series of columns on farm succession, our goal is to offer the readers of Country Guide something unique, something we feel you will be able to relate to and learn from. We want to introduce you to the Hunter family. Of course names will be changed to protect identities of our clients, […] Read more

Does Canada have enough young farmers?

The country has lost 70 per cent of the farmers in its under-35 category in just 25 years

Reading Time: 17 minutes There are encouraging signs all across the country. At the University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture convocation this spring, 58 graduates took home their two-year diplomas. At Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in Ontario, 267 crossed the stage in late May, and at Olds College in Alberta, another 81 diplomas were handed out […] Read more


Seven things to remember when preparing for a farm transition

Where is it written that your parents have to go south for the winter together? Many aging farmers like to visit the Sun Belt at this time of year to get rest, connect with friends and have some well-deserved fun. But what if one of your parents prefers to stay home? When both spouses cannot[...]
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Help wanted

If the door is open for more women to take on more farm roles, it’s because we need them

Reading Time: 9 minutes Undoubtedly, some of the momentum that’s creating more opportunities for more women on Canada’s farms can be traced to various women’s movements over the past century. But not all of it. Not surprisingly, we should be praising the generations of farm parents who have provided great role models too. And yes, let’s admit that some[...]
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On BreadRoot Farm at Canora, Sask., owners Al and Hélène Boyko are finding the new listing services are helping them connect with potential non-family successors. “If we had not found FarmLINK, I don’t know what we would have done,

No one in the family to take over the farm

Where there’s no clear successor, more farmers are looking for ways to sell to a young or new farmer from outside the family. It’s rarely easy, but new listing services and new financial strategies may mean it’s possible

Reading Time: 9 minutes We all know a farm in this situation. Mom and Dad always thought one of the children would stand up at some point and say, “I want the farm.” Now, the time has come for the parents to make retirement plans, and none of the kids is standing up. Or maybe it’s the flipside. Mom[...]
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More together

Taking a group and multi-generational approach to upgrading their skills is paying off on the Woods farm

Reading Time: 5 minutes More farmers agree that the old saying has it about right: Failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s too easy to get off-course if you haven’t set your intentions and goals to paper. Besides, how do you track your success if you don’t have goals? Having completed a succession plan that lays the groundwork[...]
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