GFM Network News


Shane and Donna Mowat with their four children — Bobby (left), Bailey, Brittany and Bethany — at Bailey’s wedding last fall. All are looking forward to their futures in JockValley Farms, which means all need to participate in constructive communication about how to make it happen.

The Succession Advantage – Finding your family’s advantage point

Reading Time: 3 minutes Succession is more than passing the farm to the next generation. It’s about setting the farm up for ongoing success through a continual discovery process, examining every aspect of the farm and its operations, pulling out the very best, and incorporating them into best practices. It’s about having conversations with your family that get to […] Read more

Brandon-Souris MP Larry Maguire speaks to Bill C-208 on Nov. 25 in the House of Commons. (Video screengrab from Parl.gc.ca)

Tory MP’s bill on farm transfer tax treatment moves ahead

Private member's bill now awaits Senate approval

Reading Time: 3 minutes A Manitoba Conservative MP’s bill to standardize the tax treatment for sales of farms and other small businesses has cleared the House of Commons and is en route to the Senate. Brandon-Souris MP Larry Maguire’s Bill C-208, which was introduced for first reading in February last year, passed third reading in the Commons on Wednesday. […] Read more


“That’s the point I think we could have stressed more,” says Kyle. “You say you don’t think it’s a good life, but you’d never do anything else, and we feel the same way.”

‘You can’t hand it to them’

Every transition is unique. This one is too. But inside Kyle (left) and Bryan Maynard’s experience are nuggets that can transform the process for farms across the country

Reading Time: 10 minutes It all makes perfect sense. When, two days before their eighth and 10th birthdays, brothers Bryan and Kyle Maynard lost their dad, Kent, in a tragic farm accident, of course the future of the farm was thrown into disarray. Kent had grown up nearby on a Prince Edward Island dairy and hog farm, but in […] Read more

Darren and Carmen Sterling.

Selling the corporate farm

Darren and Carmen Sterling made the hard decision. 2019 would be their last crop. Then they would retire. But that’s when the real work began

Reading Time: 10 minutes When we talk about Canada’s aging farm owners, we generally talk about how best to pass the agricultural torch to sons and daughters or, more recently, about creative contortions to move the farm into the future with those who are not family — in short, succession planning. But is it still called succession when there […] Read more


“The formality of it encourages every member at the table to feel equally respected,” Chris Clarke emphasizes.

Working with change, instead of fearing it

Non-farm family businesses are in the throes of succession planning too. With the help of Chris Clarke, here’s how they’re elevating their team skills for superior succession planning — and why it’s driving their business performance as well

Reading Time: 5 minutes By now, every farmer has encountered more than a few articles on succession planning, and maybe the thought of even one more doesn’t seem all that appealing. Indeed, you’ve probably read the first few paragraphs of quite a few of these stories and paused, wondering if you’ll learn anything new. Well, this article is a […] Read more

“I’m not sure the message is getting through,” says CFIB’s Corinne Pohlmann. But the stats are brutal… 70 per cent of businesses that don’t plan for succession end up failing.

Sharing succession stories

What can farmers learn from the transition struggles of Canada’s other independent, family-based businesses?

Reading Time: 5 minutes From a business perspective, whether it’s a family business, a family farm business or any other kind, succession planning is not only smart, it’s a condition of survival. According to the Family Business Institute for example, after the leader of a family business exits the picture for whatever reason, 70 per cent of these enterprises […] Read more


For Josh and Lee Moats, succession planning has focused on keeping their relationship strong and vibrant.

Family farms are finding their way

It’s more than the legalities. The culture of Canada’s farm families is evolving too, and on many farms it’s keeping up quite nicely, thanks

Reading Time: 6 minutes Brett Meinert, of Shaunavon, Sask., knew early on that his son Barclay was hoping to take over the family farm. “He bought land three days after he was old enough to own land, when he was eighteen years old,” Brett says. “We knew at that time that he was going to farm — there was […] Read more

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