GFM Network News


You are the key to your family and your community, regardless of your role.

What makes you great at what you do?

Farming is not just another job — and it’s not just production skills that make farms successful

The value of food and of farming has become part of the mainstream conversation these days. If you are a farmer, what you do is important. And like any other year, we must remember what it is that makes us great at what we do. To help with that, here’s a little list gleaned from […] Read more

Family farms remain exempt from OHS requirements, but farmers are encouraged to consider implementing safety on their farms.

Opinion: What does Alberta’s Farm Freedom and Safety Act mean for you?

Insurance, employment standards and OHS compliance are three areas producers need to consider

Farmers, we get it. Whenever a new agriculture-specific bill is adopted, you rightfully ask, ‘How does this apply to me?’ Rarely are there easy answers, especially when they come in the form of legislation that is long, wordy, and, let’s be honest, not that fun of a read. A recent example of this is the […] Read more


The Bruggencate family (l) and the Sulzles.

Alberta pair gets twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start farming

Two families are creating a new legacy on a family farm — just not the one they grew up on

For most farm kids, taking over the family farm is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that’s too good to pass up. But for Jay Bruggencate and Mike Sulzle, it was a second chance that drew them back into farming — just not on their own family farms. Both men had “missed the window” to go back to […] Read more

The Brownfield and District Growing Project continues to thrive because it has been embraced by the whole community, young and old alike. This picture is from a video shot during last fall’s harvest. The video, which features swooping footage taken by a drone, can be found at the Foodgrains Bank’s Facebook page. (Google ‘brownfield growing project’ to find a link.)

How to hand over a labour of love to the next generation

It’s not only family farms facing the succession challenge these days. Community efforts such as Growing Projects for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank are looking to the future to see if they’ve inspired the next generation to carry on the cause. One such venture finds itself in the middle of the process. The Brownfield and District […] Read more


The power of a letter to get unstuck

Sometimes we have to go back to basics in order to keep healthy change happening on our farms. Lately in my transition seminars I have been encouraging frustrated young farmers to write a letter of intent to their founding parents. People who are stuck with a large degree of anxiety and overwhelm from not knowing[...]
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“A huge weight was lifted from our shoulders” when Rebecca Thistlethwaite and her husband decided to scale down their farm.

Running on empty? It’s time to set goals for your farm

Working 100 hours a week is ‘a recipe for burnout,’ says 
American farmer and author who found salvation in scaling back

It takes guts to be a farmer these days. “Farming is an extremely complex business to run, and it takes remarkable courage,” said author Rebecca Thistlethwaite, who farms in Oregon. “It demands an incredible well of passion, a willingness to learn, and ‘stick-to-it-tiveness’ to make it work.” But more and more, farmers are finding that[...]
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Kelsey Beasley

Dancing with Mother Nature and leaving a legacy of sustainability

Being sustainable means focusing on a triple bottom line — 
the people, the land and the business

My husband John and I have always been drawn to the land. He is a third-generation rancher here in Canada; I grew up on my parents’ small mixed farm. I am a microbiologist by trade and a rancher by inclination. John and I possess a strong land ethic as well as a keen ecological awareness;[...]
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