GFM Network News


The coming wave of autonomous farm equipment — such as this seeding rig mounted on a DOT Technology “power platform” — is partly being driven by the severe and growing labour shortage on farms.

Ag tech tackles the next frontier — the people shortage on farms

The labour shortage has gone from problem to crisis — and that’s prompting a new tech revolution

Advances in farm equipment over the past 15 years have focused on one thing — allowing farmers to do more with less. Bigger equipment to cut the time when seeding and harvesting. GPS to minimize overlap. Precision tech to make every seed and input count. No till to capture snow and retain moisture (with less […] Read more

A great culture in an organization or business is a collaborative effort that urges, empowers, and engages the voices at the table — and gives them credit for doing so.

Don’t get thrown overboard, take ownership

Ignoring the voice of a man or woman does not build a culture of respect in an organization or company

I saved the little cartoon for decades: A woman sitting at a board table and the chairman says to her, “That is a great idea Mrs. Smith, perhaps one of the men here would like to suggest it.” Unfortunately, this is brutally reflective of boardroom reality — and supported by realms of reports and books […] Read more


Eight steps for your HR strategy

The labour gap in Canadian agriculture continues to widen and is expected to double by 2025. That’s prompting more farm businesses to focus on recruiting and retaining employees. At the same time, with employment standards constantly changing, and with considerations such as health and safety and workers compensation to think about, some farms are beginning[...]
Read more

You need to up your game on managing people, say producers

Top-down management doesn’t cut it anymore, but fewer than one in five farms have a human resources plan

Five years ago, Kevin Serfas tried to manage human resources on his farm. It was a “train wreck.” Workers were walking away from the job. The people who stayed weren’t happy. And Serfas found himself on Facebook, “begging people to come run a tractor.” Finally, he went to one of his remaining workers and said[...]
Read more


Learn how to become a better boss

Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 workshops to be held

If you’re struggling to find and retain good employees, you may find answers at The Human Resource Essentials workshops (Jan. 31 at the Airdrie Agriculture Centre and Feb. 1 at the Stony Plain Provincial Building). The workshops will focus on key components of an HR strategy: simple effective job descriptions, interviewing, training plans, boosting employee engagement, and tools for managing[...]
Read more

Five ways to avoid payroll fines

Just hired your first employee? Don’t get stuck paying fines for filing errors

Have you recently hired an employee for your farm? Are you doing your own payroll and bookkeeping? If so, I’m offering you an opportunity to learn from my mistakes. There is a lot of information available about conducting job interviews, creating job descriptions and deciding how much to pay employees. However, it’s hard to find[...]
Read more


Everyone working on a farm — whether employees or family — should have a job description and know their roles and responsibilities.

Humans — your most important farm resource

Attracting and retaining good workers on your farm doesn’t just happen — you have to make it happen

If you don’t have people, you don’t have a farm. It’s as simple as that. While most producers think about their farm in terms of their livestock and crops, they neglect to think about the people, says a rural business specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. But that needs to change, Abby Verstraete told attendees[...]
Read more

Meat processors, including Cargill’s High River facility, are struggling to find workers despite “endless” domestic recruitment.

A Liberal ‘fix’ for temporary foreign worker program may be elusive

New government’s pledge to help beleaguered meat processors will be a tough sell

The new Liberal government has vowed to fix the broken federal temporary foreign worker program for Canada’s beleaguered meat processors — but that may not be enough. Despite “endless” domestic recruitment and a seven per cent unemployment rate in Canada, the country’s meat industry is still short about 1,000 workers. And the situation “just gets[...]
Read more