GFM Network News


If a situation is becoming stuck, 
try asking the other person how they 
would like to
move forward.

A new frame to see transition possibility and movement

Here’s some language tools to use to help persuade and influence others

If you’re fighting storms or sorting cows, grab five minutes to soak this story in. You cannot neglect tending to the needs of your cows. Let’s talk about embracing the same urgency with your farm transition conversations. My speaker friend Shelle Rose Charvet, author of Words that Change Minds, has tools for better language that […] Read more

The perfect gift may be a heartfelt letter to a family member expressing your appreciation.

The gift of healing stories in agriculture

This gift will not cost you any money — only your time and attention

Pierrette believes as I do that positive feedback and pointing out good actions is important to creating a healthier culture in our farm teams. Pouzer and Koutes authored Encouraging the Heart of Your Business that echoes the same theme. As Christmas celebrations approach I’d like to challenge you to take a risk this year in […] Read more


Losing brain function is a loss so there will be much grief to go through.

Froese: Dealing with the denial of dementia

This is very difficult for a spouse who sees decline and the partner won’t accept their loss of abilities

BDO’s Maggie Van Camp, leader of agricultural development, sees the key foreboding issue for agriculture as farm succession. She asks, “Who is going to farm in future generations… and how the heck are we going to transfer the management and ownership of those farms? Never before have the older generation lived this long; Never before […] Read more

Taking 20 minutes in the morning can be a good way to reflect on business goals and map the week.

Froese: Managing your power to choose on your farm

How are you doing? Are you making good choices to manage your energy?

Work/life balance” comes up for many young farmers, but it’s time to change our language to “choices we make to manage time” and take action. “We freak about not having time when what we really don’t have is energy!” says Marjorie Ingall. Kirstin Van Ogtrop says “Balance is less about circumstance and more about perspective. […] Read more


If you will no longer be farming full time you’ll have to make some decisions on how you will spend your time.

Froese: After this harvest what are you getting ready for?

What do you really want to do? How will you spend your time?

A weather-worn farmer has recently transferred a major part of the farm business to his millennial successor. He asks his spouse, “What are we going to do for the next 20 years?” She reflects with a hint of surprise in her voice, “What do you really want?” The Wall Street Journal published how retirees are […] Read more

Froese: When brothers don’t see eye to eye

One of the bulls in the middle of the farmhouse that we need to chase after is the undiscussabull of “my brother would never agree to that.” These transition conversations are as fresh as a newly minted cow plop, and they stink, too. “Elaine, my dad is great to work with, but he won’t stand […] Read more


When you ask questions with respect and from a perspective of creating solutions to a problem you have a chance to be heard.

How to approach Father for more financial transparency

Find out what’s causing fear of transparency and learn how to talk openly about money

One of the key definitions for fairness I use is “Fairness is helping everyone be successful.” The “F” in FAIR, stands for financial transparency. What does this mean to young farmers hoping to take over the management of the farm? It means everything! Last night our family had an impromptu meal at the successor’s home. […] Read more

When seeding pressure mounts, we all need to be reminded to extend grade to one another.

Calibrate yourself for seeding, create positive responses

Be aware of how you’re reacting to the farm team when under pressure

Getting machines ready for seeding launches farmers out of bed in anticipation of a new season. “How are you calibrating yourself for seeding stresses?” As we age, are we open to change behaviours and do a “reset of our default habits” to create a more positive culture on our farm team? Peter Drucker said “culture […] Read more


Dare to lead and love your farm family

If you can understand the farm team’s thoughts and emotions you’ll have greater success figuring out issues and creating solutions

I am a big fan of Brene Brown’s work and encourage you to check out her insights. Recently I surveyed her newest book Dare To Lead (Random House 2018). When I read books I write notes at the back and then translate ideas gleaned for working with farm family communication. Brown is working to create […] Read more

Careless tongues are often a sign of stress, be that seeding, harvest, late-night calving and other times where fatigue, hunger, and anger all create an explosive situation.

Four tongues on your farm

What you say can affect people more than anything else you do

When I ask a farm family what their main desire for coaching is, the typical reply is “Better communication.” Reading Proverbs daily gives me reminders that what we say probably affects more people than any other action we take. Proverbs describes four common speech patterns: 1. Controlled tongue. 2. Caring tongue. 3. Conniving tongue. 4. […] Read more