Latest articles


Stop bullying your parents!

As land values increase pressure may be put on to sell

There are some columns I wish I did not have to write. This is one of them. Through the past few years of land values jumping as much as 23 per cent in one year it is no surprise to farm families to see their balance sheets with larger numbers. It is shocking to those […] Read more


Dump your grain, not your pain

Stop dumping anger and start creating a healthy legacy

The email subject line read “UNBELIEVABLE” in all caps, and I knew it wasn’t going to be a happy farm transition story. Fourteen bullet points ensued with anger, poor decision-making, people not taking responsibility for their inaction. After ingesting a dump load of angst my reply simply was, “And what do you want me to […] Read more



Letting go of loneliness on the farm

If you are experiencing loneliness here’s some solutions to try

Her sniffles were clear on the phone line as she said, “He used to spend so much time with me on the weekends, but now that we are married he doesn’t even have time to go to church with me on Sunday morning. I am extremely lonely.” Another much older woman touched my arm to […] Read more


Manage your energy to get more done

Don’t waste emotional energy that will drain your effectiveness to farm

FCC’s Faith Matchett posted a tweet that caught my attention “Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time” from Harvard Business Review (HBR) Oct. 2007 by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy. Twelve years later the insights are still valuable. As a farm family coach I hear way too many stories of farmers scrapping daily, wasting tons of […] Read more



After 40 years what matters most?

When you figure that out and what you really want in your life, that will affect your intentional choices

The clouds at 30,000 feet are keeping me company as I write and reflect. My ears hear Celtic tunes of praise while I contemplate the lessons of the last four decades. November 10, 1978 marked the first day of my move to Boissevain to serve farm families with Manitoba Agriculture as an extension home economist. […] Read more


What if adult farm children don’t behave like adults?

Refuse to interact when you are being talked to in a disrespectful manner

As founders we all want our children to be happy and successful, but when kids have aged into adults we hope they are grateful for opportunity and don’t take advantage of our generosity. When kids have always received something, whether it is money, assets or help, they can come to expect it. A sense of […] Read more



Fired from the farm

How do you tell a son or daughter that they are not a good fit for the farm?

As a farm family coach I hear the struggles of farmers who are used to being able to quickly repair or fix problems that arise daily. When these hard-working, well-intentioned folks have a farming adult child who is not a good fit for the farm, great stress lingers far too long. If you try to […] Read more


A young father with his little son walking in the wheat field at sunset in a warm summer day

Don’t be a fleeing heir or end up in shirt sleeves

Study shows large percentage of families will lose their wealth in succeeding generations

Last month we talked about the great wealth transfer tension; there’s more. Financial planner Anthony Williams describes a study by Investment News suggesting 66 per cent of children will ultimately fire their parents’ financial adviser once they receive their inheritance. These folks are called fleeing heirs. I would like to know the statistic for farm families, as […] Read more



Male gives a gift to female

Gifts with a warm hand, not a cold one

How are you transitioning money to the next generation?

It was great delight to hear Dr. Meir Statman speak to certified financial planners in Halifax at their annual convention in June. He was talking about normal financial behaviours and why culture matters in how we transition our money to the next generation. I clapped when I heard him say, “I believe it is wise […] Read more


Unwritten farm expectations

Where is it written that good farm women grow gardens?

Susan Forward who authored Emotional Blackmail has a handy tool for challenging the way things have always been done by saying: “Where is it written?”… _____________. You fill in the blank for the unwritten rule or expectation that you are challenging. Large farm vegetable gardens: “Where is it written that in order to be a […] Read more