GFM Network News


Toban Dyck: The bar between “lunacy” and “worth exploring” has lowered considerably

In the wake of COVID-19, few things remain sacred. In this case, it’s tillage

The changes we’ve all been forced to endure have called my spring plans into question. The disruption that has been thrust upon us, leaving us to choose between adapting to an ever-changing political and social landscape, enduring it, stubbornly opposing it and everything in-between has seeped into my farming plans. I’m looking at this spring […] Read more



Toban Dyck: I may be too old to become a professional snowboarder

I’m young enough to explore opportunities and embrace change

This August, Jamie and I will have been on this farm for nine years. This is registering with me as a significant amount of time. Also, in March of this year, I will celebrate my five-year anniversary at Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers. I say celebrate, but, if any of my coworkers are reading this, […] Read more

Toban Dyck: These changes are not judgments

Toban Dyck: These changes are not judgments

They are natural evolutions of a farming operation

I was nervous about the change. Change is never an easy thing, especially for me. I was raised in a Mennonite home and my last name, Dyck, is inextricably tied to the tradition. There is now a garbage dumpster on our farm, and we’ve already filled it once. The whole experience, though small, has been […] Read more


Toban Dyck: Systems for our farm

Toban Dyck: Systems for our farm

I’m taking on the workshop, farmyard and waste management

Of all things to steal my attention during this current lockdown period, conceiving of and implementing on-farm systems have begun ranking quite high. You could say I’ve become infatuated with this. Since my wife and I moved into the farm house and took over the maintenance and oversight of the farmyard and all of its […] Read more

Toban Dyck: A deeper dive into policy

Agriculture is in need of synthesis

I am going back to university. By the time you read this, I will have a class or two under my belt. At 40 years of age, this could be interesting. I have decided to take a deeper dive into policy. I have been working in the agricultural industry at the farm group level for […] Read more


Toban Dyck: Looking back on 2020

Toban Dyck: Looking back on 2020

We’ve been left to our own devices

With all this time at home, there seems to be no limit to the things I can get into. This year, 2020, the year so many people want to get past, has been one characterized by exploration and curiosity. And that is a good thing. Prodding forward when the path ahead is invisible or unclear […] Read more

oil change

Toban Dyck: Sanity in an oil change

The tangible elements of farming are therapeutic

The webcam on my MacBook hasn’t been working consistently, giving me a great excuse to participate in virtual meetings without having my mug on the screen. I slink back in my chair and engage in the conversation, but my eyes can wander without anyone noticing. I stare out my office window, which overlooks our farmyard […] Read more


Heap of black beans on white background.

Toban Dyck: This year we decided to grow black beans

New doesn’t mean impossible

This growing season has been different. I think we can all agree on that. As much as I have tried, it has pushed me to the thresholds of my cognitive abilities to index the challenges associated with the pandemic and then separate those from the unique challenges facing the agricultural sector. The general COVID-19 malaise […] Read more

There is an extraordinary amount of things on a farmer’s mind, at the best of times. This year that number has multiplied.

Toban Dyck: Piecing together the farming puzzle

A picture is starting to emerge of what farming looks like for me

Eight years ago, when Jamie and I moved to the farm, I opened the box and dumped the farming puzzle on the table. There seemed to be an infinite amount of pieces and just as many ways to put it together. And, as you know, this particular puzzle does not come with a reference picture. […] Read more