GFM Network News


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

Toban Dyck: Voting yes or no to amalgamation

Farmers vote to create the Manitoba Crop Alliance from five commodity groups

I had no idea which way the vote would go. I knew there were people in favour and I also knew there were some opposed and I was pretty sure they would be vocal. This year’s CropConnect Conference in Winnipeg had a layer of complexity and drama to it. At five of the commodity group […] Read more


At the time of writing, Toban Dyck was days away from finalizing the purchase of 120 acres of cultivated land – and he has a few thoughts on it.

Toban Dyck: Taking the plunge and writing a cheque for farmland

Even for those who want to be risk averse, buying land is a test of attitudes

My wife and I, the corporate collective registered as Burr Forest Acres Ltd., are not averse to risk. This is the adage we repeat to ourselves regularly on the hope that one day we’ll believe ourselves at a deep, foundational level. We are days away from finalizing the purchase of 120 acres of cultivated land. […] Read more

Farmers have a lot to say on a variety of issues, and right now there’s a real sense in the ag sector to be loud.

Toban Dyck: Do we have too many speakers in agriculture?

Let’s use the snow rotation to think about what we want to say, and how

“Snow rotation” is a phrase I still hear from time to time. When I first heard it, the person explaining it laughed. The phrase is out of vogue, but there’s something to the idea that Canada’s winters have a restorative power. A few cold days, a bit of snow, a break from work and almost […] Read more


I think everyone would find agriculture endlessly interesting if they had a glimpse into how it works.

Toban Dyck: Explaining agriculture, not whining

There are lots of things about the ag sector that we wish the public knew more about

“It’s just another whining farmer wanting government to bail him out.” This was one of the responses to an article I wrote for the Financial Post. It came after a former ‘Dragon’s Den’ dragon promoted it to his audience. I’ll be honest. I got a little bit nervous about the attention. I was tagged in […] Read more

A container ship docked on the Port of Vancouver.


Toban Dyck: One country, one agriculture industry

A visit to B.C. to meet with ag writing peers and learn about B.C.’s ag sector

When you have crop standing on the field and the weather isn’t letting you get to it, it’s hard to think, let alone write, about anything else. But, I’ll try. I’ll put my remaining 120 acres of standing soybeans to the back of my mind. It’s raining here and I know that in theory it’s […] Read more


Toban Dyck: With golf or farming, concentration matters

Golf lessons can correct your swing; learning new skills can improve your farm

Number 1 is the course’s most challenging hole. It’s a long drive that, ideally, lands metres shy of a creek. Then, it’s a chip over the water hazard and over the high retaining wall on the other side onto a steeply graded green. To execute all of this properly and according to plan requires a base level of golf competency that at one […] Read more

The ag sector needs to be conscious of how tight its messaging has become.

Toban Dyck: Asking the hard questions of farmers

Don’t be afraid to be the one asking questions. You’re not the only one

He made the comment I was too scared to make. Farmers are required to know a lot and it’s generally assumed by our peers and colleagues that we know the things we’re supposed to. I assume other farmers know the things they’re supposed to know. And we walk on eggshells and implement evasive maneuvers to […] Read more


Farmers should be encouraged by the recent attention agriculture has been getting in mainstream media.

Toban Dyck: The world is watching us

Trade news brings the media to the farm to talk about agriculture and farming

The nation’s gaze is fixed on agriculture. And while it’s not for great reasons, there is opportunity here. Mainstream news outlets are stumbling over themselves to cover issues such as the global ag trade and how Canada’s current spat with China is affecting farmers. They are trying their best with the resources they have to […] Read more

Toban Dyck: Preparing for a new crop season

All grain farmers know that early spring antsy, “ready to seed” feeling

It’s as though a switch was flicked. It happens every year. The winter meeting season is busy and consuming. Then it ends, the snow begins to melt and you find yourself looking over your farmyard with a zeal for the upcoming growing season that you may not have had the day before. I woke up […] Read more