GFM Network News


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

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 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


Surprise! I’m coming back to the farm

What do you do when an adult son or daughter who has been away for years decides to return and farm with you?

“Elaine, we are not sure what to do, our son who never had time for the farm has just informed us that he is planning to come back to farm with us. Problem is, his brother who has farmed with us for 11 years is not happy about this.” As a farm family coach I […] 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


How did your father influence your beliefs and attitudes about your farm career?

The father factor in farming

How is Dad’s style of relating affecting your decision-making on the farm?

“Your father’s particular parenting style is the template that forms the father factor in your career… If your father has died, that doesn’t mean that the feelings from the relationship are dead.” — Dr. Stephan B. Poulter, author of The Father Factor: How Your Father’s Legacy Impacts Your Career Poulter believes that we learn from […] Read more

Discussions must be had so everyone is clear on the plan for transition of labour, management and ownership of the farm.

How do we tell our non-farming children they are not getting a raw deal?

Start by asking what fairness looks like as farm assets are transitioned


Our 33-year-old daughter was lamenting the fact that there is no longer a Sears Christmas Wish book. Decades ago she delighted in flipping pages of the coloured catalogue seeking out requests for her wish list, hoping that the cherished gifts would be under our Christmas tree. I remember the not-so-happy Christmas when some of the […] Read more


Farm dads and emotions of quitting farming

It’s my 22nd Father’s Day column and I will do my best to not make “Charlie from Saskatchewan” feel like I am beating up farm dads! A reader asked me to write about the emotions of quitting farming. Let’s take the approach of the farm culture attributes farm founders appreciate. What might it feel like […] Read more

Managing brothers who behave badly on the farm

“I can’t believe that we have farmed together for over 25 years, and the fights between these two brothers farming just don’t stop!” says the exasperated farm woman who has had enough. This winter may be a good time to reflect on how you want things to be different at your farm. I think Dr. […] Read more