GFM Network News


Robbie and Vickie Ripplinger’s four girls play a huge role in making the farm run smoothly.

Meet your farming neighbours: Vickie and Robbie Ripplinger

Vickie and Robbie Ripplinger are raising 
four girls on their family farm

Every farm has its own story. No two farms (or farmers) are exactly alike. Everyone got started in a different way, and every farm has a different combination of family and hired staff who make the decisions and keep things running. But, in general, even after you consider all of the details, Prairie farmers are […] Read more

Farm Financial Planner: Purchasing the family farm

Three sons want to buy the family farm. Purchase costs could ruin the plan

A couple we’ll call Jack and Terri, both 63, have farmed in south central Manitoba for the last four decades. Their farm started with 320 acres; now it’s 600 acres of grain with modest profits. The problem? How Jack and Terri can migrate to retirement while accommodating their three sons’ wishes to follow Mom and […] Read more


Sarah Schultz is proud to be a farmwife and mother.

What does ‘farmwife’ mean to me?

This can have different meanings for different people but it explains a huge part of my identity

You could call me a bit of an old soul who passionately loves technology. I’m caught somewhere in the middle on the spectrum of ’50s housewife and millennial, if there is such a thing. I love being at home and being a housewife and mom. I also love practising as a registered nurse when I’m not at […] Read more

The power of a letter to get unstuck

Sometimes we have to go back to basics in order to keep healthy change happening on our farms. Lately in my transition seminars I have been encouraging frustrated young farmers to write a letter of intent to their founding parents. People who are stuck with a large degree of anxiety and overwhelm from not knowing […] Read more


Managing your farm’s biggest risk

For long-term stability, farm transition planning is key. Take control of your biggest risk

The marketing risk management issues I usually write about are focused on improving marketing results while reducing marketing risk. I would say this falls under the category of production management. What I would like to talk about in this article comes under the category of business management: farm transition planning. You may wonder why I […] Read more

Farm Financial Planner: Switching up a succession plan

When children change their minds, parents revise their farm succession plans

Central Manitoba farmers Lloyd, 59, and his wife Ellie, 58, have been running their grain farm for four decades. With 1,920 acres of land they own personally and 960 acres in their farming corporation and reasonably up to date machinery owned by the corporation, they face the common problem of generational succession. They have two […] Read more


Schleitheim in the Fall: Schleitheim is the village I live in and write from.

Letter from Europe

Farm Perspectives

Background: Marianne Stamm grew up on a pioneer farm in the Peace country of British Columbia. Marriage to her Swiss husband Robert sent her to a mixed family farm in Switzerland, then back to a grain farm in Westlock, Alberta. She has now moved back to Switzerland to be near the grandchildren. Looking at the […] Read more

Alison Anderson, the director of Succession Matching.

How to find a successor for your farm

If you don’t have anyone interested in taking over the farm 
Succession Matching may be able to help

It often happens at my succession communication seminars that a weary farmer approaches me with a problem. “Elaine, we don’t have a successor for our farm.” The look of worry and wear on their face makes me want to just sit and listen to their story. When I spoke in Biggar, Saskatchewan a few years […] Read more


Talking about the farm transition

Bring in the experts when it's time to talk about passing on the family farm

During the winter months, I spent a lot of time at conferences and meetings, often talking with farmers over lunches and breaks. One such conversation was around farm transition. I spoke with a couple in the process of taking over the family farm. The issue was two other siblings who worked off the farm. These […] Read more

Writing those monthly paycheques

Are we farmers paying ourselves as much as we’re paying our hired help?

The paycheques have been signed for another month and it brings to mind the joke about the tax man and the farm owner/operator having a conversation about wages: “I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them,” demanded the agent. “Well,” replied the farmer, “there’s my farm hand. I pay him […] Read more