GFM Network News


Diana 
and Len Desharnais on a recent trip to Germany.

Meet your farming neighbours: Len and Diana Desharnais

The Desharnais family farms in the Peace River area of northern Alberta

Every farm has its own story. No two farms (or farmers) are exactly alike. Everyone starts off farming in their own way and every farm has its own combination of family and hired staff who make decisions and keep things running. Yet, even after considering all of the details, farmers are more alike than they […] 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


The Rimmer family moved from Britain to Canada in 2009. They enjoy spending time together as a family.

Meet your farming neighbours: David and Sharon Rimmer

After relocating from Britain, the Rimmers have found a new family home in Manitoba

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, farmers are more […] 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


Aaron and Aynsley Williams, their eight-year old twin boys, Sawyer and Sterling, five-year-old Sahen and three-year old Sloan live and farm near Macrorie, Saskatchewan.

Meet your farming neighbours: Aaron and Aynsley Williams

Aaron and Aynsley Williams farm in west-central Saskatchewan

Every farm has its own story. No two farms (or farmers) are exactly alike. Where do you farm? Aaron and Aynsley Williams farm east of Macrorie, Sask., toward Diefenbaker Lake dam. They have four children including eight-year-old twin boys, Sawyer and Sterling, five-year-old Sahen and their daughter Sloan, who is three. Who do you farm […] Read more

Mom, Heather Eppich and son Joseph, saddled up for a ride.

Breeding season begins

With moisture to help the grass, cows and bulls head out to pasture

May turned out to be a warm month. We were lucky enough to get several rainstorms toward the end of May and beginning of June — very happy to get the much-needed moisture. On May 12 our last Bannerlane heifer calved. There was only one foot presented so we put her in the maternity pen […] 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 kids: Don’t worry about wages

A new study by Cornell University agricultural economists says family members who work on the family dairy farm make $22,000 less annually than comparable hired managers, but are handsomely compensated with “socioemotional” wealth. “While $22,000 seems like a large penalty, there are non-financial rewards they experience working for the family business,” Loren Tauer, professor at […] Read more

Top ‘phrases’ for coaching farm families

The Elaine Froese (phrase) that pays

One snowy day at a beautiful ranch home in southern Alberta around the expansive kitchen table, the farm team said, “Elaine you should make a list of your top phrases that you use in coaching.” “OK,” I said, knowing that many of the best projects are started by attentive practical ranchers and farmers who call […] Read more