GFM Network News


Farm Financial Planner: Estate planning for the very long term

Farm Financial Planner: Estate planning for the very long term

This tree farmer’s crop will take decades to mature, but tax planning is still key

David, a name we’re giving to a tree farmer in eastern Ontario, is 83. His wife passed away some years back. He converted a 47-acre former hay and horse farm to trees. Now there are 25,000 trees growing, a crop that, given natural mortality, he is unlikely to see mature. The trees are varied, including […] Read more

How to ask your lender for money when you need it

How to ask your lender for money when you need it

Having a business plan that tells your farm’s story increases your chance of success with lenders

In the first article in this series, I introduced several options available to farmers experiencing financial difficulties. I advised farmers to address financial issues sooner rather than later and not to lay blame on anyone or anything (like the weather). In the second article, I presented an example of using debt restructuring and asset sales […] Read more


Family sees four options to get farm finances on track

Family sees four options to get farm finances on track

If you’re in financial trouble, address the problem without abandoning your goals

Farmers facing financial issues should address these issues as soon as they occur. In this case, Joe and Sally saw a potential problem and took steps to find a way forward. Although this example is a small farm, the issues and options are equally applicable to larger operations. A farm couple that we will call […] Read more

When you ask questions with respect and from a perspective of creating solutions to a problem you have a chance to be heard.

How to approach Father for more financial transparency

Find out what’s causing fear of transparency and learn how to talk openly about money

One of the key definitions for fairness I use is “Fairness is helping everyone be successful.” The “F” in FAIR, stands for financial transparency. What does this mean to young farmers hoping to take over the management of the farm? It means everything! Last night our family had an impromptu meal at the successor’s home. […] Read more


Your farm financial scorecard

Your farm financial scorecard

Farm financial statements can offer you a lot more than just a way to keep score

If you had time to go golfing or perhaps mini-golfing last summer, you likely filled out a scorecard to track your success (or lack thereof). Keeping score allows you to track your progress and rank yourself against your competition. The golf clubs, green fees, and your time represent a significant investment and the scorecard measures […] Read more

Farm Financial Planner: Selling to get out from under debt

With no farming children and little income flowing in from the farm, it’s time to sell


A couple we’ll call Harry, 74, and Anne, 72, have been farming in central Manitoba for four decades and would like to retire. They have 1,600 acres — 600 for grain and the remainder for pasture and hay. Their children, two sons and two daughters, have careers away from the family farm. The problem: pay […] Read more


Re-think what you thought, Part 2

Four more common financial investing myths, de-bunked by Herman VanGenderen

This article is a continuation of my previous column, and a summary of the themes of my 30- to 45-minute presentation. Most stock investing perceptions are actually misperceptions. I outlined five common misperceptions in the previous article. Here are another four. 1. You have to sell to make a profit The three companies I have […] Read more

Barbed wire fence through the tall golden grass fields

Farm Financial Planner: Sell the farm or lease the land?

Sell the place and keep the cash, or hold on to your family legacy?

In south-central Manitoba, a couple we’ll call Perry, 50, and Lucy, 45, are feeling pressure to operate the family grain farm. Perry’s parents recently passed away and the 480-acre farm is Perry and Lucy’s. If they go back to the farm from their off-farm careers, they will give up a combined annual off-farm income totaling […] Read more


For the most part, recent strong net income will take the sting out of interest rate hikes.

Rising interest rates, rising risk?

Farm Management: What do today’s rising interest rates mean for your farm’s balance sheet

There are a number of ways that rising interest rates affect farm balance sheets. They can negatively affect cash flow, can create a need to adjust short-term and long-term liabilities and affect the value of farmland that in turn can impact the farm’s asset values. “Higher interest rates will impact operations differently based on how […] Read more

Having a well-thought-out risk management plan for your farm can help you endure market volatility.

Farming can be a rough game to play

Protect yourself and your farm by making a risk management plan in advance

In the middle of September, the Prairies were hit with frost, rain and snow. If this were a sporting event and I were the referee that would be enough for me to eject Mother Nature from the game along with a two or three game suspension for an unsportsman-like conduct penalty as her actions were […] Read more