GFM Network News


Where is it written that farm women have to grow a garden?

Unwritten farm expectations

Where is it written that good farm women grow gardens?

Susan Forward who authored Emotional Blackmail has a handy tool for challenging the way things have always been done by saying: “Where is it written?”… _____________. You fill in the blank for the unwritten rule or expectation that you are challenging. Large farm vegetable gardens: “Where is it written that in order to be a […] Read more

A dozen things about divorce

Here’s a friend’s observations about her own divorce journey

Speaking to my tribe of farm advisers I mentioned that I was walking alongside four friends navigating the process of divorce, and a colleague in my audience said, “Elaine, make that five friends… ugh!” My best friend from Grade 8 offers these observations about her divorce journey, with her permission of course! Both partners need […] Read more


Make face-to-face communication a priority in your relationship.

Ways to encourage the cherish factor with the one you love

Talk to each other and find out what you both want and need to feel loved

My husband of 36 years just dropped me off at the Minot airport in his pickup. We enjoyed the two-hour ride together listening to inspirational tunes, and laughing when we had to stop to help herd stray Angus back to their farm. As farm kids we both chased lots of cows, and it reminded us […] Read more

Marriage fitness… building a stronger team

Spend some time this fall and winter to get your partnership in better shape

Some folks are thankful for a phenomenal crop this season, thanks to heaps of snow last winter giving residual moisture during our hot, dry summer. Unfortunately it seems that spouses may spend more attention on crop production than they do to their marriage partnerships, and the cracks are really showing up. I challenge you to […] Read more


The firewall word picture fits our computer’s security, but I wonder if the approach of building a wall of protection around your farm is a good analogy?

Why create a ‘firewall’ against divorce?

First of all you need to recognize who and what you want to keep out

His face was weathered and worn as he approached me with wrinkled brows. “You talked about the fear of spousal breakup,” and I’m curious, how do I create a firewall to protect my farm?” (Note: he said “my farm,” not OUR farm). The firewall word picture fits our computer’s security, but I wonder if the […] Read more

Who am I as father, founder and farmer?

You need to be intentional about being rich in relationships

As an outsider looking in to the many farm families that I am honoured to share time with, it always saddens me to see folks who cannot seem to grasp happiness beyond what they do as farmers, especially when it is time to let go of control of decision-making and let the next generation be […] Read more


Working towards a bully-free farm culture

Author offers insight if your the target of bullying and what you can do about it

She came up to me quietly after my presentation, looking tired and sad. “Elaine I haven’t been off the farm in months, and I don’t know who is going to help us with seeding. I am 70 and I cannot take this anymore. My husband is very verbally abusive and won’t get help for his […] Read more