GFM Network News

We need to be careful and smart about what we believe, what we share and what we put into practice in our lives and on our farms.

Toban Dyck: Telling the facts from the falsehoods

It’s never been harder to tell truth from fiction — on the internet or on the farm

Leading up to the 2016 U.S. election, the Russian Institute allegedly began shifting its focus from distributing propaganda in the Ukraine to taking an active role in galvanizing anti-Hillary Clinton sentiment across the United States. It was last year sometime when my wife, Jamie, suggested I listed to the Radiolab podcast entitled “The Curious Case […] Read more

Toban Dyck: Some light reading over breakfast

Consumers groups and farmers are working with separate sets of facts

I read something that fired me up. Actually, Jamie, my wife, did. Jamie knew how I’d react. She read the post out loud to verify that. It was all in good fun. And it led to a great conversation. I sat where I’m sitting now, at the kitchen island. And Jamie sat close by, also […] Read more

One of the positives of Twitter folks in agriculture is that often other people in ag intervene when an attack is aimed at a specific person.

Reporter’s Notebook: Fear and anger on the internet

Social media is great for sharing information, but there is a downside

In my last column, I wrote about how rapid change in how we communicate is changing society and encouraging fear. Fear easily morphs into anger and hatred and there’s no shortage of either on the internet. I’d love to write that the online ag community is free from such nastiness. But the ag community is […] Read more

Case IH's combine manufacturing plant at Grand Island, Neb.

Reporter’s Notebook: Times are changing everywhere

Corn, soybeans and a changing society on the other side of the border

In late July, I flew to Nebraska to get an idea of what the ag industry looks like in that state. Before I even left my hotel in Omaha, I had my first clue. The Omaha World-Herald ran a front-page story on the $12 billion ag aid package with a rhyming headline. “Farmers: Thanks for […] Read more

I wanted to let people know what we did on our grain farm and why.

The other side of the ‘agvocacy’ world

Nurse Loves Farmer: An attempt to fill a knowledge gap turned into a backlash of criticism against me

A few years ago I started “agvocating” for agriculture. I saw a gap that needed to be filled in the mommy blogging and food blogging worlds, as they desperately wanted to be more connected to where their food came from. The assumptions, the myths and the fear that was being spread in these communities made […] Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Four questions to ask yourself

Before you get involved in an ugly social media argument, take time to think it through

When I look at the state of public discourse these days, the phrase that comes to mind is “dumpster fire.” My theory is that our society hasn’t had time to adapt to rapidly changing technology (i.e. social media). These days, anyone can tweet or post anything. Some of those opinions are insightful and worth exploring. […] Read more

Farmers encouraged to make Agriculture Day meme-able

Canada’s farmers are being urged to make closer connections with the country’s non-farming consumers, in both the real world and cyberspace, as Canada’s Agriculture Day nears. Spearheaded by the year-round industry-backed initiative Agriculture More Than Ever, Canada’s Agriculture Day is set this year for Tuesday (Feb. 13). “It’s a time to showcase all of the […] Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Moving from Twitter to real life

Twitter is bringing the ag community closer together, in many different ways

It’s a scenario familiar to anyone on Twitter who attends farm shows— the attempt to figure out if that stranger you’ve just met is actually someone you know through Twitter. But farmers and ag industry launched a simple solution this summer. It’s a black lanyard, with #agtwittercommunity printed on the fabric. The name tag includes […] Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: Tips for safely managing ag reporters

Some tips on how to talk to reporters, and why you might want to in the first place

Last spring I wrote a column designed to scare all of you from ever talking to a reporter. If you’ve run into a pack of farm reporters at a field day, you’ll know why I felt compelled to warn you. (Just kidding, we’re okay). I thought I’d start the New Year with a couple more […] Read more