GFM Network News


Toban Dyck: A deeper dive into policy

Agriculture is in need of synthesis

I am going back to university. By the time you read this, I will have a class or two under my belt. At 40 years of age, this could be interesting. I have decided to take a deeper dive into policy. I have been working in the agricultural industry at the farm group level for […] Read more

Toban Dyck: Looking back on 2020

We’ve been left to our own devices

With all this time at home, there seems to be no limit to the things I can get into. This year, 2020, the year so many people want to get past, has been one characterized by exploration and curiosity. And that is a good thing. Prodding forward when the path ahead is invisible or unclear […] Read more


Toban Dyck: Sanity in an oil change

The tangible elements of farming are therapeutic

The webcam on my MacBook hasn’t been working consistently, giving me a great excuse to participate in virtual meetings without having my mug on the screen. I slink back in my chair and engage in the conversation, but my eyes can wander without anyone noticing. I stare out my office window, which overlooks our farmyard […] Read more

Toban Dyck: This year we decided to grow black beans

New doesn’t mean impossible

This growing season has been different. I think we can all agree on that. As much as I have tried, it has pushed me to the thresholds of my cognitive abilities to index the challenges associated with the pandemic and then separate those from the unique challenges facing the agricultural sector. The general COVID-19 malaise […] Read more


There is an extraordinary amount of things on a farmer’s mind, at the best of times. This year that number has multiplied.

Toban Dyck: Piecing together the farming puzzle

A picture is starting to emerge of what farming looks like for me

Eight years ago, when Jamie and I moved to the farm, I opened the box and dumped the farming puzzle on the table. There seemed to be an infinite amount of pieces and just as many ways to put it together. And, as you know, this particular puzzle does not come with a reference picture. […] Read more

Riding Mountain National Park, western Manitoba.

Toban Dyck: Tread the COVID-19 landscape with sensitivity

It’s a challenge to process the news and identify how our fears and prejudices influence our positions

I check my crops nearly every morning. I didn’t do that last year or any year since I have been back on the farm. I regularly communicate with my father about what’s happening on the farm on any given day. I didn’t do that last year, either. I have spent an unprecedented amount of time […] Read more


One thing I’ve learned is that video conferencing is actually a satisfactory way to communicate.

Toban Dyck: Redefining face-to-face contact

The tech we’ve been forced to adopt is actually useful

There’s no substitute for face-to-face contact. I have believed in this adage for a long time. I felt it was a good perspective to balance the trend among younger generations that have trouble picking up a phone or going to someone’s house. Also, it’s often the default argument in favour of going to a conference […] Read more



Toban Dyck: Daily update

This quick note is not profound, but it does amazing work

I send my dad a farm update every weekday morning. This is a new habit, and I love it. I suspect he doesn’t mind, either. I’m proud to be at a stage in my farming trajectory where I am able to observe and articulate priorities in a way that lets those around me know I’ve […] Read more

Toban Dyck: Do you know your cost of production?

If there ever was a year for a detailed budget, it’s this one

He leaned over and said, “Do you know what one of the biggest issues facing farmers is?” I’m paraphrasing. I didn’t have my notepad out and open. I had no way of knowing that I would be talking about such heady stuff, given where we were. We were both waiting for the same prop plane […] Read more