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COUNTRY GUIDE  July 7, 2022

The equitable farm

Being fair and equitable to women on the farm has to start much closer to home than most of us are aware.

Women in agriculture span the career spectrum from hands-on farm owners and managers to the unpaid extra pair of hands that runs to get parts or takes a turn checking the cows at calving time.

Women fill all those roles and more, and almost without exception, they juggle that work with all the other balls of home and family.

Farm women are raising kids, managing the household and caring for elderly parents in addition to everything else they do on and off the farm.

“Women are doing the invisible tasks in addition to the work that they ‘should be doing’ or are being paid for,” says Dr. Sonia K. Kang, associate professor of organizational behaviour and HR management at the University of Toronto. “There is so much unpaid labour that goes completely ignored.”

Which is not to say that men don’t juggle lots of balls themselves, but rarely do they have the same expectations as women, specifically when it comes to responsibilities related to the household and child care.

Full story here.

COUNTRY GUIDE  June 23, 2022

‘Scale up your food ideas!’

Is the time right to take your big idea to a food development centre? Today’s commodity prices may make this the best year ever to future-proof your farm.

There’s a lot to learn about Canada’s food development centres, but the fact is, few of our farmers have ever been inside one. So Country Guide has gone on a sort of field trip, and here’s what we found out.

First, there are both private and publicly run centres in just about every province across Canada, plus a number of municipal centres too, and their job is to provide experts and facilities to help would-be food entrepreneurs develop, test and produce their food products.

It’s also important to know that these centres deal with clients of all different sizes, from the individual with a family recipe to large, multinational food companies with a proven track record of developing successful food products.

For farmers, though, there are a ton of questions. If you’ve got a great idea for a value-added food product, at what point should you approach your local food development centre for help?

Full story here.

Photo: Supplied to Country Guide by Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre.

COUNTRY GUIDE  June 16, 2022

How to prepare for business meetings

Getting serious about family meetings is helping this farm score current and future gains.

At one of their first business meetings on their farm, Betty Green served coffee and cake to everyone present, including her son. When he put the plate on the floor beside him, Green admonished him, telling him to put it in the sink instead.

Her son turned to her and said “Mom, we are in a business meeting!”

“That was a big ‘aha’ moment,” Green says, and she remembers realizing “he’s right because in here I am not Mom, I am his business partner.”

It has become a key learning. In their farm meetings, it’s important for everyone to take off their family hat and address each other in a professional way.

Full story here.

Photo: Supplied to Country Guide by the Green family.

COUNTRY GUIDE  March 30, 2021

Getting to the dream

A real-life story of making a non-family farm transition work, including all the time, the effort, the talking and the satisfaction. Full story here.
“It was so simple,” Bob McCoubrey says. Instead of putting funds in investments, he’d set up a mortgage to help the Thurstons buy the farm. But it didn’t stay simple for long.

Image: Matt and Molly Thurston, Bob and Sharon McCoubrey, supplied to Country Guide by McCoubreys.

COUNTRY GUIDE  March 23, 2021

Transitioning the farm beyond the family.

Maybe keeping the farm in the family isn’t an option for you. Or maybe you’ve seen the statistics and you believe Canada simply doesn’t have enough young farmers, so today’s farmers must open the door to more new entrants. Well, it’s never going to be easy, but check out these creative ways to have your cake and eat it too. Full story here.

Image: Barb Matfin

COUNTRY GUIDE  March 22, 2021

Feeding the farmer

As global population estimates get scaled back, our sense of priorities is beginning to change. Full story here.

Image: Dr. Mitch Hunter, supplied to Country Guide

GRAINEWS  March 15, 2021

Tips to develop a spring safety checklist for your farm

There are many reasons why it’s needed, including your profitability. Full story here.

Image: Supplied by CAFA to Grainews.

COUNTRY GUIDE  March 17, 2021

You can’t hand it to them

Every transition is unique. This one is too. But inside Kyle (left) and Bryan Maynard’s experience are nuggets that can transform the process for farms across the country. Full story here.

“That’s the point I think we could have stressed more,” says Kyle. “You say you don’t think it’s a good life, but you’d never do anything else, and we feel the same way.”
Image: Kyle and Bryan Maynard, supplied to Country Guide.

COUNTRY GUIDE  March 11, 2021

It’s your future

PESTLE analysis aims to help you anticipate the big what-if’s that are going to shape Canada’s farms, and then figure out what you as an individual farmer can do to prepare for them. Full story here.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Anthony Taylor says. But farmers can identify the threats most likely to shape their future.
Image: Anthony Taylor, supplied to Country Guide.

COUNTRY GUIDE  March 10, 2021

A word about your farm

Financial fluency is paying off for farms who learn the lingo. Full story here.

Paul Hammerton
Image: Paul Hammerton, supplied to Country Guide.

COUNTRY GUIDE  March 3, 2021

Don’t retire – ‘rewire’

Retirement can be rich and rewarding. Or it can be deadly dull. The difference may be whether you connect with new resources and advisors. Full story here.

Image: Susan Latremoille, supplied to Country Guide.

COUNTRY GUIDE  February 16, 2021

Digitizing the farm

Digitization got its start with a focus on the agronomic side, but now you’re going to hear more promises of business benefits. Full story here.
Digitizing the farm
Image: Supplied to Country Guide.

COUNTRY GUIDE  February 11, 2021

The retiring farmer

In the dictionary, to be “retiring” means to bow silently out. Now, one of North America’s top farm retirement experts, shares why it’s the wrong strategy for our older farmers. Full story here.

Image: Michael Rosmann, supplied to Country Guide.

COUNTRY GUIDE  January 19, 2021

Going wide on corn row spacing

In this research, allowing more space for the intercrop has little or no effect on corn yield. Full story here.

Image: Yvonne Lawley. Photo: Stephanie Dheilly.

GRAINEWS  January 18, 2021

Farmers weigh in on drone benefits

How producers from Alberta and Saskatchewan use their drones on the farm. See full story here.

Alberta producer Matt Vossepoel uses a drone — like the one that produced this image for counting animals out on rangeland — to check his 800-head of cattle and to find sick animals or issues at calving time.

Image: Using drones to count cattle on pasture, supplied by Landview Drones.

SEE ALSO: Twelve uses for your drone
Tips to help you choose your first drone

COUNTRY GUIDE  October 14, 2020

A new farm story

Most of Canada’s farms got their start when previous generations of immigrants made sacrifices and worked hard to gain a toehold, often via truck farming. Is it still happening? Full story here.

Image: Anne de Haas

COUNTRY GUIDE  September 16, 2020

Building the chain

When should you give an expert chain-builder like Braden Douglas a call? Full story here

Image: Supplied by CREW Marketing Partners

COUNTRY GUIDE  June 17, 2020

Humming, strumming along with song

Few things cheer a farmer’s heart like music, so let’s hear more of it. Full story here

Image: Supplied by Jennifer Buchanan

COUNTRY GUIDE  April 6, 2020

Brother-sister team credit teamwork on their Sask. farm

As long as Mom and Dad are actively farming, it can be simple. But what about later? Here’s how Saskatchewan’s Jarid and Jody Berglund are working toward their shared vision. Full story here

Image: Sandy Black for Country Guide

COUNTRY GUIDE  April 6, 2020

Do siblings fight? Is grass green?

But if the problem runs deeper than occasional disagreements over what crop to plant or what size tractor to buy, the resolution has to involve listening to each other, especially when you really don’t want to. Full story here

COUNTRY GUIDE  March 2, 2020

Our ‘Amazon moment’

As Wade Barnes sees it, farms and farm suppliers can either embrace today’s tech disruption, or get ready to sell to those who will. Full story

Image: Victoria Anne Photography for Country Guide

COUNTRY GUIDE February 26, 2020

The open source farmer

For Dorn and Sarah Cox, building an ag internet will bring the power back in farmer’s hands. Full story here

Image: Dorn and Sarah Cox

COUNTRY GUIDE August 13, 2019

Retired farmers show they have a lifetime to share

Support for these farmers stopped the moment they left the farm, until Jill Rennie developed this innovative dementia support group. See full story here

Image: Supplied by Jill Rennie.

COUNTRY GUIDE March 27, 2017

A woman’s place at the board table

In different parts of the country, Amanda Jeffs and Pam Bailey are rising to the same challenge, curbing the dominance of men on so many farm boards. See full story here


Image: Chris Procaylo for Country Guide

COUNTRY GUIDE July 25, 2017

Three farm families, five years later

Country Guide revisits three young Manitoba farm families building their future in agriculture. See full story here


Image: Country Guide

COUNTRY GUIDE April 24 2017


Image: Country Guide

Getting ‘Lean’ for Farming

Small farms like Ben Hartman’s can be among the first to boost their numbers by adopting lean, but there are lessons for all.
See full story here.

COUNTRY GUIDE December 5, 2016

A cattle company finding its own way


Photo: David Stobbe

They’re risk takers who hate to lose and aren’t afraid to trust their own instincts, which is why, on the road to diversification, the Blairs have drawn their own map.
See full story here.

COUNTRY GUIDE April 1, 2016

Location, location


Picture: Sandy Black

The Spenst family are farmers first, but with a farm that extends right to the store counter.

When Garry Spenst and his sons, Paul and Garreth, heard that the Real Canadian Superstore was coming to Winkler, Man. they took the biggest gamble of their lives. The family paid $100,000 to buy the lot right next door.
See the full story here.
This story won the SILVER DICK BEAMISH AWARD for press feature writing at the 2016 Canadian Farm Writers Federation Awards.

COUNTRY GUIDE March 11, 2016

Early Warning Signs of a Business in Trouble

Whether it’s your farm, or a company or a farm you deal with, it’s never good to be the last to know.

Unfortunately some businesses will fail. There can be any number of contributing reasons, such as an economic downturn, competition, bad customer relations, bad internal management, changes in markets, government regulations or unforeseen events.
See the full story here

COUNTRY GUIDE March 7, 2106

Tips to Protect Your Farm’s Assets

These six strategies will ensure you get much more than just the tax benefits of forming a farm corporation.

Many farms that incorporate do so for tax purposes. After all, there are definite tax advantages available to a corporation and its shareholders that are not available to individuals or partnerships.

But farm businesses should be careful that they don’t let the tax tail wag the dog, says Jerry Lupkowski, a senior partner with MNP at its Portage la Prairie, Man. office.
See the full story here

COUNTRY GUIDE February 26, 2016

Is There Room for Entitlement on the Family Farm?

If you’re the first-born male, it used to mean you had won the lottery. You got to inherit the biggest share, you got to take over as boss, and you got to sit at the head of the family table. But today that kind of European hierarchy is quickly fading on the family farm.

Except… how do you decide who should be in charge, or how to split the estate when you can’t simply apply the old first-born formula the way all our previous generations did?
see the full story here

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