Category: Farm Management

Are You a Business First Family Farm? – Jolene Brown

It’s no secret or will it shock you if I told you that I think farmers are terrible at succession planning.  If most of you reflected on your own personal situations I would assume you would say that you agree.  The question that arises is, if we know this to be true, why do we… Read more »

Tax Policy is Killing the Cattle Industry with Kindness

We have lots of cows in Canadian Agriculture, but we also have some sacred cows a well. One of these is the ability to shelter income through the cash method of reporting farming  income. For those who don€™t know how this works, it is a simplistic formula whereby as long as you have more expenses than… Read more »

Swallowing Your Pride – Can Family Farms Still Afford to Be Split Up?

By Shaun Haney It has always been the practice in agriculture if more than one sibling decides to take over the family farm that the farm will be split into separate entities.  I know that in my own family’s case in the late seventies, my grandfather and his brother split the farm into two separate… Read more »

Should There Be An Age Limit on Farm Workers?

By Shaun Haney Agriculture has some untouchable topics that we are just not supposed to talk about.  One of them is dealing with aging farm workers.  On the farm we are taught to respect our elders but in some cases in agriculture we take this to high levels of absurdity.   Recently, in northern Alberta… Read more »

Ag Business Is a Flurry With Mergers and Acquisitions – Tony Demarin, BCV Asset Management

There and many different reasons for a company to want to make the “big deal.” Some are looking for efficiency, some strive for an increase in scope, and others just see the value at certain levels. Lately the agri-business sector is under intense media coverage with the running and gunning in the marketplace by company’s… Read more »

When is the Right Time to Start Talking About Family Farm Succession? – Elaine Froese

When we think about the threat to family farms we might talk about industry consolidation, farm commodity depreciation, access to qualified workers, rising input costs or market volatility.  All of these things are threats to the survival of Canadian family farms but maybe the biggest threat was not included in this above list. In my… Read more »

How Innovative is Agriculture?

When we read about innovation in business magazines we commonly see companies like Apple that produce cool gadgets and personal devices.  We frequently see car companies or advertising agencies with flashy designs or cool strategies getting recognized for innovation but why not agriculture? What do you think? As a farmer do you consider yourself innovative?… Read more »

Getting Young People Back to the Farm is Critical

By Shaun Haney With the advancing average age of the North American farmer we have a critical situation at hand.   We need to get more young people in the business of farming.   Now I am not talking about getting more young people into the ag-industry.  I am talking about getting them on the… Read more »

2010 is the Year of Indecision

So far in 2010, the only decision being made on farms is to be indecisive.  It has been an unbelievable spring of yes…no…maybe…no….yes….i have no idea!!!  Sometimes I wish that farmers had the decisiveness of cattlemen in their unshattered confidence that things will get better and having conviction is allowable. The early cropping favourites in… Read more »

Decision Making Under Uncertainty – Dr. Allan Gray

At the Syngenta G32 Summit I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Allan Gray from Purdue University.  With the increased volatility in the marketplace producers must be much more aware and conscious of the risk dynamics.  I have always found that risk is a very difficult topic to discuss because everyone has a different risk profile.  What seems risky… Read more »

Can Agriculture Avoid the Pitfalls of the Auto Sector

While in London Ontario for the Innovative Farmers of Ontario meeting I listened to a keynote speech given by Dennis DesRosiers.  Dennis is a highly respected automobile industry analyst and he gave a breakdown of what has put the auto sector behind the financial eight ball.  The purpose was for farmers in attendance to draw… Read more »

Are Farms Becoming Too Leveraged?

In early January, I was fortunate to be invited to be involved in a panel discussion on AgVisonTV hosted by Kevin Stewart.  The topic was farm debt and was it was a great experience.  I was joined on the panel by Dr. George Brinkman, a retired agricultural economist at Guelph University and Dina Cover, an Economist at… Read more »