GFM Network News


Fraser: In ag marketing, emotions need to start trumping facts

Emotional transparency 'actually goes a long way'

Go to an agricultural event and someone will inevitably point out how bad farmers are at getting their message to consumers. As annoying as it is, those comments underscore an increasingly important theme in Canadian agriculture: communication. It used to be enough to grow and market your crops, but that has changed dramatically over the

Opinion: Note from an urbanite

Eight years ago, I had no idea what fusarium, clubroot or any of the other diseases affecting crops were. Ag Days in Brandon? Never heard of it, or any of the other big farm shows in the country. I couldn’t tell wheat from canola, or identify most other crops, either. Manitoba Co-operator? Western Producer? Ontario


Six steps to better consumer conversations

The science is worth learning. Gaining knowledge about why consumers behave the way they do and make the decisions they do is essential to building constructive, forward-thinking dialogue, engaging in artful and “value-added” arguments, and educating and influencing your audience. One way to gain insight into how the human brain processes information is by exploring

The early telephone broke the isolation of rural Manitoba. Seen here are early telephone operators.

Our rural phone

The early telephone was as transformative as the internet is today

The rural phone had at last reached the district. Many there were who fought strongly against its coming, but the few progressive citizens after a hard fight managed to overcome all objections. When the poles and strands of shiny wire were actually on the ground, all felt as though we were given a new world.

Opinion: Have better conversations around agriculture

Recently the Farm and Food Care Ontario speakers’ program hosted speaker Tamar Haspel who described how to reach out to the public in ways that spark people’s interest and encourage engagement in meaningful discussion. Connecting with a public audience is a skill that seems to be at a premium in today’s conversations surrounding agriculture. Haspel


Ten things farm moms really want

It would be fun for you to be a fly on the wall of my office when the calls from farm moms come in. They range in age from 33 to 93. Regardless of your age or stage as a farm mom, I bet there are things that you would like to be able to

The power of a letter to get unstuck

Sometimes we have to go back to basics in order to keep healthy change happening on our farms. Lately in my transition seminars I have been encouraging frustrated young farmers to write a letter of intent to their founding parents. People who are stuck with a large degree of anxiety and overwhelm from not knowing

Owen Roberts speaks at the University of Manitoba.

Diversity of opinions OK

If you want to reach urban audiences, ditch the email and pick up the phone

Whether you’re in the house, the combine or the barn, it’s something that rarely leaves your side — your phone. But while farmers are using their devices for everything from surfing the Internet, to purchasing fertilizer and checking weather forecasts, producers, farm organizations and commodity groups are overlooking the basics of communication when it comes


Tina Varughese

Pictures help avoid confusion in the barn

Hiring employees from diverse cultural backgrounds has rewards and challenges

Communicating well with employees can be challenging at the best of times, but throw additional languages and new customs into the mix, and it can be a minefield for the unprepared. “I think we’ve become way too politically correct in this country and we need to call a spade a spade… because it would really

Apply For FCC AgriSpirit Fund

The application period for the Farm Credit Canada (FCC) AgriSpirit Fund opened May 3. Registered charities and non-profit organizations interested in applying for funding this year are encouraged to apply online at www.agrispirit.ca,from May 3 until June 14. The fund will provide $1 million to support rural capital projects across Canada. The FCC AgriSpirit Fund