Return on investment for farms about more than numbers

Everyone wants the best possible return on their investments. To achieve that, we first need to determine what the actual investment is that we want a return on. Next, we need to define the return we want and determine how we’re going to measure it. For a business, this is straight forward. Take the profit […] Read more

A trio of craft brewers talk about the potential of craft brewing industry during FarmTech in Edmonton with host Lauren Reid of Alberta Barley.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Beer culture reaches the farm

EDMONTON, Alta. — When Shane Groendahl goes to a party, he likes to slap down a growler of his Blindman Brewing beer and announce that it is what beer should taste like. It’s that passion for brewing beer, the taste of craft beer and the enthusiasm that has Albertans switching from drinking traditional beers to […] Read more

U.S. asks for arbitration on COOL damages

The United States has decided to ask the world trade organization for arbitration over the amount of damages Canada claims has been caused by mandatory country or origin labelling. Canada asked the WTO to impose retaliatory tariffs of more than $3 billion annually on key U.S. exports due to damages caused by COOL. “Canada is […] Read more


RRSPs can make retirement easier

Planning for retirement can be the last thing on a farmer’s mind. The value of the farm and investments that have accumulated over the years quite often leaves little concern about the ability to fund one’s retirement. However, discussions about succession planning or not selling off farm assets can complicate the issue. Using a Registered […] Read more

Keep track of medical expenses to apply for tax credit

Most family farms have med-ical emergencies and ex-penses. There’s often nothing that can be done to get around the financial burden. However, there may be opportunities to recover some of the outlay through your taxes. Understanding these opportunities and keeping good records can save you money. All amounts paid for eligible medical expenses over a […] Read more


Family gift may be more trouble than it’s worth

What happens in a family of four children when three of the children have left the farm and one stays to help nurture and grow the asset? In the succession plan do they all get a proportional value of the farm or does the child who has remained on the farm receive more to reflect […] Read more

Organizational development important for family farms

Managing a farm business’s workforce is as important as managing production and marketing. Employees’ responsibilities are typically defined by what they do, who they report to, and for managers, who reports to them. Over time, these definitions are assigned to positions in the organization rather than to specific individuals. The relationships among these positions can […] Read more

Analyzing capital structure enables better investment decisions

There are several things to look for when analyzing farm profitability. Gross margin and the farm’s spending on labour, power and machinery are obvious measures, but this week I want to talk about land, building and finance (LBF), which focuses on the capital structure of the business. Rental costs of land and buildings, interest costs […] Read more


Combining assets such as equipment into one incorporated farming operation is one way for multi-generation or multi-family farms to better manage accounting and tax preparation while reducing the tax burden.  |  File photo

Combining operations can help families simplify and save

Do you and your family members operate your own individual farming operation? Are your operations interconnected due to combined input purchases, shared or jointly owned assets or shared lending agreements? If this is the case, it could be of value to consider simplifying operations through the transfer of your assets into one entity. That’s not […] Read more

Every tool and production practice on Les Jardins de la Grelinette is geared to its 30-inch-wide raised beds.  |  Les Jardins de la Grelinette   photo

It’s truly an art form to get more done with less work

No one told Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches that small-scale organic market gardening was endless hours of backbreaking work for low pay. “Our first role model was a French Canadian guy we worked for who was farming in northern New Mexico,” says Fortier. “He worked hard but made a lot of dough. People lined up […] Read more