Who we are
Farm Management Canada (FMC) is an award-winning, trusted management resource for farm business managers and others in the agriculture industry.
We are the only national organization dedicated exclusively to providing the resources necessary to enable Canadian farmers to make sound management decisions.
FMC partners with industry stakeholders, including: governments, public and private sector organizations, and farm and commodity associations, to promote and foster the development of excellence in Canada’s agricultural sector.
Supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and a growing number of private partners, FMC is fulfilling a significant role in nurturing a thriving Canadian agriculture industry.
A resilient and prosperous Canadian agricultural industry that prioritizes farm business excellence.
To be the national champion of farm business management by connecting industry partners, facilitating learning opportunities, and providing valuable resources.
Joerg Zimmermann, Chair – MB
Joerg was raised on a cash crop farm near Stuttgart, Germany. After internships on grain farms in France and Canada, he graduated from the University of Hohenheim, Germany majoring in Agricultural Economics. He completed his PhD in the area of management techniques for large farm enterprises at the same German university.
During his extensive research of management strategies and control systems employed by large scale agricultural enterprises in Eastern Europe and the CIS – mainly in Russia – he got to see a wide range of farm operations in this part of the world. Besides the work on his PhD thesis Joerg consulted large scale farms in Eastern Europe and the CIS in the area of Business Management for more than 7 years. Starting in 2002, he built up and co-owned a 2,000 ha (5,000 ac) farm in Samara, Russia, where valuable lessons about practical farm management were acquired.
Between 2005 and 2008 Joerg developed a seed sales network in Northern Kazakhstan and managed an affiliated 2,000 ha (~5,000 ac) demo farm in this area. Shortly after that, Joerg joined an US-based investment fund with large farm operations in Eastern Europe and the CIS, where he planned, analyzed and benchmarked the farms owned and operated by the fund.
His pioneering days in the agricultural sector of Eastern Europe and the CIS were concluded, when he and his family settled in Winnipeg, MB in 2009. After a position in International Sales with Ag Growth International Inc., he most recently was managing the International Sales Support Organization for the same company. He introduced new processes and built up a team responsible for the design and price estimation of grain handling and storage systems as well as order fulfillment and international logistics.
Joerg keeps close ties to German agriculture as he is involved in a 4,000 ha (10,000 ac) farming partnership in Eastern Germany operating several independent farms including his own.
Going back to his passion Farm Management, Joerg started his own Farm Management Advisory business GlobalAgAdvisors Ltd. in March 2013, where he works with his farm clients in Western Canada on strategic planning, goal setting, cash flow management, financial analysis, income projecting and more. Furthermore Joerg facilitates a peer group with farmers from North Dakota and Manitoba and holds a number of board positions with progressive farms. In his low season in August and September, he you can see Joerg operating a combine on his neighbor’s 6,000 ac farm.
Joerg is following the activities of Farm Management Canada since 2010 and is an active member since 2013. He believes, that Farm Management Canada contributes enormously to the excellence of the Canadian Farming Sector. He is thrilled to join Farm Management Canada’s Board of Directors while adding his unique skills and experience from Academia, Business Development, Farm Management and International Agriculture to position Farm Management Canada well to play a leading role in Canada’s Agricultural Sector now and in future.
Terry Aberhart, Vice-Chair – SK
Growing up on his family farm cultivated Terry Aberhart’s passion for agriculture and entrepreneurial growth. He worked in the agricultural industry before returning to manage farm and custom spraying operations in 2000. In 2005, Terry founded Sure Growth Technologies, a professional independent agronomy consulting company, affiliated with Agri-Trend. In 2009 Terry received the Business Builder of the Year award and was voted Canadian Agri-Coach of the Year from Agri-Trend from 2011-2012.
In 2015, Terry, along with his brother Dan and father Harvey, founded Aberhart Ag Solutions Inc. The marketing and distributing company has helped bring BioSul Premium Plus, a unique recycled sustainable elemental sulfur product to the agricultural market. Aberhart Ag solutions continues to see network expansion, innovative and sustainable solutions. In 2017 Terry and his wife Lichelle were nominated for the Saskatchewan Outstanding Young Farmers competition and were honored to participate as runners-up in the program.
Terry has a strong focus on advancing agronomy with precision agriculture through developing and leveraging new technologies. He constantly continues his professional development attending, and often speaking at, various conferences in North America and through attending training programs like The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers out of Texas A&M through 2015-2017, and Strategic Coach business program for entrepreneurs since 2017. Terry has worked extensively to develop precision technologies, farm research, and data management.
Terry, with his wife Lichelle, children Sarrikah, Asceline, Holden, Rydar, Haliee, and Octavia and father Harvey, operate Aberhart Farms, a progressive 15,000ac grain farm. Aberhart Farms Inc. is committed to their mission of “Growing the Future”, guided by their core values of innovation, family, passion, culture, and sustainability for future generations. Terry ensures the farm’s mission is upheld through his willingness to push boundaries and through his constant education of agricultural innovation. Terry also continues to be passionate about giving back to those in need through Learn Ag, Canadian Food Grains Bank and charity projects in the developing world. He loves agriculture, working with the farm team, and sharing his success and passion with his family.
Andrea Gal, Secretary/Treasurer – ON
Andrea M. Gal is the managing editor at Farms.com. Here, she oversees the creation of editorial content for Farms.com, Better Farming and Better Pork. Through these publications, Andrea and her team bring timely agronomic, societal and government updates to their readers. Andrea’s team also shares farm business management insights through the Better Business department of Better Farming.
Along side this work, Andrea farms with her family in Oxford County, Ontario. They run a cash crop and cow-calf operation, as well as seed and fertilizer dealerships. The Gals work closely as a team to manage the family business. Eight years ago, the Gals launched a research farm, through which they conduct field-sized trials focused on identifying environmentally responsible crop nutrition programs that feed the needs of the plants while providing a strong return on investment.
Andrea is experienced at contributing to organizations within the not-for-profit sector, having served on both rural and agricultural boards.
Since May 2017 until its cessation in 2019, Andrea served on the board of directors of the Agri-food Management Institute (AMI), which created and delivered programs and resources to help Ontario’s producers and processors strengthen their business management skills. Together, the AMI board and executive director decided to transfer the organization’s farm business management tools to Farm Management Canada so that producers can continue to benefit from them.
In the fall of 2017, Andrea started volunteering with the Ag Women’s Network, which cultivates and connects agricultural leaders. Inititally, she served as the organization’s Facebook moderator. In January 2019, she moved onto the leadership team, taking on the role of content manager.
For five years, Andrea also served on the board of the Norwich & District Historical Society, a not-for-profit organization which preserves and shares the local rural community’s history.
Andrea completed her Ph.D. with a focus on rural Ontario history at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2016. She completed the Advanced Farm Management Program in the winter of 2018-19.
Andrea is passionate about the development of sound business management practices and is eager to continue to advance the work in this field.
Brad Barton, Director – YK
Derek Brewin, Director –MB
Derek Brewin began his agricultural career as a farmhand on his family’s mixed irrigation farm near Purple Springs, AB. In 1986 he graduated with a BSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Alberta and began a position as a Credit Advisor to farmers with Farm Credit Corporation (FCC). In 1989 Derek took educational leave from FCC to pursue a MSc in Agricultural Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. After that he worked for Agriculture and Agri-food Canada as a Policy Economist and then worked a stint at the Canadian Wheat Board before returning to academics. In 2000, he moved to State College, PA, to pursue his PhD in Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics at Penn State University.
Since 2003, Derek has been working as a teacher and researcher in the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba. Starting in January 2017, he has served as Head of that department.
His recent research has focused on the economics of rotations, grain and oilseed markets, grain transportation and innovations in plant breeding. He is an award-winning teacher of agricultural finance, marketing and risk management. Derek has served on numerous boards and committees. He is a Past President of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society. He has served as a Senator at the University of Manitoba, as a member of Manitoba’s Agricultural Risk Task Force and as a director of the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council.
Roberta Galbraith, Director – MB
Roberta Galbraith is a lifelong learner, connector of people, problem solver and self-proclaimed work-a-holic!
She is retiring from her full time role as Manager of Member Relations for the Manitoba Canola Growers Association in July 2019.
As a managing partner in RNR Galbraith Farms, she enthusiastically brings her passion for people and farm management to this role and will be transitioning to this opportunity full time this summer.
Other past experiences in the industry have been 16 years in the Agriculture finance sector as well as 16 years as Executive Director of a not-for-profit organization.
She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba Ag Diploma course. She believes strongly that we can always do better and that if we embrace opportunity there is little we can’t accomplish.
Annessa Good, Director – AB
Annessa Good was born and raised on a mixed farm in Cremona, AB, where her family raised purebred Simmental cattle, sheep, and exported Timothy-Alfalfa Hay to Japan. Annessa attended Mount Royal University, where she studied Business, specializing in Supply Chain Management, giving her a unique insight into Operational functionality. After graduation and working in Calgary for various industries, Annessa knew in her heart that she needed to return to the Agriculture Industry. She pursued a wonderful opportunity to work at Veterinary Agri-Health Services, a large clinic which services feedlot and cow/calf operations across western Canada. However, Annessa still felt removed from the area of agriculture that she is most passionate about – family farm sustainability and succession planning.
Annessa has since moved home to her family’s farm and is slowly starting to re-build her cow herd. Annessa is also very excited to give back to her community through volunteering as an Assistant 4H Horse Leader for the local Cremona Club. Annessa also has the honour of being selected as a 2019 Finalist for the National program, Cattleman’s Young Leaders.
Annessa previously worked for GRS Consulting Ltd., her family’s succession planning consulting company. It was here that Annessa found her niche, providing a voice for the Younger Generation at the Succession Planning Table. Annessa now works for Farm Credit Canada as the Southern Alberta Agriculture Transition Specialist. Annessa specializes in transition conversations, focusing on sharing unique business structures, family dynamics, estate planning processes and innovative tools that can make this difficult process easier. Annessa and her family are currently going through the Succession Rollercoaster themselves, which provides excellent personal insight within her consulting career.
Larry Martin, Director – ON
Larry Martin is currently a principal in Agri-Food Management Excellence, Inc a management training company and Dr. Larry Martin and Associates, a consulting operation. He teaches and coaches managers of farms, agribusiness and food companies from both Canada and the United States. Larry is the principal instructor and teaches: CTEAM, CFAME, AME Alumni, Price Risk Management Courses and Custom Courses.He also writes and consults on agri-food policy, commodity markets and strategy. He has worked with a wide array of companies and organizations in developing their strategic and operational, and/or risk management plans. He writes a monthly column on commodity markets for Food in Canada magazine.
His work has garnered him the awards of Fellow of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, the Wilson Loree Award for Excellence in Farm Business Management, and the Ontario Agricultural College Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. He was awarded a Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contributions to Canada.
Larry holds Bachelors, Masters, and PhD degrees in agricultural economics. He was Professor and Chair in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Business at the University of Guelph. He was the founding Executive Director and subsequently CEO of the George Morris Centre, an independent think tank on agricultural issues and policies located in Guelph. He chaired a national task force on competitiveness in the agri-food sector for the federal Minister of Agriculture. He is responsible for the highly acclaimed management and industry training programs that were run by the George Morris Centre and now by Agri-Food Management Excellence. He has a substantial body of refereed and non-refereed research on economic issues in the agri-food sector.
Larry is or has been a director of Ridley Canada, Lake Erie Farms, Taps Breweries Incorporated, Big Sky Farms, Coldspring Farms and a member of advisory boards for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Agriculture and Biotechnology Division of the Saskatchewan Research Council and of Burnbrae Farms. He is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Henry Vos, Director – AB
Henry Vos is from Fairview, Alberta where he and his wife have operated a grain farm for 35 years. A lifelong learner with a passion for agriculture and good agricultural policy, Henry has a BSc in Ag. and a governance designation as Charter Director (C.Dir.). Over the years he served on numerous not-for-profit and for-profit Board. He continues to make contributions to agriculture in different ways such as governance, management and farm transitions.
Currently his career and business activities include Farm support, Farm and Ranch real estate, Governance and as a hobby, flight training. Henry’s previous endevours include:
- Partner in 10,000 ac grain farm
- Founder/manager Peace Pedigreed Seed Ltd. A Seed production, processing and retail business.
- Founder/manager Three Links AgResearch Inc. A private agricultural research company.
- Founder/owner Eco Seeds Ltd. A farm input retail outlet.
- Founder/Director Canterra Seeds Ltd. A Canadian genetic and seed supply company.
Over the years, Henry has served on several Boards. He was the Founding Director of the Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Canola Producers Commission and Canterra Seeds Ltd. He sat on the Canadian Wheat Board, Canadian Seeds Institute, Canadian International Grains Institute, the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Seed Growers Association, and the Canola Council of Canada as a Director. He was the Governor of the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange (now ICE Canada) and Fairview College. Henry is currently serving as a director on the Board of Directors United Farmers of Alberta Cooperative.
Henry has kept himself busy being a Seasonal Instructor for the Farm Financial Management Course at Fairview College, taken several courses in Rural Real Estate, Farm Management, and Marketing and Risk Management. He has been on Audit, Finance, Governance, and Risk Management Committees, and has several personal development achievements sush as the successful completion of the 21st Century Leadership course, the lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence, the Dale Carnegie course, and the Leadership Accelerator.
Heather Watson, Executive Director
Heather Watson is the Executive Director of Farm Management Canada (FMC). Heather obtained her Bachelor’s from the University of Guelph, and went on to obtain her Master’s degree from the University of Warwick in Coventry, England.
Heather’s passionate about education and committed to enhancing efforts to encourage better business management practices for a sustainable and truly remarkable agriculture industry in Canada. Before joining Farm Management Canada, Heather was a project coordinator within the Business Development Centre of the University of Guelph Kemptville Campus.
Heather grew up in South-western Ontario and now lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
Heather can be reached at (613) 237-9060 ext. 31.
Mathieu Lipari, Program Manager
Mathieu joined the team in 2010 as a Project Manager and brought with him an excellent grasp of the challenges of agriculture in Canada and overseas. He manages a variety of successful projects at Farm Management Canada that provide farmers with business management tools and resources. Prior to joining the team, Mathieu worked in similar roles for the International Development Research Centre and for Guelph University and has managed agriculture projects in North and Central America, Europe and Africa.
Mathieu holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Québec in Montreal, Québec and a Technical Degree in Agriculture from the University of Guelph.
Contact Mathieu at (613) 237-9060 ext. 24
Heather Oakley, Project Manager
Heather Oakley initially joined Farm Management Canada in 2007, working with the team as a student while completing her studies at the University of Guelph. Heather has completed her 5-year Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in Agribusiness, and fills a vital role at FMC coordinating national projects. Heather lives on the family’s beef farm near Perth, Ontario and was active in many 4-H clubs over the years. In 2010, Heather was chosen as the National Outstanding Young Farmer’s Memorial Scholarship recipient- being recognized as a student pursuing her passion for agriculture. Heather placed as a finalist in the Ontario Queen of the Furrow competition at the International Plowing Match in September 2011.
Heather can be reached at (613) 237-9060 ext. 23.
Denise Rollin, Project Manager
Denise Rollin joined Farm Management Canada in February 2018 as a Project Manager. Denise comes to us with broad expertise on Federal and Provincial policy. Denise graduated from the Event Management Post-Graduate program at Algonquin College in August 2014 and brings a vast knowledge of project and event management skills.
Denise spent two years with the Federal Government working in communications for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), supporting the Federal Ministry of Science and research at post-secondary institutions across the country. Denise then spent two years at the Public Policy Forum, a non-profit think tank in Ottawa. At PPF, she was a Project Administrator, supporting and managing projects and initiatives ranging in topics from Indigenous Issues to Agriculture sector specific engagement. In this role, Denise managed and oversaw many federally-funded projects involving a variety of stakeholders from private and public sectors.
Denise grew up in rural Ontario, a small town called Russell, just outside of Ottawa. Denise is eager to join the team and contribute to a resilient agriculture sector in Canada
Contact Denise at 613-237-9060 x 32.
Christie Lefebvre, Program Coordinator
Christie joined Farm Management Canada in 2007 to fulfill the role of Agriwebinar® Admin and Support and became Program Coordinator in 2011. Christie is responsible for the coordination, administration and logistical oversight of FMC’s online programs, including Agriwebinar® and www.fmc-gac.com, working with FMC’s managers to ensure the success of FMC’s programs. Prior to joining FMC, Christie worked in technical support and customer service, as well as in event planning and personal support.
Christie holds a degree in Professional Writing from Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario as well as a certificate as a Recreational Activity Worker from Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Contact Christie at (613) 237-9060 ext. 25.
Administration, Membership & Product Distribution
For questions and concerns regarding membership, ordering products, or other general inquires, please contact us at (613) 237-9060 or via e-mail at info (at) fmc-gac.com.
Farm Management Canada began as the Canada Farm Business Management Council in 1992. The Canadian Farm Business Management Council (CFBMC) was formed as a tripartite (federal-provincial-industry) organization to improve the business management skills of Canadian farm managers. An inaugural meeting was held in Ottawa, Ontario on June 29 & 30, 1992 and brought together a variety of representatives from each of the provinces.
The CFBMC acted as the coordinating body for the National Farm Business Management Program (NFBMP). The NFBMP’s mission was to increase the profitability of farm businesses by helping farm managers develop and implement improved decision-making and business management practices. The NFBMP provided funding for projects that contributed to the strategic priorities of CFBMC with preference given to projects that were national in scope, implemented on a multi-agency or multi-provincial basis and where the applicants were contributing towards the project’s costs including in-kind.
In 1994, the federal government renewed their commitment to the Canadian Farm Business Management Program (CFBMP). CFBMC created working groups to provide interprovincial coordination and communication for projects.
The Council changed from developing working groups, which could only make recommendations, to priority committees empowered to make their own decisions on funding projects and allow for more effective and efficient decisions. Priority teams each had their own terms of reference, mandate, and budget.
In 1996/1997, the Board of Directors was compromised of one farmer and one agricultural ministry representative from each province, as well as two federal contacts. The Board amended the Council’s constitution so that meetings would be fewer but fuller. Going forward, all 22 directors were to convene every four months, moving away from quarterly meeting and only 11 directors attending.
1998 saw a renewed agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the Council. There was some change in governance, which placed the Board in charge of policy and the Secretariat responsible for overseeing implementation.
In 1999/2000, Board members from the Yukon and Northwest Territories were welcomed, achieving greater geographical and industry-specific representation for the Board.
The Canadian Farm Business Management Council created a new visual identity in 2000/2001. The creation of a new logo was aligned with focusing on five key areas: Business planning, human resources, marketing, production management and environment management.
2001/2002 marked the tenth anniversary of the Canadian Farm Business Management Council. The Council opened up membership to individuals, associations, and corporations to enhance effectiveness and extend the influence of CFBMC in the agri-food industry. This aimed to help the Council remain a vital force in Canadian agriculture. The Canadian Farm Business Management Council signed a new five-year working agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The Board was comprised of four agricultural producers, four provincial or territorial governments, one representative from the private sector and an ex officio representative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
2006/2007 marked the 15th anniversary for the Canadian Farm Business Management Council. The Council undertook the important and exciting task of renewing their strategic plan to lay the foundation to propel CFBMC into the next generation of Canadian Agricultural Policy and Programming. The Canadian Farm Business Management Council created a new Strategic Vision and Mission. It describes a farm management environment where Canadian farm managers are informed, confident, and decisive in their approach to running their businesses.
In 2007/2008, the Canadian Farm Business Management Council entered into a new agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under the new policy framework: the Growing Forward program.
In 2010, the Canadian Farm Business Management Council was challenged to rethink its activities, relevance and future. The Board decided to pursue a new CFBMC for a presence in the new economy. The Board compared what CFBMC was doing to what the organization and its stakeholders needed to make the organization sustainable and demonstrate a measurable impact upon increasing awareness of the benefits of business management, the adopting of best management practices, and ultimately, reaching business goals at the farm level.
CFBMC adopted a new strategic direction to strengthen their position within the industry and lead business management activities at the national level towards a viable, sustainable, and ever-effective presence. The Board and staff worked diligently to become a model for governance, management and sustainability, to secure the future of the organization through Government and industry support.
CFBMC secured a 3-year Contribution Agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to 2013.
It was with this sense of renewal that CFBMC changed its name to Farm Management Canada.
In 2012, we celebrated our 20th anniversary with a new name, new look and exciting new initiatives.
Although we have changed our name, we remain true to our mission and mandate – a leader and the only national organization devoted to the development and delivery of business management resources and information to Canada’s farmers; connecting the industry and continuing to build a culture of business management and best practices at the farm level.
We wish to thank Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, our members, partners and colleagues for their unwavering support in achieving this significant milestone. As a vital part of our success for the past 20 years, we look forward to building a strong future together and continuing to support agriculture with the information and resources necessary to stay competitive and achieve business success.
Farm Management Canada presents an unwavering commitment to prosperous, sustainable and world-leading agriculture in Canada.