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.
Canadian Farmers are world leaders for a sustainable future through farm business management excellence.
To cultivate excellent Canadian farm business management, through awareness and adoption of beneficial management practices.
Sterling Hilton, Chair – AB
Sterling returned to his family farm near Strathmore, Alberta after receiving an Agriculture Diploma from the Lethbridge Community College, followed by a Business/Accounting Diploma from Mount Royal College in Calgary.
Sterling and his brother, Spencer have recently brought Dane (Spencer’s oldest) in to the 10,000 acre grain farm operation which in 2010 celebrated its homestead centennial. Sterling and Spencer’s wives round out the 5 person management team which, along with personal roles and responsibilities, requires consensus on all major farm decisions.
Sterling manages financial responsibilities, machinery purchases, as well as marketing duties for Hilton Ventures Ltd.
“It’s great to see so much excitement around agriculture right now. Young people are being enticed back, and need continued learning opportunities to enhance their management as well as leadership skills to move their farms into the future. I want to help Farm Management Canada provide this for our future leaders at the farm gate.”
Sterling served as a delegate for the Farm Leadership Council from 2008-2010 and then as a director from 2010-2012. He also served as President of the local community hall board from 2007-2012.
During the winter months, Sterling enjoys helping coach his daughters in hockey and ringette. Sterling and his wife, Lianna have three beautiful girls aged 14, 12 and 9.
Joerg Zimmermann, Vice-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.
Patrice Carle, Secrétaire/Trésorier – QC
With a bachelor’s degree in agro economics (1987) from Université Laval, Patrice began his professional life with the Syndicat de gestion agricole Lévis-Bellechasse. This position allowed Patrice to acquaint himself with farm work and to learn a great deal about farm management. In 2000, he became the Executive Director of a dairy cooperative, where he learned a great deal about marketing farm products. Patrice also worked in the private sector as the supply manager for an animal food company. His main role was to monitor all of the hedging operations. He spent six years working in this sector.
Patrice has been working for the Centre d’expertise en gestion agricole (CEGA) since September 2009. The CEGA, whose board is made up of 13 directors representing “agricultural Quebec,” is devoted to farm management. It is a second line centre that handles training, local and global business intelligence, as well as joint research and analysis. The CEGA also actively promotes farm management.
Patrice has a real passion for farm management; He sits on the management committee of the Centre de référence en agriculture et agroalimentaire du Québec (CRAAQ).
Patrice believes that farming is a business like every other sector of the economy. And the numbers show that it is always the real managers who succeed, even in times of crisis.
Norm Hall, Director – SK
Norm Hall was born and raised on a farm near Wynyard, which he now owns with his brother. Together, on their century farm, they plant 4600 acres in annual seed and commercial crops, 40 acres in an agroforestry project, 400 acres in hay and pasture, and 1600 acres are set aside for the environment.
Norm is married to Fern and they have three children, Kevin, Jamie and Travis.
An active member of his community, Norm has served on the Board of Directors of the Wynyard Co-op Assoc. (1985-87), Wynyard Credit Union (1994-96), the Wynyard Co-op Farm Centre Ltd. (1994-present), served as Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Delegate (1986-2005), Wynyard Chamber of Commerce (1993-2009), Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum (1998-2002), Saskatchewan Young Farmers’ Forum co-founder and President (1999-2003), District 20 ADD Board (2001-present), assistant coach Wynyard Minor Hockey Assoc (1986-97) and Head Coach Wynyard Gymnastics Club (1980-2012).
Norm was first elected as a Representative of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) in October 2003 and currently represents the RM of Emerald #277. At the 2004 AGM, Norm was elected to the APAS Environment Committee and was nominated chair of that committee from 2006 to 2011. In December 2005, he was elected to the Board of Directors and elected President in December 2011.
Danielle Lee, Director – AB
Danielle currently farms with her mother and other family members on their 104 year old family farm just west of Calgary, in Springbank. The family raises a small herd of commercial beef cattle using Angus genetics which they calve out in springtime. They also have a small flock of North Country Cheviot sheep, which they raise to market weight and sell directly to consumers.
On their farm they also put up hay for their own livestock as well as to sell into the local equine market.
Danielle is currently on the Board of the Canadian Young Farmers Forum (CYFF) serving as the representative for Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory. She is also strongly involved in agriculture education programs such as the Calgary Stampede’s Aggie Days, as well as being a volunteer for many years with other agriculture programs at the Calgary Stampede.
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.
Jeannette Mongeon, Director – ON
Jeannette worked for CIBC for 25 years in areas of Toronto and Ottawa. In the last 7 years at CIBC, she was Branch Manager at CIBC in Embrun, Ontario. Jeannette believes that with her long tenure in banking and with the diversified positions that she held has equipped her with the tools and knowledge needed to serve FMC’s Board of Directors.
Jeannette farms with her husband Michel Dignard and their 5 children. Their farm consists of a 1200 acre cash crop, rabbit production, dairy farm, berry farm and apiary.
It is FMC’s responsibility to be the Canadian leader in farm management, and this is where Jeannette hopes to bring her experience in farm management.
Anne-Marie Kerr (Diotte), Director – ON
Anne Marie Diotte is the Program Coordinator in the Business Management Unit at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Although Anne Marie works on developing programs, tools, resources and information for producers across the various areas of business management, her work focusses mostly on the development, implementation and administration of Growing Forward 2 programs in Ontario; specifically Market Development, Labour Productivity, Business and Leadership Development. Anne Marie also administers various agreements for the Ministry.
Merv Wiseman, Director – NL
Merv Wiseman was born and raised on Long Island, Notre Dame Bay, NL working summers with his family in the long liner fishery. He entered Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), Faculty of Political Science, and subsequently pursued studies at MUN’s Nautical Science division of the Marine Institute, where he completed a ships officers’ certificate. Upon graduation, Merv began work with the Coast Guard as a Marine Traffic Regulator (MTR) in Argentia. After working as an MTR for 15 years in Atlantic Canada, he transferred to the Maritime Rescue Sub Centre in St. John’s in 1992, where he worked as a Rescue Coordinator until he retired in May of 2012.
Merv started his business in fur farming in 1984 after moving to North Harbour, Placentia Bay with his wife Eileen, who accepted a teaching position there in the late 1970s. Today he owns and operates the largest silver fox farm in the world.
Merv served as President of the NL Federation of Agriculture, the NL Livestock Council and the Canadian Fox Breeders Association. During his 16 years as president of the NL Fur Breeders Association, Merv initiated and assisted the Economic Recovery Commission in developing a 5 year fur strategy for the industry. On a national level, Merv spent a number of years representing farmers on the National Policy Advisory Committee (NPAC), and was a founding member and chairperson of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC). At the same time he headed a major initiative to establish an international marketing label for silver fox. Throughout the 1990s he continued to work at marketing and promotion of all Canadian produced fur as a director on the Canadian Majestic Marketing Inc. board, based in Toronto and New York.
Merv’s employment, educational, leadership and board experience have given him a great appreciation of the issues and challenges, as well as rural complexities, unique to all parts of Canada, providing a platform for him to advocate and facilitate on behalf of workers, communities and industries in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the whole of Canada.
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 or via e-mail at Heather.Watson@fmc-gac.com.
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 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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 is on maternity leave until December 2018.
Shawna Holmes, Project Manager
Shawna Holmes joined Farm Management Canada in November 2017 as Project Manager while Heather Oakley is on maternity leave. In this role, she is coordinating the many nationally renowned projects FMC delivers, including the Bridging the Gap workshops and the Agricultural Excellence conference.
Shawna recently completed her PhD at the University of Guelph where she studied global-agro food systems.
Contact Shawna at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Penton, Business Development Officer
Chris is the Business Development Lead at FMC. The newest face at FMC , Chris is charged with expanding stakeholder relations, strategic planning and working with each member of the FMC team towards strengthening its brand, visibility and products.
Prior to FMC, Chris introduced two Ottawa area farmers markets, did a lengthy stint in the tourism industry and survived entrepreneurship. Very fortunate in his world travels, he holds a BA in Linguistics from Bishop’s University.
Contact Chrisat (613) 237-9060 ext. 23 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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.