Latest articles


Farmer examining young green corn maize crop plant in cultivated agricultural field

Building the foundation for a sensible food policy

We need to have strong and unbiased science to create approaches that are sensible and sustainable

Food prices are expected to stay low for the next decade or so, according to recent reports from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. That is good news to people who eat, which, of course, includes farmers. But it does remind us that farmers […] Read more


Writing the story of our lives — one line at a time

There are different ways to view our lives, and the story we create from experiences, emotions, trials, and joy

We are born with an amazing curiosity that is exemplified in the child’s constant quest for the answer to why. Why does the water run that way? Why do I need to wear shoes? Later in life the questions get deeper and more worrisome as they move away from a sense of wonderment to one […] Read more



Looking through airplane window in Beijing

A look into an entirely different world

The rapid rise of China colours our view of the country, but its citizens see it very differently

“It is so easy to be angry in Beijing,” she lamented when I asked her about her home. “It is so busy. You cannot understand.” It was one of those long flights that sometimes do not feel purposeful — until I met a woman I will call Ju. She was a recent university graduate who […] Read more


business team celebrating

Don’t get thrown overboard, take ownership

Ignoring the voice of a man or woman does not build a culture of respect in an organization or company

I saved the little cartoon for decades: A woman sitting at a board table and the chairman says to her, “That is a great idea Mrs. Smith, perhaps one of the men here would like to suggest it.” Unfortunately, this is brutally reflective of boardroom reality — and supported by realms of reports and books […] Read more



Communities are strong when their citizens are empowered

A strong leader is not enough — everyone needs to be involved and informed for communities to thrive

Community development is more than economic or social projects. It is the empowerment of people so they have resilience when faced with change and challenge. After completing my courses on rural community development with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations, I thought about what resilience might mean and how we can […] Read more


Fraser River in British Columbia.

What do you want your fresh water used for?

Each of us needs to think about the sustainability of the limited supply of this most precious resource

It all began with industrious engineers who understood hydrology and the importance of water. They built dams and created wetlands throughout Canada, and in doing so had a system in place for water preservation and purification. Then the felt hat became fashionable, and those engineers ended up as pelts on long canoes for shipment to […] Read more



A simple dilemma and what it tells us about choices

Our lives have plenty of stress and conflict. Do we really want to invite in more when we don’t have to?

I often question our roles as persons in igniting, fuelling, or participating in conflict. Which is why I thought of my granddaughter who insisted one rainy day on wearing one sandal and one shoe. At some point, most children go through this valuable stage of expression, where they make choices that don’t fit what we […] Read more


Just what exactly does a ‘relationship’ with a vet involve?

New rules will require vets to have a fuller understanding of an operation before prescribing

The changes that Health Canada will implement on Dec. 1 require there be a relationship between the veterinarian, the client, and the patient. As the spokesperson and care provider for the patient — that may be animal, fowl, bee, or fish — it is important to know what that relationship requires. Health Canada refers to […] Read more



Shot of a young boy sitting with his dad inside the cab of a modern tractor

I can’t change the past, but I wish I could

Taking the kids along when working has long been seen as part of farming, but that needs to change

It was a long and tough winter on the Prairies. Once the sun shone, tractors were serviced, calves were born, cattle sorted, chickens hatched, seeds sown — I delighted in watching the many posts and videos that families shared during this time of rebirth on the farm. And then it hit me. Most included a […] Read more


Clever innovators have found new ways to bring us a cleaner plate

There are a host of flours made with unusual ingredients and they can also be used to make edible cutlery

I was thinking of my friend Ashley Fraser and the time I spent on his farm. The Australian innovator grew a variety of specialized seed crops for certified seed and birdseed, with the screenings going to the feed bunk ration. It was a waste-free way of looking at seed production and usage. In his climate […] Read more