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Farming is not a one-size-fits-all business

There is room for organic, conventional, and GM technology because each of them offers different benefits

I continue to witness arguments over different methods of farming. But considering the variety of farms around the world, and that most of them are very small compared to the Canadian average, combative conversation is really rather unwarranted and, in many cases, an uneducated dialogue. When one disparages farms that are organic or ones that […] Read more


Hand over wheat field in early summer evening.

Give yourself the gifts that make life so much better

These eight gifts can’t be bought, but are more precious than anything offered in any store

Encouragement is a much appreciated gift, and I have the pleasure of sharing this with young men and women around the world. From the farm in South Africa to the apple grove in Holland; from the backyard farm in the Philippines to the grain farm in Saskatchewan; and all places in between, there are passionate […] Read more



An act of kindness fills the human spirit and ripples outward

They often come out of nowhere and when they are most needed — and their power to uplift is deep and strong

It was the usual day. Get up early, study the markets, check on the cattle, fix fence, make a sandwich, and then go out and do it all again. Going to town or taking time to do things in the home were privileges, stretched out on the horizon and always seemingly days or months away. […] Read more


Starving Hunger Symbol. Black African boy holding rice as a malnutrition symbol. It is important to get food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people and countries. Stop hunger in the world!

Food insecurity is not just a Third World problem

The situation in a country like Sudan is much more dire, but there are parallels to our own country

The United Nations has developed 17 sustainable development goals. The second one is “zero hunger.” This includes a mandate to end not only hunger but poverty everywhere and to achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. I would like to focus on food security in this column. Food security was defined at the […] Read more



View of a group of young children with their heads together

Will boys always be boys? Not if we teach them proper boundaries

Around the world, boys are taught that aggression towards females is OK — it’s not, and must not be accepted

I was at the beach and there was a family on either side of me. On my left was a father and his four boys. On my right was a father and his four girls. The four girls played quietly doing make believe and building sand castles. Their father listened to music and watched for […] Read more


Farmer Standing on a Harvester

Temper tantrums: There’s way too much drama on some farms

A Facebook post on hand signals prompted an outpouring of comments 
from farm women subjected to angry tirades

This summer, a young female farmer posted the following message on Facebook: My husband is the worst ever at hand signals. Ten yrs. farming together and I still have no freaking clue what he is trying to signal to me. It would help if he actually used conventional signals and not his own secret signal […] Read more



The fall run is tough on calves but we can do better

The health problems seen in the feedlot don’t come out of the blue and 
careful handling should start at the home ranch

With the fall run underway, cattlemen and women are faced again with the challenge of morbidity and mortality in calves. By the time calves land in the feed yard, they have often been handled and transported several times. How they fight off disease during that extraordinarily stressful period is related to their age and weight. […] Read more


Opinion: Why the cattle checkoff should rise

Canada’s beef industry has a bright future but innovation is key and costly — and the 
current levy simply isn’t enough

As cattle producers, you and I have been helping to fund Canadian beef research since 2002 by paying checkoff every time we sell an animal. The work that’s been done with that money has benefited the industry as a whole and at the individual farm level because of the information and innovations that come as […] Read more



The making of a true – and enduring – love story

Out of a first tempestuous meeting and many months of shenanigans, an extraordinary relationship was born

He came into my life in his 11th year — a strong, beautifully marked buckskin gelding with a temper to match the devil himself. He had never been trailered or worked for his keep, but his eye was gentle and something inside of me whispered to give him a go. A gift from very dear […] Read more


Cows on pasture in Yorkshire Dales, Yorkshire, England

The U.K. packs a lot of agriculture into a small space

British farmers need to get along with neighbouring communities, 
cut greenhouse emissions, and fend off cheap foreign competition


It’s an area steeped in history and culture that is also a breadbasket of diverse agriculture. The United Kingdom is home to 214,000 farms, which nearly mirrors Canada’s 205,000 farms, although the average size is 142 hectares (or about half the size of the average Canadian operation). And though the farms may be the same […] Read more




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