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Ag ministers on NAFTA: ‘If it ain’t broke…’

Donald Trump may not like NAFTA, but his new agriculture secretary doesn’t seem too fussed about it

When Canadian, American and Mexican agriculture ministers got together last month in Savannah, Georgia, they weren’t there to discuss what U.S. President Donald Trump has described as “worst trade deal in the history of the world.” On the contrary, they talked about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as though it was about the […] Read more


Innovation with the most unlikely material shows all is possible

Human waste has always been a problem, but it is increasingly seen as a resource and that’s spurring the creation of new technologies

I still spend a lot of time in airports and love to use that time to read interesting stories on people, places, politics, science, and technology. It brings to light all that is possible in our world. A little writeup caught my eye in regards to human waste which is a growing problem. In many […] Read more



In the quest for ever-more production, have we lost our way?

Farmers in the developing world are impoverished while producers here 
are taking on ever-higher levels of debt

I strongly believe that our focus in the future should be on the nutrient density of plants and biodiversity. Pushing our soils to produce more is terminal because there is burnout of the soil and the plant, along with financial harm to the farmer. Instead, we should look at soil health, seed health with nutrient […] Read more


A letter to a mother from a very grateful daughter

In ways great and small, we learn to live, laugh, and persevere through the example of those who inspire us

Dear Mom, I am so proud to say that my strength of character comes from you. It must have been so overwhelming to lose your own mother at an early age. I know you worked hard at university, only to leave your profession once you married a farmer. From the city you moved to rural […] Read more



Piles of Trash left on the walkway in New York

Feeding the planet is challenging, dealing with its waste is even harder

Earth is becoming an urban planet and that raises a host of issues 
we’ve never had to deal with before

The migration of rural persons to cities hit a historical milestone in 2008 when urban residents outnumbered those in rural areas. The result has been congestion in cities that were ill prepared for this growth and an intense pressure on rural areas to produce more food with less people. The United Nations claims six out […] Read more


If it is happening in research, it is happening here in Alberta

The list of research centres is long and varied — and all of them 
are part of our competitive advantage


Alberta is a hive of exciting and interesting research activity that is a benefit to agriculture and society. From bees to bovines, we employ world-class scientists who work with enthusiastic producer groups. Livestock (under the federal definition) includes bees, and the National Bee Diagnostic Centre is in Alberta, a partnership between the Grande Prairie Regional […] Read more



Farmer in wheat field

Opinion: ‘Rich’ farmers aren’t a bad thing

People may not appreciate how tough it is to build a farm business, 
but we should still celebrate those successes

It was just one line in a 25-page report, but it stood out: “It is a popular misconception that farmers are making a lot of money in agricultural enterprises.” As a journalist, I’ve never had to worry that people will think I’m wealthy. But, according to the report, the notion of “rich farmers” is widely held. And […] Read more


Farmers can grow the Canadian economy — if they’re not shackled

Removing a tool that allows grain farmers to even out their income would hamper their ability to invest in and expand their operations 


As we enter another growing season, farmers are raising concerns over the federal government’s intention to review the option to defer cash purchase tickets — something that came with no warning prior to its mention in the federal budget. From where I sit, a mid-size incorporated family grain farm, we know that the reversal of […] Read more



Choosing to laugh along the way can, umm, lighten the load

Inspired by a return to school, columnist Brenda Schoepp decides 
there are a few other things she wants to change in her life


As I write this, it is week four of my master of arts in global leadership program at a university near Victoria, British Columbia. After 40 years of being out of school, I can honestly say that I have met my challenge. So tired by day’s end, I collapse on my foam bed. Not one […] Read more


Will agriculture and food processing finally take centre stage?

A new report says these two sectors are key to Canada’s future prosperity — 
and that recognition is a welcome development


A recent report from the Advisory Council on Economic Growth highlighted agriculture and food processing as keys to economic growth in Canada. The advisory council called on Ottawa to create a growth strategy for what it calls “agfood,” which it defines as everything from “field to fork.” Its report says that could generate another US$30 […] Read more




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