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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



Why on earth would someone go into a bin with the auger running?

Reader can’t fathom why someone would do that, but safety expert explains it only takes a moment of carelessness

Editor’s note: The questions posed in the letter from Doug Burkard were passed on to Glen Blahey, agricultural health and safety specialist with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association. Both the letter and response are below.
 I have just read the article “Trapped in a flash — the horror waiting inside a grain bin.
” I was […] Read more


We take them for granted, but how would we manage without them?

Travelling in poor countries makes you appreciate a pair of good boots, 
and the generous spirit of those who can only dream of such luxuries


When I was a child mother would call out to us, ‘Leave your boots at the door!’ — and we would topple upon each other, kicking off the seemingly unimportant footwear, unaware of the value or the privilege of those boots. Even in the leanest of years, some kind of footwear was always provided, despite […] Read more



industry and nature

The groupthink on CO2 levels ignores some basic science

Views will change as atmospheric CO2 continues to rise with little or no significant change in global temperatures

As an agricultural producer, a former science teacher, and someone who is involved in the delivery of agricultural extension, I would like to submit some comments in relation to Daniel Bezte’s article in the Feb. 13 edition, “Articles on climate change provoke some readers“. The article’s title is entirely fitting because articles on climate change […] Read more


New technologies are creating new ways to grow fresh produce

Vertical farming operations are popping up everywhere and this new technology can complement traditional agriculture


We were in Holland and our group stood in amazement at the growing capabilities of Koppert Cress. Owner Rob Baan, a policeman’s son turned world entrepreneur, was emphatic that neither soil nor light is needed to grow food — only heat. And all of those components could be provided by technology, 
he said. In a […] Read more




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