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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


Opinion: A cheerful wave or sympathetic ear this harvest season really does help

A little empathy will be much appreciated during this year’s long and difficult harvest

Please don’t read this as a complaint; this isn’t meant to be a complaint. With the recent snows in Alberta over the past two weeks, there are a lot of farmers on edge. So many farmers haven’t even turned a wheel in their fields, or if they have, they are either drying their grain or […] 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



Comment: Increasingly, food must not only taste good, but ‘feel good’

Flavour and price still count, but more people want food that appeals to their social conscience

Sometimes deciding what to feed the family after a long, arduous day juggling daycare, jobs, and traffic seems overwhelmingly complicated. If a recent press release from the U.S.-based Tyson Innovation Lab is any indication, deciding what we’re going to put into our mouths next is about to get more cluttered with new products, new language, […] Read more


Opinion: The beef industry needs to start speaking with a unified voice

Having at least 10 organizations representing the beef industry in Alberta is quite frankly a joke

Our farming and feeding operations have fundamental challenges and issues that are not being communicated in an effective manner to government. We have ongoing issues about hiring qualified managers and workers; with WCB compliance and enforcement; OH&S adherence; WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) education of our employees; an obsolete farm taxation model utilizing 25-year-old […] Read more




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