Latest articles

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

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

China represents opportunity for Canadian beef producers

Beef is increasingly on the menu for China’s growing middle class 
and the country can’t keep up with demand

The numbers are staggering — 854 million people in China are expected to be regular beef eaters by the year 2030. Despite their large land base, cattle numbers cannot keep up with the demand for beef that has been increasing by 15 per cent per year. What has happened? Where does the beef come from? […] Read more

Enterprising young farmers are the hope of a new Africa

The beleaguered continent has the potential to feed the world — if it can rise above the divisions created by its troubled past

The concept of a united Africa feeding the world is often considered. With a massive land base, Africa has an estimated 632 million hectares of arable land of which only 179 million hectares are currently being utilized. More than 40 per cent of these lands are in Nigeria, DR of Congo, and North and South […] Read more

Hand going through the field

The world has an eating problem — and farming is the solution

Whether it’s obesity or malnutrition, Canadian farmers have an amazing opportunity to be agents of change

“As a farming community we should be the epitome of health.” That was the closing remark of one of the speakers at the Nuffield Triennial Farming Conference in southern England earlier this summer. The speaker had been talking about obesity and food-related health issues, and how farmers could be a solution to this serious problem. […] Read more

Eating with our eyes — our perception of food isn’t a simple thing

What consumers perceive as tasty and nutritious is proving to be a lot more complicated than we ever thought

There are many food and consumer trends that keep farmers grappling with providing the right product. Buying food is based on many things: health consciousness, price, flavour and taste, smell, and presentation. From packaging to ‘gastrophysics,’ there are some basics to understand about our ever-challenging task of producing and selling food. I listened to a […] Read more

Put a skip in your step — it will make life better in many ways

You may think you’re too old or feel silly skipping about the farm, 
but it will fill you with energy — and joy

Gripping the skipping rope in my hands for the first time in five decades, I quietly wondered if it was possible. Under the gaze of four sapphire-eyed girls I knew I had to try. Two hundred and sixteen skips later I rested to the chorus of, “How did you do that?” How indeed? What makes […] Read more