Latest articles


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


Just what exactly does a ‘relationship’ with a vet involve?

New rules will require vets to have a fuller understanding of an operation before prescribing

The changes that Health Canada will implement on Dec. 1 require there be a relationship between the veterinarian, the client, and the patient. As the spokesperson and care provider for the patient — that may be animal, fowl, bee, or fish — it is important to know what that relationship requires. Health Canada refers to […] Read more



Shot of a young boy sitting with his dad inside the cab of a modern tractor

I can’t change the past, but I wish I could

Taking the kids along when working has long been seen as part of farming, but that needs to change

It was a long and tough winter on the Prairies. Once the sun shone, tractors were serviced, calves were born, cattle sorted, chickens hatched, seeds sown — I delighted in watching the many posts and videos that families shared during this time of rebirth on the farm. And then it hit me. Most included a […] Read more


Is it true Daddy? The sad truth about gender equality

Whether it’s pay, discounts on farm supplies, or career advancement, women are not equal with men

A little girl asks her father, ‘Daddy is it true I am worth less than my brother? Is it true that he will earn more than me, get better deals, and have easier access to money even if I am educated? Why?’ When a little girl is born with all her beauty and possibilities, she […] Read more



Forget the jokes about millennials – the kids are all right

Yes, this new generation can be confounding but take a closer look at what they bring to the table

You are staring at your millennial child as though they just dropped from the sky. You don’t get them. They don’t get you. It’s the first week of the millennial employee’s job. Things are going OK. They talk a lot, snack a lot, and generally hang around. Somehow the project gets done, you have not […] Read more


Single-trait selection can be too much of a good thing

Dairy and beef cattle are amazingly adaptive, but problems arise when we breed for just one trait

As I have travelled the world I have had the privilege of seeing many different breeds of cattle. They come in every colour and shape, from the stocky Belgium Blue to the sleek Zebu. Some cattle can be found on streets eating food waste; others are beasts of burden working fields and transporting goods; the […] Read more