Latest articles


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


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