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


Barbecue Buffalo Chicken Wings as an Appetizer

Chicken industry takes wing on some very creative marketing

Lowly chicken wings used to be a big problem for processors, 
now they are a huge and growing source of profits

If there is one thing that North Americans love to eat — it is chicken wings. During the Super Bowl game alone, one billion wings are consumed along with an ocean of beer. Canadians are right in there chowing down on the once tossed tidbit, and continue to eat a few birds each year themselves. […] Read more



Here are some emerging trends that we need to pay attention to

The development of meat alternatives, stores without checkouts, 
and Career Farmer Barbie are all important


When one of the largest meat-processing companies in the world announces focused research into the development of alternative proteins, I’m paying attention. Tyson’s allocation of US$150 million to a venture capital fund to research meat alternatives allows us a glimpse into the future of traditional meat and poultry protein sources. The idea is not new […] Read more


The meaning of sustainability depends on your point of view

When you talk about sustainable agriculture, you need to look 
not just at the farm but what is happening all around it


Redefining sustainability
 Battered about like a mariner’s ship at sea, the “sustainable” world is getting frayed at the edges. It leaks the slow leak, one that was built in agriculture on the idealism of creating a pathway to consumers but rested on that assurance without producer reward. Certainly, the journey is worth examining as we […] Read more



In times of hardship, take time to consider all of your riches

The love of your children, support of family and friends, 
and faith are priceless treasures to be cherished

I am admiring the picture on the cover of Alexander McCall Smith’s book The Full Cupboard of Life. His fictitious stories from Botswana are an easy and humorous read. The cupboard referred to is typical; containing four plates and four cups, two bowls, a couple of pots, a little cooking oil, and a teapot. That’s […] Read more


Boy (3-5) eating ice cream, close-up, other children in background

Small indulgences — the experience of food can be priceless

In the food business, less can be more if you understand your 
customer and the emotional side of food buying

I remember a story from years ago about a family-owned ice-cream shop in a small town. Folks came from long distances for ice cream because it was so delicious. Yet, the customer had one constant complaint — there was too much ice cream in the cone! The owners of that shop decided to listen to […] Read more



Looking for an opportunity in livestock? Bison have a lot to offer

This mighty Prairie ruminant is the complete package when it comes to meeting demand for grass-fed, all-natural meat that comes with a great story

One of the most interesting animals in North America is bison. A ruminant that used to wander our Prairies in the millions has been reduced to around 500,000 head, many in pens on farms. Rugged and remarkable, these ‘knowledge keepers’ have much to teach us about nature itself. Bison love space and they travel as […] Read more


The lure of free land is drawing in a new type of homesteader

There is no shortage of young people wanting to be farmers, and some communities are tapping into that with offers of free or cheap land


Homesteaders. They came on the promise of free land. They stayed because they could not afford to turn back and root by root created the origin of the western agricultural world. The era of horses and pickaxes seems like a long time ago, but the reality is that free land is still very real in […] Read more



Better credit risk, smaller loan

It’s not just that women get turned down for loans more often, 
but that too many aren’t getting a proper financial education

In 2014, I published a detailed report on the development of mentorship programs for women in agriculture from a global perspective. This report (which can be found at brendaschoepp.com) has since given flight to a number of global study topics with other Nuffield Scholars. Recently, a report in Alberta published by the Agriculture & Food […] Read more


There is truth in old sayings, and value in flipping them around

We should challenge ourselves by welcoming other perspectives, 
questioning conventional wisdom, and encouraging diversity


This is column number 200 and that is a reason to celebrate. To kick off the party, let’s put a twist in some old sayings and look at the importance of our story. If you farmed today… You have heard it before — ‘If you ate today, thank a farmer’ — and that pretty much […] Read more