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When trade deals become election platforms, it is important to know a little about the contents of the proposals.

With a federal election looming, spare a thought for trade

Trade is a complex issue but needs to be a priority for our export-dependent farm sector

A Canadian election is around the corner and trade is an important issue to consider, particularly for agriculture. Agri-food accounts for 12 per cent of all of Canada’s exports. One-half of all Canadian agricultural production is exported. One in two jobs in grains and oilseeds is export dependent and one in four jobs in food […] Read more

Branding is still a necessary part of the cattle business

Whether it’s accessing the loan guarantee program or deterring theft, cattle brands are still needed

The Feeder Associations of Alberta Limited wishes to respond to the column by Roy Lewis that appeared in the July 15 edition and was titled “Is there really any need to brand cattle anymore?” Through the Feeder Associations Loan Guarantee Program (FALGP), which is backed by government, the feeder associations finance between 20 to 25 […] Read more


There are many inspirational people — and they live all around us

They are not defined by gender, wealth or their career, but by what they give to the world

Sometimes the inspiration we need is right in our own neighbourhood. And when I think of those who have inspired me, I only have to blink and their faces and stories come to my heart. China was hit by a drunk driver as a child. Paralyzed on one side with slow speech and movement, one […] Read more



Canada’s population is changing culturally, and with it the need to satisfy a demand for more lamb and goat.

Has the time come again for Canadian producers to go deep into sheep?

Sheep and goats are challenging beasts but they can offer a way into farming for new entrants


The revival of the small farm has created a new interest in sheep and goats. And although Canadians are not known to be big consumers of lamb, mutton or goat meat, there is a much greater demand than there is product. Canada only produces 40 per cent of the lamb needed for consumers. As the […] Read more

The 972-pound warm steer carcass of today is 282 pounds heavier than in 1980 and 330 pounds heavier than in 1960.

Who has benefited from the shift to heavier cattle?

The move to larger animals began decades ago but was driven by packers, not consumers and ranchers

I had given a century-old Stockman’s Manual to a young rancher as a gift. As we leafed through the pages, it was pretty evident how cattle, particularly British cattle, have changed over the years. Once mostly horned, short legged, deep in body, wide in loin and very haired up, they look very little like the […] Read more


The federal government has committed to increasing the number of immigrants to 350,000 annually by 2021.

Opinion: We need to welcome our new Canadian neighbours

To fill the tens of thousands of jobs in agriculture, we must make the sector more attractive to immigrants

As agriculture faces acute shortages of people at every level, it is a good time to talk about the value in immigration. The federal government has committed to increasing the number of immigrants to 350,000 annually by 2021. What does that mean for Canada? The majority of immigrants currently come from three countries: China, India […] Read more

‘For years, I have written every minister of agriculture, education, and health — asking them to make farm safety education part of the elementary health and safety curriculum. Not one has shown any interest.’ – Marion Leithead

Opinion: An open letter to Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen

To be effective, farm safety education must be part of the regular curriculum in elementary schools

Following your appointment as Alberta’s agriculture minister, you were praised for being “smart, grounded, and ‘a stand-up guy.’” Let’s hope everything I’ve read about you will prove true. But based on past experience, I am somewhat cynical, as I have asked your predecessors to take action on embedding effective farm safety within the elementary curricula… […] Read more


The release of carbon dioxide is increasing in tandem with a wide number of other human activities and there is little evidence that agriculture is a major culprit.

Many sources of greenhouse gases are being ignored

Agriculture is singled out while major contributors receive little or no attention in climate change debate

As the discussion on climate change heats up, I find myself defaulting to facts that may surprise you. Climate change is not a new phenomenon. The definition is basically changes in wind patterns, temperature and precipitation that stretches over several decades. With that definition in mind, climate change has been an ongoing challenge for farmers […] Read more

A sound business plan can determine how efficiently your 'farm engine' operates.

What’s in the engine room of your farm business?

It’s not just the physical assets that power your enterprise and keep it moving forward

My friend Claire Booth from Australia shared a photo of her farm office referring to it as the “engine room” of their business. I like that analogy and am conscious of the fact that we all run with an engine and without that source of power or way of moving forward, we stay in one […] Read more


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