Latest articles


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


Choosing to laugh along the way can, umm, lighten the load

Inspired by a return to school, columnist Brenda Schoepp decides 
there are a few other things she wants to change in her life


As I write this, it is week four of my master of arts in global leadership program at a university near Victoria, British Columbia. After 40 years of being out of school, I can honestly say that I have met my challenge. So tired by day’s end, I collapse on my foam bed. Not one […] Read more



Will agriculture and food processing finally take centre stage?

A new report says these two sectors are key to Canada’s future prosperity — 
and that recognition is a welcome development


A recent report from the Advisory Council on Economic Growth highlighted agriculture and food processing as keys to economic growth in Canada. The advisory council called on Ottawa to create a growth strategy for what it calls “agfood,” which it defines as everything from “field to fork.” Its report says that could generate another US$30 […] Read more


We take them for granted, but how would we manage without them?

Travelling in poor countries makes you appreciate a pair of good boots, 
and the generous spirit of those who can only dream of such luxuries


When I was a child mother would call out to us, ‘Leave your boots at the door!’ — and we would topple upon each other, kicking off the seemingly unimportant footwear, unaware of the value or the privilege of those boots. Even in the leanest of years, some kind of footwear was always provided, despite […] Read more



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