Latest articles


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


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