Pigs are a host for the H1N1 virus, and yet while no pigs died directly because of the virus, it was called €œswine flu€ and the news story became focused on food safety. It sprung a lot of attention onto concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) as if the food supply is not safe anymore because of H1N1. Like what happened with BSE, people quickly moved to the worst-case scenario and not the story closer to reality. In reality, these are animal health issues and not food safety issues based on the good detection work of CFIA. BSE and H1N1 are not CAFO issues either. If you fed contaminated feed to your free-range cows, they would be just as susceptible to BSE as the cow in the feedlot. As agriculturalists, we need to grab a hold of these media spins quicker and be more proactive in terms of public relations. The unnecessary pain and damage to our industry is too great.
Farming would be much, much easier and far less risky if we could control the weather. We can't, of course, so the first point of any "most limiting factor" list — the weather — is always moot. After that, though, there are several management factors well within farmers' control that deserve some attention when gunning…Read more »