I’d say I’m more of a proactive than reactive person, but there are most certainly times when circumstances simply require us to react. Last week, Heinz announced the closure of its Leamington-based tomato processing plant, and 40% of the Ontario processing tomato industry evaporated. The reasons it happened and the fallout to both the town, the employees and the farmers who supply the plant have yet to be fully realized, but even in the this very fresh wake, Owen Roberts, in his latest column, encourages the town, the farmers, the industry to mobilize. I find it refreshing to see this call to action, complete with some ideas on what groups to involve and a eye-catching logo, built off the lessons learned from past instances where an industry faced a crushing blow. I encourage you to read the column — it’s likely my favourite one to date.
And now on to some production stuff. I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but likely my favourite video of the week goes to a piece Debra Murphy did at Agri-Trade ’13 on the new John Deere sprayer series. What starts out innocently enough as a discussion on a new naming system suddenly morphs into a little mention of the sprayer LOADING ITSELF. And did I mention it has separate tanks for up to five products on-board so you can mix chemical as you go? Um, yes. This sprayer blew my mind a little, and, given that my aggie love is usually reserved for all things plant and animal, that saying something. Check out that video by clicking here.
No week on RealAgriculture.com would be complete without just a little controversy, and so, earlier this week when a friend sent me a link to a pastor’s sermon calling out genetic modification as dangerous and “messing with nature,” it inspired this column, It doesn’t matter to me where the anti-GMO message gets preached from, be it the red carpet via celebrity, an editorial or the pulpit, if someone stands up and starts demonizing genetic modification based on half-truths and downright falsehoods, I’m going to stand up and disagree. And so I did. The post is generating some discussion and dialogue, though, as I’m beginning to see time and time again, the anti-GMO movement seems built on belief, not science, which makes it difficult to move on from common misconceptions that are bogging down the industry. I assure you there will be more discussion on this later and forever, it seems, but for now, you can read my column, including a link to the actual sermon, here.
I’ll close with a hearty congratulations and epic high-five for Shaun Haney and our team here at RealAgriculture.com. The site was chosen as the winner in the Best of CAMA website category last night, and I couldn’t be more proud. Shaun was on hand in Quebec City to accept the award and, given that I’m still waiting for a photo this morning, my guess is there was much celebrating.
Yours in farm-loving,