We’re wrapping up a fantastic year of covering the world of agriculture here at RealAgriculture.com, and we couldn’t wait to see how the numbers played out for our top posts. There were a few, as we watched the Twitter shares and blog comments roll, that we knew would make the list, but there are a few stories we’re a bit surprised proved that popular.
By the time we had listed number 4, we saw a bit of a pattern — RealAgriculture doesn’t typically shy away from controversy, but as you’ll see below, it seems something as simple as food demanded so very much attention in 2013 (clearly, food is not simple, as we’ve learned). Last year, a parody video topped the list!
And so, here we are. The Top 10 stories on RealAgriculture.com, as chosen by you (inadvertently, if you’re a regular visitor):
1. I’m done with A&W and I’m done fearing food: RealAgriculture columnist and dairy farmer Andrew Campbell put into words what many others were feeling as A&W launched its “Better Beef” campaign in early October, after moving to sourcing beef raised without growth promotants. In this column, Campbell takes A&W to task on their fear mongering tactics. Our readers responded — nearly 80 comments (at last count) follow the story.
2. An organic farmer walks into Monsanto, and this is what happened: To say that Rob Wallbridge’s post went global is an understatement. In fact, this post, which chronicles an organic farmer’s (Wallbridge) tour of a Monsanto facility and his take on the challenges ahead for agriculture, both organic and conventional, has only been up on the site for two weeks and is squarely in the number 2 spot. The post has sparked much discussion, much of it very positive (which can be rare in the GMO debate) on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and has been shared all over the world.
3. David Suzuki gets challenged in Australia: Shaun Haney found this video clip of a lecture David Suzuki gave in Australia where Suzuki begins lamenting the safety of GMOs, and shared it with the RealAgriculture audience. While the source of the video clip raised the hackles of even Shaun, the discussion is an interesting one.
4. 10 Reasoned Responses to “10 Reasons we don’t need GMOs”: Perhaps by now, you’re noticing a theme. We may even crown 2013 as the year of the GMO debate. Either way, Cami Ryan’s guest post answering 10 common critiques of genetically modified crop benefits proved very popular. Tackling questions from feeding the world to reducing pesticide use and more, Ryan offers a counterpoint to many of the common lobs thrown at the technology.
5. One Earth Farms Ceases to Operate on Blood Reserve: Finally, a news story! This post went up in early March, when RealAgriculture learned that the farm manager operating One Earth Farms on the First Nations Blood Reserve near Lethbridge, Alta., had left and the office had been closed.
6. Poll: CWB Releases Steamy Ad:When the newly-minted CWB rolled out a risqué ad (well, according to some) to motivate farmers to “get off the fence,” we took to the Internets to poll our readers and followers on what they thought about this cowgirl on the fence ad. Check out the tally!
7. What is the future for Macdon Industries? News that MacDon industries was looking for a buyer surfaced in late April. While it was (and is) still a bit of a guess, we list the likely buyers. As of July, a few names were bandied about more publicly. The story has been quiet since.
8. A Vet’s Response to an “Investigative Report” of Canada’s Egg Laying Industry: Food, more specifically how food is produced, has become a very hot topic and likely joins this list of impolite things to talk about at the dinner table, given the tendency for a shouting match to break out. Like the “Better Beef” post, Mike Petrik, a veterinarian in Ontario, takes criticisms of agriculture and food production, in this case egg production, and offers balance to information supplied to consumers by mainstream media.
9. 10 Commandments of High Yielding Wheat: Ah, and now, a production post! Is it any surprise that it’s a Wheat Pete (also known as Peter Johnson, cereal specialist with OMAFRA) video? Those who follow along with our Wheat School know Pete as one of the most passionate extension specialists out there and he doesn’t disappoint in this video from FarmTech ’13. While his expertise is Ontario winter wheat production, many of his 10 Commandments fit just fine in western Canadian wheat production.
10. Poll: Starbucks vs. Tim Hortons: In a fight of epic proportions and incredible significance (ahem, not really), Shaun decided to it was imperative to settle, once and for all, which was better: Starbuck’s or Tim Hortons. (We’re all about hard hitting news here).