Observing Canada's National Organic Week — A Retrospective


Canada’s National Organic Week kicked off on Saturday, September19. It’s a week to celebrate organic agriculture, organized and presented by Canada Organic Trade Association, Canadian Organic Growers and Canadian Health Food Association.

“Organic Week is the largest annual celebration of organic food, farming and products across the country,” said Helen Long, president of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA). “The goal of Organic Week is to get as many Canadians as possible involved and learning about the benefits of organic farming and its positive impact on the environment.”

We couldn’t help but join the discussion. Here are some of our top stories related to organic agriculture, ranging from those that inspire thought, to those that trigger debate…

An Organic Farmer Walks Into Monsanto…And This is What Happened
Rob bio photo

The story of how I came to be touring Monsanto starts back in late April and a blog post where I questioned the current tenor of the GMO debate. It caught the attention of Janice Person, a Social Media Director for Monsanto, who commented, “if you ever want to see what we do at Monsanto, I would love to arrange a visit.” As luck would have it, I passed through St. Louis on the first of August, and Janice was true to her word, arranging for a personal guided tour of their research facility.

Moving to Organic Production a Key Part of This Farm’s Succession Plan

Josef Hagen transitioned his dairy farm to organic production in 2008.“My dad let me do things my way, so I’m doing the same for them,” laughs Josef Hagen, when asked what pushed his dairy farm near Alexandria, Ont., to move from conventional production to organic production. “Them” refers to his sons, Michael and Walter — Michael works the home dairy, while Walter runs an organic grain and a cattle farm (not organic) a stone’s throw from the home farm.

Josef and his wife Christine are unlike many farm parents, it seems, as they haven’t shied away from the younger generation’s wish for change.

walmart (1)The Day Organic Farming Died

Do you have that very famous lyric in the Don McLean song “American Pie,” running in your head? You should. Organic farming — as we know it — could be over. No, I am not an organic farmer, but if I was, I would be very concerned about a new pricing concept being pushed by large-scale retailers.

Organic Agriculture is Big Business, Too

Forbes recently published an article asking the (rehtorical, I assume) question, “Is Organic Agriculture Affluent Narcissim?”

My answer? Of course it is. I thought we all knew that.

Chosen to Compete — Organic Breeding Shows Value in Understanding Selection Environment

Some of the plots in the organic oat nursery at the U of M's Glenlea Research Station.Knowing the context in which a plant variety was selected is critical in understanding how it should be managed in the field.

As an example, in the video above, Martin Entz of the University of Manitoba explains what happens when cereal crop varieties developed in a conventional breeding system are grown in an organic system, or vice versa.

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