It’s great to see farm groups take a public position. Their members want to hear from them, and increasingly, so does the public, especially when these groups are represented by real farmers. Even better yet is when a farm group’s concerns mesh with the public’s understanding of the status quo – such as border crossing… Read More

Ontario ginseng is the class of its field. The species grown here, called American ginseng (versus Asian ginseng, the other popular variety) is the apple of ginseng exporters’ eye. It now generates $130 million in export sales annually, and it’s growing every year. That’s great news for farmers who work the unique sandy soils in… Read More

I saw a placard earlier this year around the University of Guelph declaring food is a right. Well, if that’s the case, then those who produce food better have rights too, rights that are shared with the public, clearly understood and widely accepted. A step in that direction takes place May 14, 2013, at the… Read More

We should all steal a page from Pulse Canada’s inventive approach to market expansions. The organization’s new Meal Planning for 9 Billion People video campaign pushes just about every button imaginable. First, the positioning. It sounds elementary, but feeding the world with meals as Pulse Canada suggests rather than simple saying “food” is brilliant. It… Read More

Food and farming wise, I like what’s going on in agriculturally rich Waterloo region, where people have rallied to create the region’s first food charter. It was accepted by the regional council’s community services committee there Monday. The charter’s sponsor, the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable, calls the five-point document “a statement of values and… Read More

On Tuesday, April 9th, a widespread day of protest will be held against – of all things troubling our country – GM alfalfa. Activists will be gathering at about 20 locales, including 12 in Ontario, to show their opposition to its pending arrival. The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, a relatively benign group with agricultural ties… Read More

Everyone wants in on the local food craze. Some believe formalizing its place in society through local food legislation or institutionalizing it would open doors for farmers who now feel left out. That thought prompted a University of Guelph research team to look into local food for hospitals and long-term care facilities. On the surface,… Read More

With the public eye increasingly fixed on agriculture, twitchy farm policy makers may be inclined to act first and ask questions later. And that has farmers worried. For example, last spring in Ontario, more than 200 bee kill incidents were reported. No question about it, that’s a problem. Thousands of hives were affected. What’s the… Read More

Farm safety took on a new meaning for me when I first met Alberta farmer Cliff Breitkreuz Jr., on his meticulously kept farm near Onoway. That’s going back a few years. Cliff had typed me a letter (on a manual typewriter) and then surface mailed it, inviting me to his farm to talk about politics… Read More

In an effort to gain respect, agriculture has long fought the public image of farmers as salt-of the-earth types, more at home in the barn than the boardroom. But recent high-profile media events involving farmers have captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people…and suggest maybe image isn’t a problem after all. First, long… Read More