Category: Advocacy

Changing minds by changing yours: influencing consumers’ opinions on agriculture

Are you willing to change your mind when you discuss agriculture and food issues with people who don’t agree with your point of view? On some level, most people in agriculture engage in conversations with family, friends, and colleagues on a range of issues – everything from conventional versus organic agriculture, to the right to… Read more »

Staking a claim for ag in the social media jungle

Marketing and farming go hand in hand, says UK communications specialist Simon Haley. In a swing through Ontario that starts later this week, he’ll be urging farmers to use their intrinsic marketing skills to get back in touch with consumers. “Farming is where marketing started,” says Haley. But over the years – as nations became… Read more »

The unintended benefit of signing up to raise ag awareness

Over a hundred thousand people, including our family, visited the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon, Manitoba, last week. The list of things the kids wanted to see had three things on it: horses, the SuperDogs, and all the farm animals. Given the size of the crowd in the ‘Thru the Farmgate’ area, there’s no… Read more »

That’s a wrap: Mark Brock on stepping up, lobbying, and the importance of family

When you let your name stand as chair of an organization, you never know what challenges you’ll face. For Mark Brock, who stepped in as chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario in 2015, there was little time to adjust to the new leadership role. As he was nominated, the organization was facing one of its… Read more »

Putting yourself out there — ag policy and the under 40 crowd

Time away from the farm is important for so many reasons, even if it can be a challenge to make it work. Whether it’s continuing your education, getting some much needed downtime, or speaking up for changes to your sector, there’s a whole other world away from the farm that can offer real value back,… Read more »

Celebrate the food you love on Canada’s Agriculture Day

February 13 marks the second annual Canada’s Agriculture Day, a day to “celebrate the food we love.” Everyone involved in the agriculture and food industry is encouraged to celebrate in their own way — from hosting an event, to posting their agriculture pride online and through social media channels, or by engaging with customers and… Read more »

Building consumer trust is our responsibility, says ‘Farmer Tim’

Tim May says he’s “just a farmer down the road.” But the Rockwood, ON dairy farmer — better known as ‘Farmer Tim’ in the social media world — and his 43 cows are certainly punching above their weight in the fight to help consumers understand what really happens on the farm these days. Three years… Read more »

A salute to Canadian ag: McConnell to receive Order of Canada on Wednesday

One of Canadian agriculture’s greatest champions will be honoured at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, January 24th. Kim McConnell, a founder of AdFarm, has been appointed to the Order of Canada for his leadership in promoting Canada’s agricultural industry and his extensive engagement in causes supporting youth, entrepreneurship and rural communities. Established in 1967… Read more »

What should a farmer look like?

Whenever I watch television, it doesn’t take very long before a dentist or doctor appears in a commercial, telling you which toothpaste to use or what to buy to live a healthy life. In those ads, the main spokesperson (or actor) is wearing a white coat. That white coat is used as a sign of… Read more »

Inside ‘The Real Dirt on Farming’

Where can Canadians find everything they need to know about farming all wrapped into a neat 60-page package? It’s all in The Real Dirt on Farming. Farm & Food Care Ontario officially unveiled the newest version of its flagship public outreach publication last month. This new Real Dirt is the fourth edition since the project’s inception in… Read more »

No, agriculture won’t be quiet, Mr. Ross

We often hear that farmers need to tell their story. Farmers need to speak up and make sure their concerns are heard and are understood by politicians and consumers. Too many times our messages seem to fall on deaf ears with left and right leaning governments. However, last week’s #farmers4NAFTA campaign by U.S. farm groups and… Read more »

25 years of memorable SWAC moments

The Southwest Agricultural Conference (SWAC) will mark its 25th anniversary on January 3rd, when the two-day conference unofficially kicks off Ontario’s winter farm meeting season. In Part Two of our video series looking back at a quarter century of SWAC, we hear from a host of conference organizers and participants who share their favourite memories of… Read more »

Growing farm leaders $1 at a time

How do you grow a farm leader? SeCan and their seed customers are doing it one dollar at a time. Entering its fifth year, the SeCan Grow A Leader program has now contributed more than $200,000 to 4-H in Canada. Last month, the company presented a cheque for $64,880 to 4-H, representing $1 from every… Read more »

Food Evolution movie now available on your screen

Opportunities to watch Food Evolution, the new documentary focusing on scientists’ views of GMOs, have been few and far between. But that all changes today with the release of the film on iTunes and Amazon. RealAgriculture attended a premiere of the film in Guelph, Ont., in June, but since that time the film has struggled… Read more »

Building Canadian food and farming attitudes from the ground up

What’s the value of public opinion? That’s a question I find myself asking more often these days. In a democracy, public opinion should matter and politicians and policy makers should have a strong understanding of the people’s will when making public policy. But should they give the people what they want? Today we have no… Read more »