Category: Real Talk Real Action

Equine Infertility Answers Could Help Humans

When it comes to mating horses, there’s a lot at stake. Stud fees can soar into the tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. And likewise, offspring from a particularly promising pairing can be extremely valuable. These animals could be the start of a new line, and lead to generations of prime performers. But… Read more »

Here’s a Great Gift: Soybeans Complete the Miller Legacy Project

As far back as 2001, Fortier, Man., farmer and seed dealer Darcy Miller was growing soybeans. With his agronomic savvy, he saw their potential, and watched through the years as they caught on with other farmers in the province. Now, it’s estimated Manitoba farmers will plant around two million acres of soybeans this year. So… Read more »

Strange Bedfellows team up for consumer support

If you need any more evidence that times are changing in farming, look no further than a new partnership between the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and an activist group called Environmental Defence. You likely know the former. The OFA describes itself as Canada’s largest voluntary farm organization, representing more than 36,000 farm families across… Read more »

Fireside chats take the chill off Canada’s Agriculture Day

Farmers don’t need to be reminded they’re active in many ways in the winter, but the public does.That’s part of what’s driving the timing of Canada’s first-ever national agriculture day. The architects of the February 16 event, #CdnAgDay — Agriculture More Than Ever, Agriculture in the Classroom, and Farm & Food Care – want to… Read more »

Use Your On-Farm Savvy to Start a Small Business

Donald Trump may or may not succeed in building a wall between him and us for what he calls security purposes. But let’s be clear: we appear to be entering a new era of American protectionism. If it’s not a physical structure that comes between us, in the name of saving US jobs and lives,… Read more »

Trump Legacy: Feed the World, or the Ego?

I’m a big advocate of democracy. I defend the free press globally, especially the agricultural free press, and people’s right to say what they want, as long as they don’t misuse it by slandering or scurrilously pursuing others. But when I see Donald Trump supporters flaunting slogans like Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required, as… Read more »

Enhanced Databank Gives Veterinarians Better Access to Extra-Label Advice

Livestock and poultry veterinarians involved with extra-label use of drugs for food animals now have an improved – and vitally important – e-resource available to them. Directors of the web-based Canadian food animal residue avoidance databank (which goes by the acronym CgFARAD) have unveiled a new user-friendly and effective database and website for licensed veterinarians… Read more »

Pondering farming’s future, 6½ lbs. at a time

The New Year was hardly a day old when we welcomed grandson Andrew Daniel Huston into the family and into the world, at 6:25 p.m. on January 2. He tipped the scales at a healthy 6 lbs., 8 oz., surprising his mother (my daughter) Alicia and his dad Mark with his speedy delivery. Maybe he… Read more »

Ontario Ag Minister Says It’s Back to Basics in 2017: Soil, Water, & Air

Don’t be surprised to see more hydro bill relief in sight in 2017 for rural Ontarians, says the province’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. In a year-end interview, Minister Jeff Leal said that although the province has started finding ways to reduce energy bills, “there’s more to do.” He said he “wouldn’t be… Read more »

New Year Prediction: Your Natural Capital Will Be Trending

Every decade or so, the rest of the world realizes how cool it is to be a farmer — to be someone with “natural capital,” that is, a steward of natural resources such as healthy soil, clean water, and good air. In my lifetime, it’s happened a few times in North America, driven initially by… Read more »

Trump vs. Smart Tomatoes: It’s a Pick’em

A prediction earlier this week from a Canadian academic suggested Donald Trump’s presidency would cause food prices in Canada to rise in 2017. Here’s why. To make America great again, Trump has said he’s going to deport illegal immigrant workers. If he succeeds, that effort will include getting rid of the ballooning number of illegal… Read more »

Cuban Farmers Deserve Change in a Post-Fidel Era

Through the years, Cuban farmers – or at least those whose families didn’t have their farm estates or agri-businesses seized when Fidel Castro came into power — have been living in a bubble. They’ve been loyal subjects to their political leader, the long-time dictator who died last week, almost six months after his 90th birthday…. Read more »

Believe Me: Trump’s Policies Could Launch Another Trade War 

Canadian farmers could be among the first to see if U.S. president-elect Donald Trump can live in two worlds – the one in which he keeps his supporters happy, and the other one that keeps the rest of the planet from succumbing to chaos. In his acceptance speech Tuesday, Trump assured the world that he… Read more »

Talking Dirt: New Soil Health Centre Backs Intuition With Science

Soil preservation is gaining seatbelt and sugarless gum status in our society. It’s simply no longer optional. Some soil advocates are now calling for every agricultural grant application to have a tick box explaining how the proposed project exercises best soil management practices. No doubt, pressure is mounting to acknowledge the unparalleled role those first… Read more »

Empower Farmers by Making Credit Available: A World Food Day Lesson

World anything Day is a lot to take in. You’d think it might be easier to digest when a designated day for something global was also for something so familiar as food. But I didn’t sense that with World Food Day, which arrived and passed Sunday without much fanfare, at least in North America. Why’s… Read more »