When University of Guelph agricultural economist Alfons Weersink told me he was tackling the question “Who is a farmer?”, I immediately thought of the late Paul Harvey. He’s the broadcaster whose 1978 Americana classic, “So God Made A Farmer,” was brilliantly revived in a 2013 Super Bowl ad for Dodge trucks. In it, Harvey praised… Read More

If there’s any question about the University of Guelph’s commitment to the country’s $6-billion dairy sector, just check the inscription on the institution’s new, specialized logo unveiled last week. It leaves little doubt: Guelph has branded itself “Canada’s dairy university.” The university decisively, ceremoniously and logically planted its flag on Canadian dairy at a teaching… Read More

You can measure the pork industry’s development in Ontario in some obvious ways, such as sales and the size of the herd across the province. But Prof. Bob Friendship at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, says another strong indicator of the sector’s vitality is the number of veterinary students who are choosing it… Read More

When it comes to climate change, here’s another thing to worry about: the continuing viability and stability of ancient fungi living deep inside your pasture grass, and the overall lack of attention they — and indeed the ecology of pasture grass in general — are receiving in these rapidly changing times. If you pasture livestock,… Read More

I sat beside a semi-retired oilfield executive on a plane recently. “I’ve got a book in me,” he said, when he found out I was a writer. “I’ve lived all over the place and done a lot.” When I asked him for an example, he talked about how he still drove his 1999 pick up,… Read More

A springtime initiative launched earlier this week by the David Suzuki Foundation, fashioned after the iconic Got Milk? campaign of yore, asks “Got Milkweed, Canada?” It’s an initiative designed to get urban people to plant milkweed and provide a much-needed food source for North America’s precarious population of eastern monarch butterflies, which require milkweed for… Read More

High fives all around for DuPont Pioneer. The newly minted global Access to Seeds Index — a measure of how leading seed companies are contributing to global food security — has named DuPont Pioneer the world’s best firm for trying to improve smallholder farmer productivity. Syngenta deserves kudos too; it isn’t far behind. In fact,… Read More

In the ongoing battle to make consumers more open to Canadian farmers’ use of technology, agriculture may finally be gaining some ground. That may be hard to believe, given the same old hackneyed arguments about GMOs and the like that keep surfacing. But CropLife President Ted Menzies told about 80 participants in a Farm Management… Read More

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister, it’s unlikely he would have envisioned his eldest son Justin not only leading the country like him, but advocating for the legal use of marijuana as a recreational and medicinal drug. Likewise, had the fathers of the budding soybean sector here… Read More

Guess how many people are entrusted to answer more than 1,500 queries a year from veterinarians across Canada asking case-specific, time-sensitive questions about withdrawal times for extra-label use veterinary drugs? 2 22, or 222? If you guessed two, you’re correct — and perhaps astounded. Just two veterinarians — one at the Western College of Veterinary… Read More

What did you do on your most recent vacation? Ski? Go south? Binge-watch Netflix? Not Dr. Paula Menzies. She spent her vacation writing the final chapters of a book…on udder health for dairy goats. It wasn’t especially relaxing. And it won’t end up being a best seller on Amazon or Chapters. But the book, released… Read More

A certain irony exists in the fact that quinoa — a relatively new crop to modern farmers and today’s consumers — is both a cousin to one of Canada’s most notorious weeds (lamb’s quarters), and a food plant that’s been around in a primitive form for hundreds of years in South America. But Quinta Quinoa, the… Read More

Most every Thursday, Ontario Veterinary College field staff veterinarian Dr. Jeff Rau gets in his pickup and makes the 45-minute trek from Guelph to St. Jacobs, to the province’s biggest sales yard, the Ontario Livestock Exchange (OLEX). Seated with him in the cab will be at least one, if not two, veterinary college students interested… Read More

 

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