Proclaiming dairy, or any sector for that matter, “today’s greatest business opportunity,” is bold indeed. But that was the way dairy was positioned at a huge animal feed symposium that concluded last week at Alltech’s world headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. Using milk as an example, participants at various sessions at the symposium heard how dairy… Read More

Research is supposed to give decision makers information from which they can make sound policy. Without research-based information, what evidence would decisions be based on? Hearsay? Emotions? Gut feel? Some intuition must be part of any decision, sure, but at the core, at least when it comes to public policy, there must be something more… Read More

When it comes to supply management, it looks like the showdown between Canada and the rest of the world is reaching another tipping point. But those strange bedfellows, Ontario and Quebec, aren’t going to take it lying down. Late last week the U.S., with its insatiable appetite for accessing Canadian supply-managed markets, said Canada won’t… Read More

Food is growing in importance, but rural Canada is losing its influence. How can that be? Former Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Joe Clark has a few ideas. They came to the fore last month for 700-plus participants at the Grain Farmers of Ontario popular March Classic, in London, ON. The organization made a good choice… Read More

In universities in Ontario, the semester has ended and students are off to travel, work at a summer job or just recharge their batteries. Experience has taught me as an instructor to not pack too much into the very end of the semester. Nerves are frayed and agendas are overwhelmed. That’s especially true in the… Read More

If you saw the 2011 movie Contagion, you know how bird flu can be vilified. Movie goers left the theatre scared senseless that any traveller they encountered could be a ticking time bomb, as a result of a virus that appeared to spread from the close association between poultry and humans on some Asian farms…. Read More

To underline the value of research at universities in the province, the Council of Ontario Universities has launched a campaign inviting the public to vote on what it considers to be the top 50 “game changing” research breakthroughs in the past century. Universities were asked to forward their suggestions to the council, which then chose… Read More

The optimism being felt by the Canadian government about agriculture in our country is certainly not shared by farmers to our immediate south, about their own future. Ottawa issued a news release a few weeks ago, proclaiming happy days were here for Canadian farmers. It painted a positive outlook for farmers, pointing specifically to what… Read More

Remember your parents telling you “If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it!”? Well, thanks to social media, you or yours no longer need to seek permission to give an opinion. You don’t even need anyone to ask you for it. You can just give it freely, and you sure don’t need anyone to… Read More

A proposal for a one-million-acre set-aside for pollinators in Ontario by 2018 sounds like something a government or activists would propose, and farmers would lose their minds over. What? A million acres in a province losing 350 acres of prime farmland a day to development? But now, this set-aside program, the gemstone in the new… Read More

(Yuma, Arizona) – From the desolate, moonscape-like look of the surroundings here, complete with a never-ending vista of foreboding mountains, scattered rock, tumbleweeds, cacti and dirt devils, it’s hard to imagine this part of the world is popularly called America’s winter salad bowl. But it’s true. Farmers in the vast and sparse extreme southwestern part… Read More

A full-court press, led by Canadian mushroom growers, is on to try to stop hundreds of foreign workers specially trained for agriculture jobs in Canada from having to leave. On April 1, a federally mandated rule kicks in that requires them go home if they’ve been here four years. And it’s going to affect the… Read More

Major commodity groups in Ontario have joined forces to make high-profile public pronouncements against the swelling tide of sentiment over their use of pesticides. But at least one organization is not in lock step with the rest Members of some of the largest farm organizations in the province, such as Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario… Read More

Agriculture’s global profile got a boost last year thanks to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization deeming 2014 the International Year of Family Farming. Journalists wrote enlightening stories about the fact that nearly all Canadian farms are family owned. Politicians spoke in glowing terms about the economic, social and cultural contributions made by family… Read More

The ongoing quest — or battle — to feed the planet is not solely a foreign affair. Nor is it a product of war or natural disaster. Take Ontario, for example. In one of Canada’s most affluent provinces, more than 375,000 people use food banks every month. The underlying causes of Ontarians’ hunger are different… Read More


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