Category: Opinion

SpaceX launch could be a step toward solving the rural internet problem

Slow internet speeds and poor coverage are a major problem in many rural areas. It’s a competitive disadvantage for farmers, ranchers and businesses who generally have no choice but to settle for slower, more expensive internet than people living in urban areas. Traditional internet service providers, unless they’re regulated or funded by government, see little… Read more »

The crux of populist politics for agriculture

Farmers and ranchers across Canada and the United States identify with a hard day’s work, family, and a life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You would have to drive many dirt roads before you found a farmer in either country identifying with “the elites.” In the Right Honourable Stephen Harper’s recent… Read more »

The incredible foolishness of boycotting Alberta Beef

Despite British Columbia Premier John Horgan’s assurance that getting involved in a trade war is not his intent, rumours of a looming Alberta Beef ban in the province continue to circulate. And where the rumours aren’t, the sudden, ill-advised political activists are — threatening boycotts of their own. It all stems from an ongoing dispute… Read more »

Nigerian sales growth shows how trade missions add value to Canadian wheat

by Greg Porozni, Alberta farmer and Cereals Canada director As part of the 2017 New Crop Missions, “Team Canadian Wheat” visited Canada’s top customers and provided them with technical data and support. Who are Canada’s top customers? Some of the answers, like Japan, will be no surprise to anyone, but many would not expect to… Read more »

Water is the ultimate public good. So why doesn’t the public pay for its protection?

I wrote a column last week that caused quite a stir, as was the intention. My tongue-in-cheek title did what it was intended to do: it sparked conversation and some lively debate, but it also got some tempers flaring over the increased regulatory burden farmers not just endure, but must also pay for. Read Top… Read more »

Which decade would you choose to farm in?

A talk radio show I frequently listen to was recently discussing the hypothetical question: if you could pause your age at any point you chose, when would it be? Some said 18, some said 35, some said 55. It was a fun, interactive discussion. Everyone had their personal reasons based on external factors or their… Read more »

The NAFTA timeline has become indeterminate

It was a timeline that was described as aggressive and fast, but not totally impossible. Early in the NAFTA renegotiations, everyone recognized that attempting to complete the negotiations within a seven month timeline was going to be difficult, but optimists thought our economic bond would win in the end. The July 1st Mexican election and… 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 »

Piers Morgan trolls trolling vegans in support of farmer breakfasts

In an era where “offensive” seems to have an ever-widening set of definitions, a group of police officers found themselves under the defensive wing of journalist and television personality Piers Morgan. How it all started Members of the North Wales Rural Crime Team wanted to support local farmers after the country’s National Farmers Union hosted… Read more »

Activists pushing to tax meat like cigarettes

According to the dictionary, a sin tax is “a tax on items considered undesirable or harmful, such as alcohol or tobacco.” There is mounting pressure from activist groups to add animal proteins to that list of so-called “sinful” items. They argue meat creates added healthcare costs and negative impacts on the environment. It might sound… Read more »

Reflections on 2017 and forecasts for the new year

This December, to recognize the year that has passed, and to look to the start of 2018, we decided to create a short questionnaire for a few of our many, valued contributors. Andrew Campbell is a dairy farmer, owner of Fresh Air Media, and a contributor to the site, often writing on advocacy and marketing…. Read more »

It’s been a rough fall for Trudeau and agriculture

Even though rural Canada voted Conservative, I personally had some hope for the Trudeau government. For me it was a case of giving them the benefit of the doubt on some of their campaign promises. The basis for much of this optimism was on the trade file and Trudeau’s ability to connect Canada to Asia…. Read more »

Bringing mental health first aid to the agricultural mainstream

I was in a conference call around access to mental health services last month, and a question came up that I’m sure a great many of us have considered: what can we do to break down stigma in our communities? Now, there are many ways we can go about breaking down stigma (worthy of a… Read more »

Local newspapers disappearing from the fabric of rural communities

So what makes a rural community? Some people believe that it is about the hospital, the hockey rink, the school or maybe the post office. What about the local newspaper? Is it still a fabric of the community like it once was? We might not even know how much they mean until they are all… 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 »