Category: Opinion

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 »

Goodbye, Glen Murray — Ontario farmers will never forget you

I thought goodbyes were supposed to be hard, and that they usually bring tears, hugs, and long waves of sorrow. Not always. Glen Murray’s resignation as Ontario’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change has left many farmers across the province smiling, even though the wake of his non-science-based decision-making will be felt long after he… Read more »

President Trump says U.S. gained access into China for beef because he asked for it

Negotiating trade deals to increase market access is typically not easy. Non-tariff barriers, thickening borders, and increased commerce bureaucracy all make access to global markets and free trade very difficult. But what if market access could be made easier by just asking for it. Why didn’t former Presidents, NCBA and a handful of U.S. Trade… Read more »

Food Fear: A call for action

This editorial was written by Brenna Mahoney, director of communications and stakeholder relations for Cereals Canada. As I scrolled through my Facebook this morning, I came across a treasure trove of misinformation and fearmongering. Some of my friends writing in the comments how they agree that our food system is a big conspiracy and we… Read more »

R-CALF rhetoric pushes to have COOL reinstated

Montana-based cattle membership organization R-CALF has launched a multi-pronged attack to convince President Trump to reinstate mandatory country of origin labelling (MCOOL) in the upcoming renegotiation of NAFTA. On Agritalk on Thursday, R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard argued for MCOOL on the basis it supports President Trump’s “America first” policy, food safety, and America’s sovereignty, since the… Read more »

Don’t mess with family — Perdue’s message to the rest of the Trump cabinet

Blood is thicker than water, and you should never mess with family. As I look back on the trilateral meeting between the agricultural leaders from Canada, the United States and Mexico, U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has repeatedly emphasized the word ‘family’. With spouses included, this triple date included local Savannah, Georgia hospitality and even… Read more »

Agvocate — do you embrace or avoid this term?

Agvocacy, agvocate, advocating for agriculture… As a farmer or rancher, do you like these words? Do you embrace these terms? Whether you embrace “agvocacy” or avoid it, what would the implications be in five years if the entire sector adopted your position? Producers tend to have strong positive and negative reactions to the activity of… Read more »

Trudeau is the best person to trade away supply management

Before we start let me make this point very clear: This editorial is not an argument for or against supply management. It’s a statement on Canada’s negotiating position heading into the upcoming NAFTA talks. In any trade you try to maximize the return on an asset. In sports, this could be other players, draft picks… Read more »

Did Perdue really say “if you want supply management, that’s fine”?

It’s no surprise that Canada’s dairy supply management was discussed in the first face-to-face meeting between Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and new U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. However, some of Perdue’s comments on supply management after the meeting on Monday are surprising or noteworthy with many on the U.S. side calling for the system to be dismantled…. Read more »

Slow rural internet speed is our competitive disadvantage

Excuse my ranting, but I am so frustrated with slow rural internet. In fact I am getting to the point of pure outrage on most days in trying to function without reasonably fast internet as we try to run a media company from a rural farm office. The scary thing is that I am not… Read more »

Should ‘vertical’ factory farms get a free pass?

In a recent Fast Company magazine article there was a feature on the benefits of using technology to produce food. The article praised the efficiency gains made by implementing the latest in what technology could provide. The farm in the article is located in San Francisco. That’s right, it’s a vertical farm. The company’s name… Read more »

Neither side wins with ‘Pig Trial’ verdict

The recent court case of Anita Krajnc, informally called the “Pig Trial,” has come to a close, and the farming community leaves the courtroom with disappointment. Sort of. Rather than a one-sided legal rout for animal rights activism, the verdict delivered in this criminal mischief case actually supports Ontario farmers in a number of ways. Let’s… Read more »

We can thank technology for 24% of the U.S. corn crop being planted in one week

Have you ever looked across the road at the neighbour and thought, “Man, he has a lot of equipment for the acres he farms!” I think that conversation must be happening more than we think because the USDA has reported that corn planting is 71% complete in the U.S. That’s 1% ahead of the long-term… Read more »

The push to end supply management signals waning public support of farming

Over the last few months, the Conservative leadership contest has thrust a highly emotional issue for rural Canada into the spotlight— is supply management worth keeping or not? If you aren’t aware of the issue, one candidate, Maxime Bernier, is looking to eliminate the system. The rest of the field of candidates have said they… Read more »

Could Investing in Rural Canada Make for Affordable Cities?

We know that housing prices – regardless of whether you buy or rent — are out of sight, especially in Canada’s major cities, and in particular, Toronto, where housing prices have jumped more than 30 per cent in one year. As part of what’s called the Fair Housing Plan, announced Thursday, April 20, Ontario Premier… Read more »