Category: Opinion

On NAFTA: the U.S. is not negotiating, it’s making demands

As round four of the NAFTA talks comes to a close, you have to wonder why it took the U.S. this long to finally come around to the stiff demands laid out in round four. From auto to dairy, the U.S. provided a list of demands that Canada and Mexico have described as unacceptable, and,… Read more »

U.S. expected to come out swinging in round four of NAFTA talks

The first three rounds of the three city touring NAFTA talks have seen many handshakes, a few trials balloons and agreement on predictable texts. Round four will begin back in DC mid-week and is expected to have some more drama and rocky moments as predicted by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland at the outset… Read more »

A young farmer’s letter to Bill Morneau

Editor’s note: This letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau was submitted to RealAgriculture by Stewart Skinner, a young pig farmer from Listowel, Ontario, who voted Liberal in the 2015 federal election. He was also the Liberal candidate for Perth-Wellington in the 2014 Ontario election. Skinner posts periodically on his Modern Farmer blog. October 2nd is the last day to… Read more »

Questions linger about U.S. commitment to completing new NAFTA deal

Negotiators are trying to ignore the politics and noise surrounding their attempt to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the big decisions will ultimately be made in the political realm. And that means what happens on the ground in the negotiating room has to be within the range of what political leaders, including… Read more »

Ag minister avoids saying much on tax changes

With farmers, farm organizations, and accounting firms that work in agriculture voicing serious concerns about the federal government’s proposed tax changes, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay broke his media silence on the subject on Friday afternoon. For all of 50 seconds. The Full Story: Facing the politically dangerous choice of siding with the farm community or… Read more »

Both MacAulay and Perdue need to step up for agriculture

Sonny Perdue and Lawrence MacAulay have their obvious differences. One is American and the other is Canadian. One has right wing politics and the other leans a little more to the left. One likes ice cream and the other…oh wait, they do have some things in common. Besides ice cream, they both like to talk… Read more »

Getting crunched: Government squeezes on farms are adding up

I’m fortunate enough to get to meet all kinds of farmers. Usually when we meet, the conversation is a standard one. What’s the weather been like or how is the harvest going? Politics, just like sex and religion, is usually left out of it. Until recently. Farmers keep bringing it up in their conversations. That… Read more »

43% of equipment dealers believe their new equipment inventory is too high

Whether you are running a retail dress shop, bakery or a Best Buy, managing your inventory is critical to achieving financial success.  Having adequate working capital provides flexibility and prevents having all of financial freedom ties up in inventory. These financial realities are very true for machinery dealers as the carrying costs of the inventory… Read more »

“We’ll probably end up terminating NAFTA” – President Trump

In a speech that reminded everyone that Donald Trump loves to campaign maybe even more than actually being President, the foundations of NAFTA could be rockier than people want to believe. The President gave a rally speech in Arizona where he stated “I don’t think we can make a deal because we have been so… Read more »

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 »