Tag: Owen Roberts

Toronto Star Looking for Farming and Food Stories

It almost sounds too good to be true, with farmers often feeling the general public is uninformed and uninterested in agriculture, but urban media outlets are realizing stories about farming and food resonate with their audiences. Whether it’s the ‘wow’ factor, interesting personal stories, great visuals, or top-of-mind topics related to our own health or the environment, agriculture has plenty… Read more »

Owen Roberts Elected President of International Ag Journalists Association

Just like farmers have farm groups, agricultural journalists also have their own organizations. And we’re proud to have one of our contributors and a good friend here at Real Agriculture take the helm of the international association representing ag journalists from around the world. Owen Roberts, who writes a regular column on this site, was… Read more »

Tearing Down Fences is Eternal…And That’s Just the Beginning

Noble efforts have been made to try bringing rural and urban Canadians closer. And now, with the Trans Pacific Partnership being signed, expect those efforts to intensify. Agricultural journalists and communications professionals are paying attention to this imperative. “Fixing Fences: Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide” was the theme of the 60th annual Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation… Read more »

New Approaches to Crop Protection — This Time, Let’s Beat Activists to the Punch

Sweeping changes are taking place in crop protection, especially when it comes to traditional chemicals. I believe these changes are for the best, but they’re going to take some explaining to consumers. Here’s what’s happening. At the BASF media summit in North Carolina this week, the company announced it was introducing an eye-popping 20 new… Read more »

The sun sets on Farmers Feed Cities

If you have any Farmers Feed Cities memorabilia hanging around, treat it with respect. As of Monday, it became collectible. Just as the first ever Local Food Week was getting underway in Ontario, Farmers Feed Cities, one of the most successful agriculture awareness programs in recent memory, wound down. The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO),… Read more »

High Caliber Diets for High Caliber Animals — The Role of Animal Nutrition in Human Health

When it comes to nutrition, it’s safe to say modern farmers are diet conscious about their animals. Farm animals have a whole industry looking after their best interests. Professionals such as animal nutritionists make sure livestock don’t make bad nutrition decisions. How many humans can say the same? Granted, that option’s mostly taken away from… Read more »

Success in Partnership: Re-Inventing Vineland

A sea change takes some impetus. In horticultural research in Ontario, that change happened eight years ago when the Vineland research station reinvented itself as the partner-driven Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. And it got a boost earlier this week when Ottawa and the Ontario government announced they were combining forces to give the centre… Read more »

Sustainable Food Production Comes in Many Forms, Not Just Organic

My daughter Kate and I headed out last Sunday afternoon to Kitchener to hear about a new – and what I consider very different – food service being debuted at the storied Walper Hotel. Up the staircase through the doors of the second-floor terrace ballroom, 250 curious guests were lining up at more than a… Read more »

Make Beef, Not Price, the Centerpiece of Canadian Food Quality

When I buy beef from my neighbourhood butcher in Guelph, I don’t chisel him on price. He sells excellent beef, and he and his suppliers deserve decent money for connecting with the cattle farmers who produce it. If I have to cut corners, I’ll save on some other part of the meal — for example,… Read more »

Farm Safety: Let’s Talk About It

Farm safety leaders are convinced talking is as necessary as safety equipment and training in preventing farm injuries. So maybe it’s not surprising the theme for this year’s Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, which runs March 9-15, is Farm Safety: Let’s Talk About It. Dean Anderson of Guelph, Ont., the agricultural program manager for Workplace Safety… Read more »

There’s No Apology Necessary for Canada’s Vibrant Farm Economy

I suspect there will be a lot of angst over the new federal farm review and forecast – even though statistically, it’s a good news story. The report, released last week, showed farmers produced 96.5 million tonnes of grain in 2013. That’s a major leap over the previous year’s relatively dismal 76.7-million tonne crop, which… Read more »

Why agriculture should get $100 million for research from Ontario budget

It’s stated twice, in 2007 and 2012: the $58-million research partnership between the University of Guelph and what is now the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs has an annual economic impact of more than $1.1 billion on the province. That’s a $58-million annual investment, and a $1.1-billion return. Anyone… Read more »

Germany sets out to improve 40:1 odds against a positive crop protection story

Think of an event covered by 5,000 journalists from 70 countries. The Winter Olympics? Superbowl XLVIII? A Justin Bieber court appearance? Think again – it’s actually an agriculture and food event, the biggest one in Europe, called Green Week. Now in its 79th year, this edition, staged every January, drew a record 410,000 people (mostly… Read more »

Lessons Learned from my Ford Pinto about Food Trends

The last Ford I owned outright – and lived to tell the tale — was a 1972 Pinto. To me, at the time, it was a beauty, silver-grey with a thick black stripe along the rocker panels. I thought it was cool, but, in truth, I was an idiot to drive it. I was lucky… Read more »

Farmers Keen to Contact Politicians, And That’s Good News

When farmers aren’t busy farming, it turns out they’re busy lobbying the government with ideas, strategies and suggestions to keep farming vibrant. A new members’ survey by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the province’s largest general farm group, shows many farmers are dedicating time to contacting representatives at all three levels – municipal, provincial and… Read more »