Agriculture

Why This Farmer's Wife Agvocates

I could get vicious, but I always remember that our words can heal and be life-giving or they can be hurtful weapons -- so I strive to abide my the former. Fighting fire with fire just doesn't get anyone anywhere and if the naysayers keep coming at me with negativity, in the end it makes them look disrespectful.

What is the 'Power of N'?

Over the past number of months, many have asked me what the "power of N" means. The phrase is very simple, yet it has many different layers of meaning and understanding. N is a variable. In mathematic...
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The Loss of the ALR threatens our Farmers and our Food

As our population increases and fuel costs rise, how can we continue to take land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve? The demand for locally grown food is on the rise. Farmers are searching for innovative ways to grow and market their goods here in British Columbia, especially in Vancouver. If we fail to protect land in coastal communities as well as in the Interior, we will see the end of an era of agriculture.
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Land Reserve Independence In Jeopardy?

VANCOUVER - A leaked cabinet document that proposes significant changes to British Columbia's Agricultural Land Reserve — millions of hectares of cherished farmland that have been largely protected fr...

Fermented Foods Are Fantastic for Health

Many a farmer and researcher have searched for ways to preserve shelf life. A small group of people have learned that in order to beat the bugs, they need to incorporate not chemicals or cooling but a collection of microbes that can not only keep food safe, but also keep it tasty for ages.
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Smithfield Foods Takeover: China's Trojan Horse

The United States must reject China's $7-billion bid to buy the world's biggest pork producer, Smithfield Foods of Virginia. The transaction was announced in May but is currently under review in Washington by authorities. Delays are due to concerns. And there are many.
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Why You Should Give a Buzz About Bees

Bees are endlessly intriguing, and incredibly useful to us -- and not just for honey and wax. If bees disappeared, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to grow much of what we eat. The economic value of pollination services from honeybees alone is estimated at $14 billion in the U.S. and hundreds of millions in Canada.
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Ontario's Farmland Is Under Threat

It is unsustainable and irresponsible for Ontario to dig up farmland and natural heritage sites while blasting through water tables to supply aggregates for growth plans that pave over prime farmland. We can and must do better -- for the health of our economy, environment and communities.

Worldwide, Dairy Farmers Are Crying Over Spilled Milk

If you look around the world at successful dairy farms, they are consistently faced with the issue of competitiveness, which I define as the ability to product a commodity profitably in a sustainable manner year after year. While we have our own challenges in the Canadian dairy sector, we are also fortunate to be working within a system that offers stability and consistency.

Another Look at Supply Management

Canada's aggressive trade agenda has spawned much political, public and media discussion about the supply management system in place for certain agricultural sectors, including dairy. The C.D. Howe In...
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Are We Paving Over Our Natural Wealth?

If we value local food and want to maintain the critical benefits that nature provides, we must put food and water first. That's why we're calling on municipalities and provincial governments to redouble their efforts to protect our remaining farmland and green space from costly, polluting urban sprawl.

What the Board and Management Want From Each other

I recently trained a group of directors and CEOs from the banking and agricultural sectors in Texas and Arizona. We discussed mutual expectations on the part of the board and management. The following represents the output of these discussions, which could apply to a variety of boards.
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What's Up and Down With Canadian Exports

Canadian exports rose by 1.0 per cent in October led by a stunning increase in agricultural exports. The combination of this year's bumper harvest with high global food prices was expected to yield significant gains, but many analysts were surprised by the extent of the rise in international sales.
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Mega-Quarry Victory Belongs to the People

We, as citizens, have to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to protect the environment. It just happened in Ontario, where Highland Companies announced it was withdrawing its plan to build a massive open-pit limestone quarry in the rural countryside north of Toronto. People power won! And it wasn't the first time it's happened in Canada.
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David Suzuki Wants to Stop Mega-Quarry

A billion tonnes of limestone lie beneath the rural countryside in Melancthon Township, 100 kilometres north of Toronto. A plan to remove it spotlights the challenges faced everywhere when the desire to protect valuable and ever-diminishing farmland clashes with efforts to push industrial development.
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Hey Rosetta! Visits Honduras with Seeds of Survival

The release of Hey Rosetta's Juno nominated album Seeds triggered a connection between lead singer Tim Baker and USC Canada's global Seeds of Survival program. Taking a "break" from the band's busy touring schedule, Tim recently travelled with USC into the mountains of Honduras to see the seeds and the food sovereignty work being done down there. Here's what he wrote about it.

In the Prairies, We Can Talk Farm

You find Saskatchewan people everywhere. We often stray from the province and find ourselves working, visiting or living our lives in other parts of Canada. When you discover one of us -- as you most certainly will -- there is a good chance that the conversation will turn, at some point, to farming. I guess people just really like to talk about farming and they believe that we're more likely than others to indulge them.

The Science Funded by Your Tax Dollars

While Harper is cutting funds to scientific research, the government doesn't actually understand how it works. Science should feed into policy discussions, but in and of itself science cannot and should not dictate what policy directions should be taken.
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Going to Bat for Our Flying Furry Friends

Many of the 1,200 known species of bats are in trouble. And we humans deserve much of the blame. A bat can eat more than 1,000 insects in an hour, and without the services of bats, the agave plant, from which we get tequila, might not survive. So, if you like tequila but not mosquito bites, you should view bats as your friends.
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Blue Skied And Clear For Farmers

OTTAWA - Almost all Canadian farmers, from wheat growers to cattle ranchers to potato producers, can look forward to good times for up to the next 10 years, according to new government projections.Agr...

Gatineau Steer Shooting: Let's Stop the Bull

Why do we object so vigorously to what these poor animals experienced, yet accept that had they not escaped from the trailer, the steers would have be slaughtered for food just hours later? The only difference is, we don't bear witness to these conditions -- the suffering goes on behind closed doors.
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Andrea Horwath's "Plough Hits a Rock"

John Duffy (L): As the Canadian Press reported, Ms. Horwath is "standing behind a candidate who is coming under fire from the other parties for comments he made about religion and Nazis." We don't know how much quality control went into the NDP's candidate selection process, but one imagines we're going to find out in the days ahead.