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.
If Calgary Co-op member, and local food activist, Clint Robertson's motion is successful on Wednesday at their AGM, Calgary Co-op will make history by being the first major food retailer in Canada to begin phasing out the intensive confinement of farm animals, specifically caged pork and battery caged hens for eggs.
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.
In the last several years I have become more and more aware of how disconnected the average consumer is from agriculture. Most people are now living in urban centres and have no connection to the farm. This stranger was a perfect example of this. He had many questions and many misconceptions about modern agriculture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In its campaign against the Canadian Wheat Board's single desk system, the Conservative government has invoked the language of "choice," framing its intentions in terms of expanding farmers' options for marketing their produce. State intervention that forcibly undermines the CWB will accomplish exactly the opposite.