When Ben Martens Bartel was a kid, it was no problem for him to bike to his neighbours’ farms to play.
 | File photo

Attracting new faces to country life a complex issue

When Ben Martens Bartel was a kid, it was no problem for him to bike to his neighbours’ farms to play. It wasn’t very far. At the time, there were four occupied yards within three kilometres of his farm. Fast forward three decades. Today, there are only four yards within a 12-km radius of Martens […] Read more

Giving Senate legitimacy is a bad idea

Last August, the CBC published an opinion piece by Aaron Wherry that was headlined, “The hope for an elected Senate is dead, or at least fast asleep.” Just as well. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll remember the term triple-E Senate. It stood for equal, elected and effective. It sounded good. Felt good. […] Read more

Speedy disclosure necessary for respected food system

Canadian grain officials are confident that a visiting delegation from Japan will be satisfied that Canada’s wheat system does not contain the genetically modified variety found in a roadside ditch in Alberta last summer. Based on the testing and the resources that have been put into the investigation, there is every reason to believe that […] Read more


The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership would play a big role in reaching the federal government’s goal of increasing agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.  |  File photo

Parliament must pass Asian trade deal

Implementing legislation for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP was in Parliament last week but it wasn’t passed before the summer recess. This trade agreement between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam promises to unlock valuable trade opportunities for all members, while enhancing prospects for the growth […] Read more

Ag organizations must earn a “social licence” before new technology will be adopted, Kevin Folta said. “It breaks my heart to (see the solutions that are available), especially in the developing world, that don’t get to their target, that don’t serve the people they were meant to serve.”
 | Screencap via Twitter/@GlobalFoodSecur

Trust vs. facts in debate over agriculture

We have often championed the virtue of good communications about agriculture to consumers, but Kevin Folta, a professor in the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida, has outlined a process to ensure the targets and the messages are effective. Folta, who spoke at the Global Institute for Food Security conference in Saskatoon last week, urged those […] Read more


Prison farm issue shows citizens can influence government

Often in politics, and in news, it’s the immediate issues that dominate. Readers want to know what’s happening right now. Politicians want to talk about what’s happening right at this moment. Rarely do stories, or issues, remain top of mind within a community for nearly a decade — so much so that a government is […] Read more

Good equipment available at reasonable prices

It has become fashionable to complain about the high price of farmland and how it’s difficult or even impossible for young people to get a start in farming these days. However, if you look at the selling price of older farm equipment, this is a great time to start farming. You can be very well […] Read more

There are ways to get the most out of a farm sale

After putting years of hard work into your farm, it is understandable that you want to get the highest value out of it on a sale. One key to receiving top dollar is planning and ensuring essential items are properly looked after. Planning your corporate structure Having a tangled web of corporations is typically going […] Read more


TPP-11 ratification must be a priority for House

For Canadian agriculture, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The agreement is on track to pass through the House by the fall, but we must be mindful of what can happen if MPs lose focus. Bill C-49, which updated transportation rules to address — among other things — how grain is […] Read more

Removing livestock from much of the ranch and pastureland wouldn’t likely increase food production or sustainability.  |  File photo

Livestock removal hurts sustainability

In discussions over food security and climate change, a common statement made by non-governmental organizations is that one of our staple food sources, livestock protein, needs to be eliminated from human consumption to meet future food demands as well as greenhouse gas emission targets. One of the main arguments made is that cutting livestock from […] Read more