Canada needs a clear strategic plan on how agricultural research should be funded.  |  File photo

Research, innovation key to future

One of the oldest clichés in agriculture might be that “research and innovation are the keys to our future.” However, just because it is a cliché does not mean it is not true. The federal election is over and Canada has a new government. Agriculture lobby groups from every region will be asking them to […] Read more

All parts of the value chain must work together to find new uses and growth opportunities for Canadian wheat.  |  File photo

Branding wheat may expand markets

What do customers want when they buy Canadian wheat? Cereals Canada and the Canadian International Grains Institute recently commissioned market research firm LMC International to answer this question. Farmers should care about the answer because it will impact their future bottom line, and their check-off dollars may be going to go to support the industry’s […] Read more

Trans-Pacific Partnership: deal or no deal?

It is a bit hard to tell, but Canada is part of one of the largest trade negotiations that have ever taken place. Hard to tell because not many seem to want to talk about it. Canadian reaction to the negotiations seems a bit like a five-year-old putting his hands over his eyes and hoping […] Read more

If Canada doesn’t reduce internal trade restrictions, companies may take their investment money for seed varieties elsewhere.  |  File photo

It’s time for free trade inside Canada

I was in a Tokyo liquor store the other day (I don’t have many opportunities to say that) and came across a bottle of Single Malt Canadian Vodka. The box contained the logo of Ducks Unlimited, showcasing the Canadian industry’s strong environmental record. Kudos to the small distillery in British Columbia that is bringing this […] Read more

Industry officials say the Canadian Grain Commission’s new composite certification option to the vessel certification process ensures customers get the quality of wheat they require at the best price.  |  File photo

Canadian wheat not in decline: officials

The Western Producer recently published comments from an international grain broker that led the paper to ask the question, “is Canadian wheat in decline?” We are pleased to answer that question with an unequivocal “no.” In fact, it is quite the reverse. The wide-ranging comments brought up questions on logistics, grain grading and return to […] Read more

Producers must present a unified message not only by governments making policy decisions but so that the media and public know where agriculture organizations stand.  |  File photo

Industry consensus: what is it good for?

Policy debates often centre around the word “consensus,” bandying it about like a sword in battle. Well-reasoned arguments and debates are habitually dispatched with the phrase, “there was no consensus on that.” But what does consensus really mean? The dictionary tells us that consensus means a general agreement, but the definition is vague regarding the […] Read more

Canadian farmers need to promote their products and educate consumers on their efforts to produce safe food in a sustainable manner.  |  File photo

Sustainability is not a four letter word

A national pollster once told me that “Canadians really like farmers, but they don’t always like what farmers do.” He followed that up by noting that the second half of the statement was the more important part, which is the agriculture industry’s responsibility to address the misinformation circulating about modern day farming. Unfortunately, misinformation is […] Read more

Cereals Canada hopes to ensure a profitable and vibrant future for all links in the cereal value chain.  |  File photo

Who is Cereals Canada and why to care

Farmers today, no matter what they are producing, belong to or support a number of agriculture associations and organizations. These industry groups are working on your behalf and as a farmer, you are better off because of their work. However, I am likely biased on this assessment. When does it become too much? Does Canadian […] Read more

Showing good animal care important

Animal care issues in the Manitoba beef industry have been in the news lately, with a guilty plea entered in a court case stemming from incidents in 2011. The details of the case are horrific, with more than 60 cattle dead from starvation and an almost equal number found close to death. Manitoba Beef Producers […] Read more

Food production has been romanticized and modern agriculture portrayed as environmentally unfriendly but new practices have reduced many issues of the 1930s, says the author.  |  MANITOBA AGRICULTURAL MUSEUM photo

Good old days were not always so good

Local. Organic. Hormone free. Gluten free. No pesticides. Nothing artificial. These are the buzzwords in food marketing today. Who can object to all of these wholesome sounding concepts? Food companies are trying to take us back to a time that many consumers imagine as idyllic, pure and healthy. The fact this is an effective marketing […] Read more