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

Producers must speak up on trade

Trade negotiations. I can almost hear the pages turning as people turn to other things that seem more relevant. For years, everyone involved in agriculture has been subjected to the strong arguments on both sides of this issue. And yet, little seems to change. For example, since 2001, the World Trade Organization’s Doha round of […] Read more

Canada cannot turn its back on science

Cam Dahl, a former commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission, says science is crucial to the future of agriculture in this Frontier Centre commentary. We owe our enviable lifestyles to science. Not just conveniences like IPods and Facebook, but critical things like medical care and adequate food. Yet, the very foundations of science are under […] Read more