B of C governor sees ag export momentum

It is not every day one gets the chance to ask the governor of the Bank of Canada a direct question about agriculture. In fact, the last time I got in front of a governor it was Gordon Thiessen, and holy cow, that’s a long time ago. Stephen Poloz was in Saskatoon last week at […] Read more

Young firebrand joins Producer as columnist

I first heard about Kelsey Johnson from Barry Wilson. When Barry has high praise for someone, you should listen. So I did. Kelsey is the new bright light on Parliament Hill. She is a rare Ottawa journalist with fire in the belly for agriculture, and I really, really wanted her in the pages of The […] Read more

Corporate culture is vital for farms

While presenting a writing workshop recently, it kept occurring to me that many of my points about journalism, news releases, creative branding, clarity, truth and authenticity related directly to corporate culture. Allow me a short example and cautionary tale. XL Foods during its E. coli crisis didn’t talk much to journalists or issue news releases, […] Read more

Students create plan for natural feed additive

If you like curry or maple syrup, you probably like fenugreek. The seed of this spice is used widely in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, and apparently the flavour turns nutty and maple-like when the seeds are roasted. Yum. It is also the basis for an agricultural industry marketing plan developed by students at the […] Read more

Holding pattern budgets create ho-hum result

All the provincial budgets have come down. Yawn. Did I mention they were boring? Unless some devilish details emerge from the bowels of the budget documents, these are among the dullest budgets ever. Last year was quite a different story. In Alberta, for instance, a tentative conversation began around implementing a sales tax. The province […] Read more

U.S. awards recognize WP reporters

I first met Ed White when I was a much younger reporter at the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and had been sent out to learn something about the agriculture beat. Agriculture is a remarkably complex file, and I was terrified. One of the brilliant things I did in a story many moons ago was refer to $7 […] Read more

CP president needs to focus on customers

Hunter Harrison, leader of the Canadian Pacific Railway, published a full page explanation of his company’s service problems in the Globe and Mail and the National Post last week. It probably cost him a pretty penny, not that that matters. With the amount of money CP (and Canadian National Railway), are raking in, the cost […] Read more

CFA continues to be important organization

And you think annual general meetings are boring. At the Canadian Federation of Agriculture meeting in Ottawa last week, there were several big name speakers and interesting visitors. Even the resolution votes generated plenty of interest. For example, resolution 29 dealt with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. There was a good debate with farmers […] Read more

Olympic Games can help unite Canadians

Whatever you were doing on Thursday, Feb. 20, I am going to bet you dropped it and watched the Canadian women’s curling team or the women’s hockey team, or both, slide to glory. Standing in The Western Producer newsroom, surrounded by co-workers while the women’s hockey team scored the winning goal in overtime, I was […] Read more

Budget rehashes, regurgitates and reiterates

In the WP newsroom, there is a television. It is usually tuned into news or the government channel, but one morning last week, a few of us were cheering on the Canadian women’s Olympic hockey team. As more than one pundit has suggested, perhaps that kind of behav-iour is what finance minister Jim Flaherty was […] Read more