Cadmus Delorme is the Chief of Cowessess First Nation, a Saulteaux, Cree and Metis First Nation in Southern Saskatchewan, north and east of Regina.  |  Cowesses photo

Canada’s First Nations people were country’s first farmers

The first farmers of this land did not wear Carhartt’s. They didn’t drive pickup trucks or listen to Merle Haggard. The first farmers of this land were not of European descent. The first farmers were Indigenous people of what is now called the Canadian Prairies. Primarily mobile buffalo hunters, Indigenous people produced and sold food, […] Read more

The world’s population relies mostly on the food from five plants. Despite having less starvation in the world and longer lifespans, there are greater incidences of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. As well, the world lives with vitamin deficiencies. Corn rivals sugarcane for volume, but is larger than wheat and rice. Victor Walch of Raymond, Illinois harvests a 200-plus bushel corn crop. | Mike Raine photo

Big solutions recommended for Canada’s food system

The Canadian Agri-food Policy Institute recently hosted the Big Solutions Forum, an event where private industry, producers, and government officials discuss Canada’s food system. A theme throughout the dialogue was that a systemic approach will be necessary to achieve any meaningful impact. This prompted me to try to further understand the purpose of a food […] Read more



Based on current soil sampling frequency data and anecdotal evidence, all farmers are not convinced it is a practice worth the annual expense. | File photo

Invest in consistency, curiosity and conscious analysis

Records indicate the first analytical soil sample was taken in 1914 in Ontario and the practice came to the Prairies in the 1950s and 1960s. Based on current soil sampling frequency data and anecdotal evidence, all farmers are not convinced it is a practice worth the annual expense. A few weeks ago, I conducted a […] Read more

Designing smaller facilities with personalized care allows residents to age in place and to avoid being separated from their spouses. This factor alone is crucial to health, given the fact that perceived loneliness is the No. 1 predictor of premature mortality. | Getty Images

Now is the time for long-term care reform

Canadians have lobbied for long-term care reform for 50 years, but the urgent need for it has become painfully obvious to everyone during the past eight months. Pandemic pressure has resulted in isolation protocols, capacity restrictions and clear examples of unethical patient treatment. There is growing evidence that long-term care needs to move toward a […] Read more


Farmers are known for their long work days and often inabilities to take time off. Going so far as to take pride in their lack of work-life balances. Maybe the next generations of producers will spend more time on family, community and even themselves than the ones who came before them.  |  MIke Raine photo

Why do we work so much?

It was a beautiful late September day, 24 C with a light breeze. I had just finished spraying for the afternoon and was scheduled to switch my uncle off the combine around 4:30 p.m. With an hour to spare, I had an idea. So, I announced on the radio “Just finished spraying. I’ll go for […] Read more

Modern farms need to be healthy: financially, mentally and physically.  |  File photo

COVID sheds light on importance of health on the farm

Farmers have always been connected to several aspects of a healthy lifestyle. As food producers, we’re closely connected to the lifecycle of food, from field to fork. We’re also early pioneers of the concept of community, which happens to be a primary factor for self-reported happiness. But as agriculture has evolved, have we lost aspects […] Read more

Shelves that normally, pre-COVID-19, would hold bathroom tissue are wiped clean at a grocery store in Warman, Sask. March 26.  |  William DeKay photo

Context is everything and trade-offs exist with COVID-19

Likely the most prominent question on most farmers’ minds is, “what impact will COVID-19 have on my farm business?” With so many unknowns, the impacts will be immediate and multifaceted, yet also long-standing from an economic, environmental, and social perspective. The largest mobilization since the Second World War prompts important questions. What unaccounted for positive […] Read more


Farmers are often forced to obtain their spray water from deep wells when dugouts dry up, but this water can have high concentrations of bicarbonate, which can cause problems with herbicides.  |  File photo

Spray water quality top of mind during dry conditions

Spray water has become a hot topic in the last few years as surface water dries up and farmers seek out new water sources for spraying operations. Knowing the quality of your water is important for effective spray operations, yet it’s surprising how many farmers haven’t had their water tested. A water analysis is the […] Read more

Water quality is critical to successful herbicide applications. |  Michael Raine photo

Spray water quality top of mind, especially when it’s dry

Spray water has become a hot topic in the last few years as surface water dries up and farmers seek out new water sources for spraying operations. Knowing the quality of your water is important for effective spray operations, yet it’s surprising how many farmers haven’t had their water tested. A water analysis is the […] Read more