New talks planned to develop national food strategy

As the federal government prepares to launch consultations on a new national food policy, industry and citizen groups appear to have beaten them to it. On June 5, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture plans to bring about 50 representatives together from the food and public health sector, including academics, government representatives, MPs, Indigenous groups, civil […] Read more

Ontario group’s plan to lure beef producers north slow going

A Beef Farmers of Ontario effort to attract producers to northern Ontario is generating interest but faces plenty of hurdles. Matt Bowman, president of the provincial organization and the fourth generation to farm his family operation near New Liskeard, said the goal of the Beef North campaign is to add 100,000 cows to the province’s […] Read more

Tomato growers seek judicial review

Ontario processing tomato growers want the judicial system to review steps the provincial government took to seize control of their marketing board. Earlier this month, a group of 100 growers filed a request in Toronto for a judicial review by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court. As of May 4, the group was […] Read more

Self-driving cars may become the catalyst for using pigs to create human organs, Nikolas Badminton told a packed house at Ontario’s London Swine Conference earlier this year.
 | Roman Boed/ photo

Self-driving cars could affect pig production: futurist

A drop in deaths from car accidents could mean a shortage of organs for transplant, and pig organs could be used for gene-editing

With the growth in vegetarianism and the rise of laboratory-engineered meat substitutes, the future of hog production may lie as much in medical research as it does on the dinner plate, says a Canadian futurist. Self-driving cars may become the catalyst for using pigs to create human organs, Nikolas Badminton told a packed house at […] Read more

Ontario budget’s ag spending plans fail to impress farmers

Ontario’s agriculture industry is the province’s top driver of the economy, so farm leaders were puzzled and disappointed when they saw little for their industry in the province’s budget released in April. But Jeff Leal, the province’s minister of agriculture, said the province’s support for the sector re-mains firm. One issue concerned numbers that on […] Read more

TraceCanada was formed to combine data from the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, PigTraceCanada and ATQ in Quebec to  improve national livestock traceability.  |  File photo

Livestock traceability systems in place but future uncertain

Nearly a year after the federal government quietly axed funding for developing a central database to support new livestock traceability regulations, the project’s main supplier has still not been paid and its former chair says he doesn’t know where the government plans to redirect the money. Marie-Christine Talbot, president of Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ), the non-profit […] Read more

Studies show resulting litters may have lower birth weights, growth problems and poor quality meat if sows are stressed during gestation.  |  File photo

Low birth weights affect productivity

Pig researchers are finding that birth weight can have significant impact on an animal’s reproductive performance in later life. And that’s not all, said Mark Estienne, a Virginia Tech pig physiologist. “The way the sows are managed in gestation can also impact future reproduction in the gilts that are farrowed by those sows,” he told […] Read more

Pigeon King pyramid scheme traumatic theme of stage play

It remains one of Canada’s largest Ponzi schemes in terms of the number of victims. Now, the pigeon-breeding scam that bilked more than $70 million from investors, mostly farmers, from across Canada and the United States hits the stage this summer at the Blyth Theatre Festival in Ontario. “This story speaks to so many critical […] Read more

Garlic growers smell future expansion

People in the garlic industry predict a strong season ahead. “It’s probably 30 percent higher in the province from last year to this year,” said Paul Smith of Northern Equipment Solutions, an equipment dealer near Barrie, Ont., that sells garlic equipment. Many expect the crop in Ontario, where most of the country’s garlic is grown, […] Read more

Francis Dobbelaar, left, chair of a new group formed by Ontario’s processing vegetable growers, squared off with Elmer Buchanan, newly appointed trustee of Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers, at a meeting held last week to explain the changes.  |  Mary Baxter photo

Ont. vegetable processors accuse gov’t of creating problem to play white knight

Commission dismisses entire marketing board and appoints trustee to manage negotiations; growers form new group

CHATHAM, ONT.— Just three days after learning the Ontario government had fired their marketing organization’s board of directors and appointed a trustee, the province’s processing vegetable growers established a new group with their former leadership at its head. About 100 growers voted on whether to create the new group March 6 in an impromptu meeting […] Read more