When Ben Martens Bartel was a kid, it was no problem for him to bike to his neighbours’ farms to play.
 | File photo

Attracting new faces to country life a complex issue

When Ben Martens Bartel was a kid, it was no problem for him to bike to his neighbours’ farms to play. It wasn’t very far. At the time, there were four occupied yards within three kilometres of his farm. Fast forward three decades. Today, there are only four yards within a 12-km radius of Martens […] Read more

The farmer as fashion chic: here’s how to start a trend

Last Halloween, my two-year-old niece wanted to dress as a farmer. Her mom wondered what kind of farmer. One like Aunty Nikki with vegetables and chickens and bees, or a farmer like Grandpa, with cows?” she asked. My niece opted for “Pampa.” But when she did dress up as a farmer, she looked nothing like […] Read more

Grassroots Family Farm captures at least 10 million gallons of water every spring. The success the farmers experienced with water catchment has allowed them to focus on other areas of their farm, such as planting trees, improving grazing plans, and marketing. This photo was taken last year. |  Photo courtesy of Takota Coen

Producer channels inner beaver to keep water on his farm

As a keystone species in North America, the beaver is so much more than just a hat with legs. It is indisputably one of the most important and influential species, responsible not only for biodiverse ecosystems, but also for drought prevention. Takota Coen, a fourth-generation farmer, educator, and carpenter, has been channelling his inner beaver […] Read more

Showing reality of farming as important as the romance

As a millennial, one of my super powers is social media mastery. I know what hashtags will gain me followers and I know what filters will make the sky that perfect colour of blue. And as a millennial farmer, I know how to befuddle non-farmer types into thinking I live an ideal lifestyle. What they […] Read more

What will Alberta’s proposed law mean for ‘local?’

I once interviewed a pair of farmers who described their operation as a “regenerative-agriculture, soil-building, carbon-sequestration, grass-fed meats, pastured poultry, direct-to-consumer farm.” Being in the thick of it, I didn’t think twice about the litany of adjectives that described their farm. From supermarkets to farmers markets, food eaters are inundated with ag buzzwords: organic, non-certified […] Read more

Despite an increase in their numbers, women are still having trouble being taken seriously on the farm.  |  Getty Images

Number of female farmers has risen in Canada since 2011

At Lazy T Farm, a holistic cattle ranch near Halkirk, Alta., and a short drive from my own family farm, the future really is female. Jenna Hauck and her mother, Clara Nibourg, represent the fourth and fifth generations of women in Nibourg’s family to take over the farm. With that kind of history — a […] Read more

Modern producers, such as Allison Ammeter of Alberta, are often at odds with stereotypes perpetuated by Hollywood.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Don’t let Hollywood’s poor image of farmers rub off

Judy Hopps is tiny and adorable and has dreamed her entire, short life of being the first ever bunny police officer. As a child and a rabbit in the Disney animated feature Zootopia, she’s told by the local bully (an unintelligent, overall-wearing fox) she’ll never be anything other than a “stupid, carrot-farming, dumb bunny.” Her […] Read more

Talking to sons and daughters about their goals could help keep the young generation interested in agriculture.  |  Getty photo

Passing on the family farm takes nurturing of the family

I’m a millennial. I don’t buy diamonds, or napkins or cereal. I lack manners. I am entitled, and I am impatient and I can’t seem to stay in one place, let alone work one job for long enough to be taken seriously. (Or so the media would have me believe). I am also one of […] Read more