Don’t take farming and food for granted says U of C report

Canadians and Canada’s governments shouldn’t take farming and food for granted. That’s the bottom line of a June 9 report from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. “Food security in Canada is not something to be taken for granted and government policy action must reflect the essential service agriculture provides for our nation,” […] Read more

As slaughter plants in Canada and the United States reduce line speeds, shifts or effect temporary closures to deal with COVID-19 concerns, analysts say supplies are likely to be affected. | File photo

Will the wild changes in the grocery, food and farming systems survive the pandemic?

What will create lasting changes and what is transitory?

The food, farming and grocery sectors have been shocked by the coronavirus crisis. Packing plants have been temporarily shuttered, creating crises on hog farms and cattle feedlots that can’t move animals they have no space for. Food products that everybody has taken for granted for decades, such as flour and yeast, have become suddenly scarce, […] Read more


Western Producer reporter Ed White sat down with federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau last week while she was in Winnipeg.  |  Supplied photo

A deliberate and unhurried hand at the agricultural policy tiller

Marie-Claude Bibeau isn't likely to shy away from tough areas, or be rushed into "fixing" them

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau isn’t scare of talking about agricultural policy. That’s a good thing, because one thing any Canadian Agriculture Minister must be willing to do is talk about ag policy. And talk and talk and talk. Everybody wants to talk to whoever the ag minister is, and in the agriculture industry that […] Read more

Farmers’ attitudes and realities evolve over a quarter-century

(And so does the observer)

Farmers sure have changed in the past 25 years. Or have I changed in the quarter-century I’ve been covering farmers and farming for The Western Producer? Do the same things just look different to my older, more experienced and physically degraded eyes? It’s probably a bit of both, but looking back over these 25 years […] Read more


Liberal leader Justin Trudeau spoke Sept. 12 at a campaign rally in Edmonton. |  Jeremy Simes photo

Producers release their key issues for election

Political parties running in the federal election will be asked for their solutions to the growing loss of market access

Farmers want the federal election campaign to focus on solutions to their market access challenges. From canola, soybeans and meat in China to durum in Italy, pulses in India and other products in other countries, farmers say these issues must take priority. “They know the problems, or they darn well better know the problems we’re […] Read more

Sustainability, best practices and processes should be verifiable.  |  Katelyn Duncan photo

Verification systems necessary for best practices

The word sustainability means something different to everyone, and this is somewhat problematic. If I were to ask an entire room of farmers if their farm is sustainable, likely every one of them would raise their hands. It seems odd, considering that no two farms are the same. Current sustainability dialogue for grain crops is […] Read more

International trade is becoming increasingly complicated when it comes to maximum residue limits (MRL). The PMRA is the federal agency that helps Canadian trade teams work through MRL concerns with trading partners.  | Robin Booker photo

Ag Drag

PMRA’s decision to reduce international engagement when it comes to MRLs could impede Canadian agricultural exports.

Health Canada is under pressure from Agriculture Canada and the standing committee on agriculture and the standing committee on finance to change how the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) operates. Farm groups have lobbied the government for the PMRA to take their needs into consideration because the agency’s activity has significant bearing on the agriculture […] Read more


McCain’s french fry plant at Coaldale, Alta., which is undergoing a $1 billion expansion, is part of Canada’s food production and processing industry that makes up 6.7 percent of Canada’s economy.  |  File photo

Agriculture big contributor to Canada’s economy

WINNIPEG — A new report from Agriculture Canada says agriculture contributed $111.9 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product in 2016, which accounted for 6.7 percent of the country’s total GDP. The annual report, called An Overview of the Canadian Agriculture and AgriFood System released Nov. 10, provides a summary of the economic performance of the […] Read more

Students at the University of Guelph's Ontario Agricultural College should have no trouble finding a job because there are four jobs in Ontario for every OAC graduate. | Screencap via www.uoguelph.ca

Four jobs for every ag grad: university

It’s a great time to be an agriculture student. Maybe the best time ever. Students at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College should have no trouble finding a job because there are four jobs in Ontario for every OAC graduate. “It’s great news for students entering and coming out of the programs because of […] Read more