‘Yes and yes’: Cargill successfully embraces both science and non-science

About 13 months ago Cargill sent out a tweet that unintentionally offended, and profoundly offended, thousands of North American farmers. “We work closely with the #NonGMO Project & hope to have even more Cargill ingredients verified in the near future.” The tweet, released March 2017, quickly became a public relations debacle. Hundreds of farmers hammered […] Read more

Eating organic kale is about status

In 2017 I interviewed about 800 to 1,200 people about agriculture, agronomy, science and food. Looking back at the responses, to probably more than 3,000 questions, one comment stands above the rest. It came from Kevin Folta, professor and chair of the University of Florida horticultural sciences department and a well-known science communicator. Folta frequently […] Read more

Better not to kowtow to China

It’s too bad China didn’t offer Canada everything Canadians had hoped for in the Prime Minister’s just-completed trip. Many were hoping that Canada and China would officially agree to beginning negotiations towards a free trade deal, but that frittered away with Justin Trudeau pushing labour and gender rights and some amongst the Chinese leadership appearing […] Read more

WP launches new website

The Western Producer has launched a new website. It has been a long time coming, but I hope visitors will find it’s been worth the wait. The new producer.com is not a flashy or gimmicky website; instead, it’s functional and attractive. Our experience — both in print and online — shows that the easier and […] Read more

If it seems dark, farmers need help to see light

It’s the darkest and bleakest time of the year, and that can wear down the toughest people’s defences. It’s actually less dark right now than usual for this time of year, because there’s so much snow everywhere across the Prairies, but that snow also comes with much colder conditions than usual, so it doesn’t seem […] Read more

Our fragile free markets are snowflakes that need a safe space

Never has it been so obvious how terribly fragile and prone to melting our free and open markets are today. Winnipeg’s futures markets for barley, durum and spring wheat have been disbanded, after being abandoned by market players over the past few years. The remnants were swept out and mopped up last week, with the […] Read more

Why farmers are relieved as heck by what Morneau and Trudeau have done

Like taking a furiously boiling pot off a red hot burner, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have rapidly cooled the outrage and upset created by the federal government’s rushed small business tax proposals. Farmers, we listened. We will not be moving forward with proposed measures to limit access to the Lifetime […] Read more

Post-truth world: Farmers continue to be some of the victims

The ugliness of the post-truth world was on display in front of the Manitoba legislature on October 11, as a protest against ending the province’s hog barn moratorium portrayed pig farmers as significant causes of Lake Winnipeg’s water quality woes. Protestors claimed that pollution from hog barns has hurt Lake Winnipeg and would do more […] Read more