Anxiety, uncertainty and perplexity: the mood in Washington this week

Is he actually going to do these things? Does he even understand them? Will we get anything done? Those questions seemed to be swirling around the Washington, D.C. agriculture and trade policy community this week as I and a group of agricultural journalists met with congressmen and farm policy experts in the U.S. capital. Anxiety, […] Read more


Twilight of the freedom to farm?

Are we living in the twilight of farmers’ freedom to farm? Until the last few years farmers have been able to choose their crops, choose their methods and choose their products and tools based almost entirely on their own choices and decisions. It’s always been the way, until very recently. And it’s still the way, […] Read more



Who is standing up for hog farmers?

I was delighted to hear that Manitoba’s film industry experienced its best year in a decade in 2016,  keeping 1,600 workers busy with $127 million in projects. That’s a big deal here in Winnipeg, where I write. In my own neighbourhood you can often see strings of trucks lining side streets as one home or […] Read more


VIDEO: Canola finally getting its due?

There’s been a huge amount of newspaper ink spilt and radio time yakked-up by discussions about high-tech companies like Bombardier and (once important) Northern Telecom. Yet canola, arguably as important to Canada as the aerospace industry, gets far less attention. In a 2016 report, Canada’s federal science ministry said aerospace provided a $28 billion economic […] Read more


Trumpian uncertainty in farm and food markets

A perfect example of how the market isn’t one thing, one being, or one organism was the immediate sell-off then almost immediate rebound of stock prices with the surprising and shocking election in November of Donald Trump as U.S. president. Stocks sold off dramatically as those panicked by his ideas and behaviours (or assuming others […] Read more



“Buy America” means “build export capacity” for Canadians

In his inauguration speech Friday, Donald Trump didn’t tone down the anti-trade rhetoric. “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first,” he said. “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families . . . Protection will lead […] Read more


Time to be statesmanlike and make nice with Mr. Trump

When Donald Trump shocked the planet and won the U.S. presidential election, many were outraged, disgusted, furious, upset and traumatized. Protestors took to the streets – even here in Canada – and everybody’s Facebook and Twitter feeds filled with infuriated rages and hurtful screeds from those who despise the man. A few world leaders essentially […] Read more