Latest articles


Turnaround

UFA boss Carol Kitchen reveals how the co-op defied the odds and got back on the track to prosperity

Anyone could see it. Over the past decade, profits and patronage payments had become sporadic at United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (UFA). The organization that had been spawned in a moment of political fervour in 1909 had now become the home of empty shelves and poor customer service at the local level. At the […] Read more


The next farm generation steps up

On this farm, transition planning made real gains once the younger generation learned how to take their role in the process

Alec Boekhoven had turned over at 2 a.m., fretting about ways to reduce feed costs on his family’s 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation. Eventually he drifted off on the couch, which is where his son Evan discovered him and woke him up early. It’s why Alec brought his three-year-old with him to do chores, and it also […] Read more



Farmer and His Son Standing Side by Side Leaning on a Gate

How do you know when the younger generation is ‘ready’?

AME Management: How succession can be successfully planned

A tough question for any family business is how to know when the next generation is equipped to take over management decisions. Like many other things, the answer is often lost in a range of factors, not least the attitudes of the individuals in the family. My experience is that many families have unresolved “stuff” […] Read more


corn field

The benefits of GMO corn

There will always be differing viewpoints and opposing scientific studies, but looking at all of the peer reviewed studies offers a balanced consensus on the benefits and risks

It was in 1996 that genetically modified (GMO) crops were first grown commercially, yet the debate still rages over their safety and toxicology as well as over their environmental and agronomic impact. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re a supporter or an opponent, you’ve got a stack of scientific studies you can point […] Read more



Poor Indian children keeping their hands up and asking for support. Many Indian children suffer from poverty - more than 50% of India's total population lives below the poverty line, and more than 40% of this population are children.

Trust the opportunity

All the Chicken Littles are wrong. The sky isn’t falling, and we aren’t running out of food, says Evan Fraser. “We live in a world where there is enough.”

Dr. Evan Fraser wears multiple hats at the University of Guelph, although “hats” doesn’t seem a big enough word. Fraser is Canada research chair in global food security, scientific director of the university’s acclaimed Food from Thought research initiative, and much more. Fraser is also director of the Arrell Food Institute, whose mission statement conveys […] Read more


High angle view pile of roasted Oaxacan grasshoppers on traditional homemade corn tortilla

Meat-less meat takes a big step closer to becoming mainstream

Terms like “cultured proteins” may not make anyone salivate the way a sizzling steak can, but that’s not stopping Canada’s grocery sector from getting ready for meat-case revolution

Another new President’s Choice product made headlines recently. But who would have guessed what it was this time? Are you ready? It’s cricket powder, now part of Loblaw’s popular private label brand. Last year’s breakthrough seems so much more pedestrian by comparison. It was a vegetarian burger that bleeds like a real meat patty on […] Read more



Feeling the heat

Manufacturers and dealers grapple with potential “right to repair” legislation

It has to rank right up there as one of the most hotly debated topics in the farm machinery industry, and it has become known by the catch phrase “Right to Repair.” John Deere was (and arguably still is) the primary focus of fury, with many both inside and outside the ag sector railing against […] Read more


Hand going through the field

Down on the farm

Farming is a mental health challenge. It isn’t your fault. The numbers prove it. So maybe this is the right moment to talk about whether you’re one of the many who would benefit from some help

Every farmer knows that the sun can’t always shine. That the rain sometimes comes too early, too late, too hard, or not at all. That markets can fall, costs can jump, crops can fail, and even the best thought-through decisions can prove painfully, expensively, brutally wrong. It isn’t easy being a farmer. No matter how […] Read more



Finding the right niche

If it makes you shake your head that these two large, sophisticated farms are focusing on, of all things, sweet potatoes as the right crop to build their futures on, listen to them explain why

In just a couple of pockets across the country, it’s estimated Canada is growing about 1,800 acres of sweet potatoes. About 1,100 of them are grown by Berlo’s Best. Why? The reason is partly what you might expect. Canadian demand for sweet potatoes has skyrocketed. Ethnic markets are booming, sales of new products like sweet […] Read more


Prepping the kids for the financial reality of farm ownership

It may be the biggest question of all. When is the right time to give the kids a voice in business planning?

Now that summer’s on the doorstep, the kids are home from school, and your planning and preparation for the growing season are over, it’s an ideal time to have some important conversations with your family members around succession planning. As anyone who has gone through the process knows, succession planning within the family can be […] Read more