Latest articles


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: If Harvey Weinstein was a farmer

It’s amazing how much we can be blind to, especially when we like to think that nothing ever gets past us

Really, the question isn’t whether there might be a Harvey Weinstein in Canadian agriculture, but how many of them there are likely to be. I’m not one to doubt the fundamental decency of farm society. In fact, I believe in it implicitly. Yes, farm society has had to evolve like other sectors have had to […] Read more


Opinion: Leadership through understanding

As farmers, are we ready to look at the unintended consequences even when our intentions are for the best?

Sometimes the way we run our farms is similar to the way we like to strap our privilege firmly on our backs and think that because we are citizens of the so-called “First World,” we can bring help and hope to all those with less. We think we can relieve suffering, and through our efforts, […] Read more



Tom Button

Editor’s Note: 2018 – Is this the ‘year of destiny?’

As we head toward spring, there’s a growing ambitiousness among many Canadian farmers, and an edge to their certainty that it is crucial to make progress before the year is out

I’m an optimist. Are you? Let’s find out. Overall, our farm sector is healthier than it has been at any time in my memory. Nor do I see any precipices in our immediate future. There can always be bad news. But really, who actually thinks that interest rates are going to jump into double digits […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: The next step on this road

“Team” is a word we rarely print in Country Guide, but that’s about to change. The reason is simple. Teamwork is becoming so central in farming, it’s worth getting past our hesitations

I’ve been thinking a lot about teams lately. Not sports teams, but the kind of teams we use to keep Country Guide in the black, and the teams you’re using more often in farming, whether you call them that or not. I increasingly think there’s no greater proof of how rapidly the Canadian farm is […] Read more



Farmer Walking Through Field Checking Wheat Crop

Join the fight for consumer trust

Every farmer should be in the habit of telling non-farmers to check out www.bestfoodfacts.org

Early on the evening of April 13, 1970, Jack Swigert, pilot of Apollo 13’s command module, radioed the now famous phrase, “I believe we’ve had a problem here.” His words immediately set in motion the incredible teamwork needed to diagnose what had happened and to find a solution to a very serious situation. Since then, […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: ‘Skills revolution’ picks up pace

More than ever, the core asset on any farm is the decision maker in the middle, and how they harness the incredible array of technologies and talents around them into a cohesive whole

We’ve all grown up with the idea that agriculture progresses by step changes, and that these step changes are identified by the technologies that have driven them. Think of the breakthroughs in farm machinery and how they have made it possible to harvest more acres of higher-quality crops per person than could ever have been […] Read more



farmer raising his arms with success

Opinion: No pedestal required

The more I learn about leadership, the more I see that the best opportunities for our farms start when we empower others

Social research professor Dr. Brené Brown reminds us that: “Connections are why we are here. It is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” In agriculture and agri-business we tend to connect on a very deep level, driven in part by shared values and interests. As a community, our congregating is visible in every […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: They’re wrong about our farmers

Today’s agriculture is proof that farmers are a resource you can grow a country on. So why would you want to stymie them?

I rarely talk politics in this space, and I like it that way. But as we put this issue together, I find I’m trying read the facial gestures of federal cabinet ministers, I’m scrutinizing their word choices, and I’m asking everyone I know what they’re hearing in the back corridors. It isn’t exactly how you’d […] Read more



young farmer touching ripe golden wheat in field

How big is your market?

We must get better at understanding that the world’s commodity buyers have a growing range of options

How big is your world? Geographically, this is an easy question to answer with great precision. The diameter of the Earth at the equator is 12,756 km. Its circumference is 40,030 km along the equator, and 40,008 km through the poles. Thus the surface area of our planet is roughly 510 million sq. km. It’s […] Read more


Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Even in the East, it’s good the West won

Five years after Ottawa put the last spike in the Canadian Wheat Board, farmers are showing they’re more than sharp enough to do their own marketing

Of course the optics might have been much different. If commodity prices had sunk far below the average cost of production, the West’s cartoonists would have had a field day calling for Ottawa to throw a life ring to farmers who had lost their pool. Even so, as Country Guide field editor Lisa Guenther reports […] Read more




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