Latest articles


It takes a community

A new generation of volunteer projects and fundraisers are succeeding by reaching out to the countryside

In a time when many volunteer-driven events are struggling, a Terry Fox Run in Wilmot Township near Kitchener, Ont., has increased the money it raises in support of cancer research by more than tenfold in the past five years. Community involvement has been the key to this growth, says event co-organizer Nigel Gordijk. For the […] Read more


Rebalancing the workload

Unfair division of labour takes its toll on farm couples

Even though more than 80 per cent of women now work outside the home, the bulk of child care and household chores still fall to women. The most recent stats show that women are doing twice as much child care and one-and-a-half times as much housework as men. Is it really so different on the […] 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


Thriving in nature’s landscape

As they approach their retirement years, more farmers are reaping the benefits of working to enhance nature

Farmers are intimately connected to the land. Intuitively, they have always known that if they take care of the land, the land will take care of them, but life for young farm families is busy, and with the pressures of mortgages to pay and children to raise, environmental stewardship isn’t always as front and centre […] Read more



Agronomist using smart phone camera mobile app to photograph crops in cultivated field

Step three to value adding: Social media

Social media is a powerful tool to attract customers, but mastering it isn’t as easy as it looks

There’s no doubt that social media platforms are making it easier than ever to stay in touch with existing customers and to expand your market beyond your current reach. But social media is always evolving, and businesses need to be nimble to use these new tools successfully. The electronic landscape is shifting so fast that […] Read more


Farmer Tim’s social media tips

Pointers from Tim May on how to use social media to set the record straight on farms and farming

Tim May is a fourth-generation dairy farmer near Guelph, Ont., with 27,000 followers on Facebook. That’s right — 27,000. May started his Farmer Tim Facebook page a little over three years ago when he decided it was time for average farmers to battle the misinformation about dairy farming and agriculture that he saw being shared […] Read more



A sense of place

Every place has a story to tell, but be in the moment to enjoy it

We’ve all been struck sometime, visiting a place where the buildings and landscaping just seem to feel right, where there is a sense of harmony and flow. Creating that sense of place doesn’t just happen, says Stratford, Ont. architect Krista Hulshof, who specializes in designs for rural properties. Every place has a story to tell, […] Read more


farm barns

Step two to value adding: Preparation

What you should know before you open your farm gate to the public

Direct marketing and value adding can be the logical next step on the path to farm expansion. Whether it’s growing strawberries to sell through your own retail outlet, or hosting dinners in the old bank barn, or any of the 1,000 other possibilities, such opportunities can help the farm capitalize on its investments and expand […] Read more



Preserve those family memories

Got a jumbled box of old photos you’ve been promising to organize ‘someday’? Daina Makinson shares her secrets for getting the job done, and enjoying it too

When faced with a loose box of old photos, we all feel at sea. The pictures might all be of our family over the generations, but how can we link all the individual photos into some sort of overall sequence, or fit them into some sort of order that helps us put each photo into […] Read more


Step one to value adding: Evaluation

You’ve got a great idea for a new product. Or maybe not

There are many reasons why farmers are drawn to value adding. You might have excess capacity in the field or the barn, for instance, or maybe if you milled grain into flour, you could retain good staff by providing year-round positions. Or maybe you’re wondering if an on-farm market could solve your problems by creating […] Read more