Latest articles


The leader’s job

Summer Business: Boehringer Ingelheim’s Susan Blair shares how lessons from the farm help in the corporate world, and how lessons from the boardroom can make a big difference back on the farm

Susan Blair makes her point. An organization has a much better chance of success, she says, when leadership gives clear direction to their teams about what they’re working toward and how they’re expected to achieve it. But then she follows through, because in Blair’s view, that kind of success demands leaders with values, vision, and […] Read more


A co-op for Sangudo

Times were getting tough in the rural Alberta community. Then, local farmers and businesses built a co-op to help local businesses grow and thrive

It was a scene that is all too familiar for rural communities. In 2005, the local school division threatened to close Sangudo’s high school. The move “really ticked people off,” says Dan Ohler, who lives in the area, and a “huge roomful” of people met to figure out what to do. Ohler is a certified […] Read more



Small-town problems, small-town solutions

Dr. Gillian Richards is a research associate at Brandon University’s Research Development Institute, and it’s quickly apparent that she is happy to discuss the institute’s research. Hers is a mild English accent; she wants to take a practical approach to rural issues. That, it turns out, is because the barriers to rural development can be […] Read more


Infections of peas versus lentils

Pea fields surveyed were either not infected or fully infected, with little in between

Sherrilyn Phelps’ first day with Sask Pulse was July 7, 2014. By 8 a.m. that morning, she’d already fielded her first call on root rot. It was a sign of things to come. Lentils and peas are both very susceptible to aphanomyces, Phelps told CropSphere delegates in Saskatoon this winter. Some other pulses, such as […] Read more



Managing root rot in pulses

Peas and lentils have been a financial and rotational blessing for producers, but aphanomyces in partnership with fusarium is raining on their parade

If you’d mentioned aphanomyces at a farm show five years ago, you would have drawn quite a few blank looks. But these days speakers with aphanomyces expertise fill the seats. The reason is no mystery to Prairie pulse producers. Field surveys have found aphanomyces from Alberta to Manitoba, as far south as the U.S. border […] Read more


The effective leader

Being effective as a leader doesn’t come from throwing your weight around. Instead, with John Knapp as proof, it starts by discovering what your team members bring to the table

It’s not every government department that has a deputy minister who makes a point of having coffee with staff in the morning. But then, not every deputy minister is John Knapp. Knapp retired from Alberta Agriculture in 2013, but he’s still active in the leadership field. He wrote a book, titled The Leader’s Practice Guide, […] Read more



The new employee

Are your HR skills holding your farm back?

Farms keep getting bigger and more complex. But at the same time, farm families keep getting smaller, with farming couples having fewer kids, just like other Canadians. On many farms, this collision of demographic and economic trends means the days of running the farm by putting the family to work are gone. You can’t even […] Read more


men in doorway of barn

Young and old

The farm version of the generation gap means that succession talks on many farms stall before they even get a fair chance to start. Here, adviser Delores Moskal shares her ideas for seeing eye to eye

When it comes time to put succession planning on your personal agenda, there are only a couple of ways for it to go, says Delores Moskal. There are the parents who are open to talking succession with the next generation. And then there are parents reluctant to even broach the subject with the kids. So […] Read more



Rural distress

As Jane’s story shows, spousal abuse is a stubborn fact of life for many country women

She was a rodeo queen with a wide circle of friends that included both men and women. And she still loves horses, although she’s had to put her equestrian activities on the back burner until she recovers financially. I catch her on the phone one evening after work. She is calm and thoughtful, pausing as […] Read more


A better path into farming

The idea used to be that kids should work at an off-farm career before returning to the farm. It’s an idea worth a second look

Years ago, the common wisdom was that farm kids should try something else before coming back to the farm, and many parents had two things in mind when they gently nudged their fledgling future farmers from the nest: encouraging them to go to school and try an off-farm career. To start with, farming wasn’t a […] Read more