Latest articles


Smart stuff

Do parents really recognize the skills their children are bringing back from college and university, and how those skills can make the farm stronger?

Skip the smiley faces and the acronyms. In the new age of digital soft skills, agricultural schools are embracing the same modes of electronic communication as their students, albeit with a dose of finesse, professionalism and, at times, trepidation. “Don’t use emojis, they’re cute, but they’re not professional,” Mark Fournier of Alberta’s Olds College tells […] Read more


Farm debt in perspective

Yes, $90 billion in farm debt is a lot, but most farmers should be able to weather most storms if they up their focus on their risk exposure

When Gwen Paddock began her finance career some three decades ago, farmers were looking for a chequing account, an operating loan and maybe some short-term financing for equipment and land. Not so today. “Farms are getting bigger with more moving parts,” says RBC’s national director of agriculture. “Now, farmers and farm operators are looking for […] Read more



Winning at the border

It may be Donald Trump who is re-opening NAFTA. But today, more farmers north of the border are seeing some solid wins for Canada

Ron Davidson calls in from a hotel room in Washington, D.C., with NAFTA on his mind. As senior vice-president of international trade and public affairs for the Canadian Meat Council, he’s no stranger to the U.S. capital. And with the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in process, there are more cross-border trips […] Read more


Dairy research facilities at Glenlea Research Station to be updated

$1.4-million slated to retrofit existing hog barn

Dairy research in Manitoba recently got a $1.4-million boost. Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler made the announcement on Aug. 16, 2017, at the University of Manitoba, indicating the cash will be used to retrofit an existing hog barn for dairy research at the Glenlea Research Station, just south of Winnipeg. […] Read more



Pot farmers needed

With a projected $22 billion in sales, Canada’s new cannabis market is generating a very heady kind of buzz in farm circles

Working in total darkness, Thaddeus Conrad carefully feels his way up a nearly vertical set of stairs before switching on a single green light. The bulb casts a weak, eerie glow, revealing a room packed with heavily budded marijuana plants. But there’s nothing clandestine about the hazy light or the darkness, it’s simply great crop science […] Read more


A better way to learn

What’s the best way to choose a great mentor? Three young farmers share their thoughts on how their mentors helped them get a solid career start, and how other young farmers could benefit from a more flexible approach to on-farm learning

Ben Campbell thought participating in a mentorship program could probably provide fresh insight into how to improve his grass-fed beef operation. Or possibly it could expose him to new business practices and stronger management techniques. So by the end of the year-long program, it came as a surprise to the Alberta rancher when he realized […] Read more



The carbon tax

Farmers see themselves as the good guys in the carbon debate, with good reason. Is agriculture going to pay anyway?

It had been another frigid day in Manitoba, snow swirling as farmers and ranchers gathered at a downtown hotel, but once inside it didn’t take long for the temperature to rise. They’d gathered for Keystone Agricultural Producers annual general meeting, where one issue outpaced the rest — carbon pricing. It was standing room only, with […] Read more


Jersey Cow on a sunny afternoon

Jersey cattle numbers on the rise in Manitoba

Butter and cheese are back as part of a healthy diet, and so is the interest in Jerseys

Moo-ve over Holsteins, the little brown cow is gaining ground. Not since our nation’s centennial have so many Jersey calves been registered in Canada, says Steven Smith of Clanwilliam, president of the Manitoba Jersey Cattle Club. He says the breed came just shy of 10,000 registrations last year, breaking the record set in 1967. “The […] Read more



The right mentor

More young farmers could get a career-expanding lift from a great mentor. Could that be you?

As a lifelong farmer and accomplished entrepreneur, Alberta-based rancher and author Brenda Schoepp knows a thing or two about operating a thriving business. And it turns out she knows a thing or two about mentorship as well. As a mentor, what she understands is that success isn’t about giving young farmers the answers to their […] Read more


The halal market

In a more diverse Canada, many farmers are learning what halal actually means, and some are already finding ways to profit from its booming demand

Navigating the narrow aisles of his Winnipeg shop with the energy of a man half his age, Yusuf Abdulrehman pauses to point out bright spices, dark teas and pastel sweets that have travelled across the globe to reach his prairie outpost. “We don’t only sell halal meat, we have a variety of products coming from […] Read more