Latest articles


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 don’t jump to the wrong conclusion. There’s nothing clandestine about the hazy light. Pure […] 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



gummie bears

A sweet sweet story

How Canada's first large-scale importer and distributor of halal gummies was born

Growing up, Lindsay Contractor’s sweet tooth was finely tuned to the nuances of fluffy marshmallows and chewy gummies. But when she began practicing Islam in 2011, those sugary treats took a sour turn. “I grew up in a world full of lots of gummies and marshmallows, and I never thought twice about eating them, I […] Read more


Family meetings that work

It may seem risky to get the whole family together for a farm meeting. It’s also smart

Having guided farm families through some of their most challenging periods, Jolene Brown understands why regular meetings fall by the wayside in many businesses. “It’s because of the way the last one ended. Nothing got done, someone took over, somebody cried, people walked out, people had so much work to do and the meeting just […] Read more



Never too young to talk about farm succession

As the Ellis family is learning, there’s no such thing as too soon for starting the conversation about farm succession

Lincoln Ellis has just got his first taste of combining. “He thought it was pretty interesting for the first 10 minutes, and then he realized how small the combine cab was, and that was about it,” says his dad, Simon Ellis, with a chuckle. “So it was short-lived, but you know, small steps for now. […] Read more


Taking fertilizer beyond yield

Plant breeding is the ultimate solution but in the meantime, foliar fertilizer shows promise in reducing micronutrient deficiency

While many people are focused on the fight to end hunger, Ismail Cakmak is focused on the fight to end hidden hunger. “Hunger is a lack of food and that is related to food security,” Cakmak told participants during a special seminar at the University of Manitoba this summer. “But hidden hunger means lack of […] Read more