Editorial: Regulatory agility critical to ag innovation

The pandemic has shown that governments can make decisions quickly

Reading Time: 3 minutes One of the lessons of the pandemic and response to it by governments and regulatory agencies is that regulatory agility is possible. COVID-19 vaccines have been approved with record speed, and from what I can find, the government says that the same vigour of process has also been applied. The only point missing is long-term […] Read more

Women and people of colour have not had the opportunities that white men have had available.

Editorial: A willingness to be better

Reading Time: 3 minutes There’s value in the move by farm groups to include diversity and inclusion as parts of their driving principles. There was significant online debate about Beef Farmers of Ontario’s new diversity and inclusion statement. Beef Farmers of Ontario lists seven points in its commitment to diversity, but this paragraph in its statement on the subject […] Read more

The climate efficiency of milk production has dramatically increased over the past 50 years.

Editorial: New dairy genetic direction will have multiple benefits

Reading Time: 3 minutes The speed of genetic improvement in livestock is one of the modern miracles of agriculture. The systems, which involve farmers, farmer-driven groups and researchers, have shown that great leaps in productivity improvement can be created, but the systems can pivot when needs change. I grew up fascinated by making genetic improvement recommendations on my family’s […] Read more

Having an off-farm job is a choice for many people, as it should be for those who wish it.

Editorial: Stop worrying about off-farm income

Supplementing farm income some way is now the normal practice

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s that time the agriculture stops worrying about off-farm income. The amount of income earned in a farming family but not made from the farm operation has been discussed often for decades. The main reason we know about off-farm income is it is measured and reported by Statistics Canada. With about 98 per cent of […] Read more

Editorial: 2020’s losses and gains

Reading Time: 3 minutes I’m not big on end of year summaries, but with 2020 a year whose end will be celebrated (albeit not with crowds of people), it’s worth looking at what we’ve learned, what we’ve lost and what we’ve gained. This will be a year that historians and average people will look back on for the next […] Read more

Editorial: New technology showing up in COVID vaccines

mRNA vaccines could be more effective and efficient

Reading Time: 3 minutes Humans can be incredibly innovative, but it often takes a crisis to make that happen. There are technologies or simply process changes that people know about but haven’t had the impetus to implement, whether because of human or technological barriers. A good example is the mRNA vaccines which quickly have become the leading candidates for […] Read more

The federal government’s Clean Fuel Standard is poised to increase the demand for biofuels.

Editorial: When good policy is foiled by bad additions

Biodiversity provisions are unworkable in clean fuel standards

Reading Time: 3 minutes The increase in demand for biofuels coming from the federal government’s Clean Fuel Standard should be a cause for celebration for farmers, but there’s concerning fine print in the regulations. It can be argued that ethanol policy over the past 20 years has been the most successful farm support program in history. It created a […] Read more

Editorial: Empathy can be a superpower

Reading Time: 3 minutes There was a discussion in mid-August on Twitter among people in the agriculture sector about empathy. It was fascinating and instructive and shows that agriculture, as I’ve often argued, is as diverse in its views as is the rest of society. Empathy is the ability to understand what someone else is experiencing both in concrete […] Read more

Editorial: Living in 2020’s tornado alley

Reading Time: 3 minutes We didn’t know we would be in one of Ontario’s tornado alleys when we moved a short 10-minute drive south of our previous home more than a decade ago. But two tornados within seven kilometres of our farm in the past three months has my family more vigilant during hot and sultry days when a […] Read more

Packages of unidentified seeds which appear to have been mailed from China to U.S. postal addresses are seen at the Washington State Department of Agriculture in Olympia, Washington on July 24, 2020.

Editorial: Seeds of mystery

Reading Time: 3 minutes There’s been much made of the arrival in the mailboxes of Canadians and Americans of mystery plant material and seeds from China and other countries in that region. There are numerous reasons that this is an intriguing story and made a splash across all the major media shortly after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) […] Read more