More tracking, and are we ready for CDN COOL?

Two questions for producers to ponder. How important is the enhanced traceability of cattle through the production system, to producers? It could be coming along in 2011. And secondly, is it time for COOL (Country of Origin Labeling) in Canada? If you have any thoughts on these two topics, or any other, I would be

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Manitoba and PEI producers named Outstanding Young Farmers

Vegetable producers from P.E.I. farming about 150 acres, and a grain farming couple from Manitoba cropping about 13,000 acres were named Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2009 at the national awards ceremony in Ottawa last night. Greg and Tania MacKenzie of Stratford P.E.I., who own MacKenzie Produce and Grant and Colleen Dyck of Niverville, MB

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Farmers be prepared for the media

An interesting point made this morning here in Ottawa, is that Canadian farmers need to be prepared to talk to the media. Don’t hide, don’t be evasive, don’t say anymore than you have to, but if you are faced by a reporter or a news camera looking for comment or reaction on an industry, environmental

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What’s the fix for Canadian beef industry?

I  lied in one of my earlier blogs. I don’t have an effective, sure-fire, three-point solution for fixing the Canadian beef industry. But I am hoping some of the readers do and can send me their thoughts. The search for a solution follows a conversation I had a couple weeks ago with Gary Etherington, a

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When did farming become comfortable?

I was going to write today with a short analysis of the problems facing the beef industry, followed by an effective three-point strategy for returning the cattle business to sound profitability, but that will have to wait. Today my mind is on tractor comfort. The following underscores the fact that I am getting older. This

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'Performance Matters' for staying in touch

It has been a big socially connected week for me. I had about 20 birthday greetings from Facebook friends, I received an email from Prime Minister Harper, another from Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach and an inspiring ‘Performance Matters’ video clip from Canterra Seeds (see website below).  I had Facebook birthday wishes from friends and family across

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All you didn’t know about the Canadian beef business, but were afraid to ask

Spots are still open for the November 2009 and May 2010 Canadian Beef School at Olds College, Olds, Alberta. It is a great learning experience for anyone involved in the Canadian beef industry – whether you are a producer, or feeder, or processor or involved in a related service industry, such as the animal health

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Can't keep the grass for the trees

When I first received a news release this morning, announcing that Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is preparing for the complete dispersal of Northern Black Angus ranch at Kamloops, I thought, ‘oh, oh, here’s another ranching operation fed up with the economics of the beef industry and getting out.’ But I was wrong. Trevor White is closing

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Don’t pet the skunks (or St. Bernards)

If you are like me, you probably cruised right through World Rabies Day without even noticing. It was September 28. When I first saw a notice about this from University of Calgary, I thought ‘you’ve got to be kidding’.  For anyone who watches The Office sitcom on TV, they had an episode last year where

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Have times changed?

I attended Cliff Flauknor’s funeral in Calgary this week. Many of you may not know Cliff, who was a long-time writer for Country Guide Magazine. In fact, I didn’t know him very well either. I had met him, knew him by reputation mostly, but he had retired from Guide a decade or so before I

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