Columns and editorials

Happy cows don’t make headlines

Another undercover video of farm animal abuse – this time on a BC dairy farm – means another black eye for farmers in the media. Those of us in farming know these terrible incidents are by far the exception and not the norm – but the many millions who see or read the bad news […]

Focus on reducing food waste, not just increasing production

New crops in local soils raising high hopes

Lavender, hazelnuts and sweet potatoes are not crops we commonly associate with this province. Yet they’re starting to emerge in Ontario’s south coast area, the fertile sand plains in Norfolk, Brant, Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford counties where tobacco used to reign supreme. As the decline of the tobacco industry continued over the last decade, agricultural […]

Hats off to those who harvest our fruit

Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak announced this spring that, if elected, he’d make convicted provincial prisoners work to clean up Ontario’s highways. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a variation on this theme was recently launched in Georgia, where teams of probationers are working on fruit and vegetable farms. Many farm workers there […]

Reports on pesticide residues may be misleading

We’re in the middle of prime fruit and vegetable season. The heat and sun of the summer bring with them roadside stands, farmers markets and local food stores brimming with fresh, Ontario-grown produce. I, for one, as someone who supports local food production and values Ontario’s farmers, am in my element as I’m revelling in […]

The days of Old McDonald’s farm are gone for good

These days, factory farming is a term used liberally when people talk about agriculture. Its definition seems to vary depending on who is asked, and I’ve often wondered what it actually brings to mind when people hear it. I talk to people in the farming community all the time, and to them it’s an overused […]

We can’t abandon farmers to economic insecurity

It’s been about a year since we were plunged into financial crisis and economic uncertainty. In response, governments in many countries, including Canada, went to unprecedented lengths to protect jobs, stimulate growth and reassure nervous citizens. Here at home, signs of recovery are emerging. We see the economic action plan at work in our communities […]

Stop bashing those who grow our food

(This column won a bronze medal for press editorial in the 2010 Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation awards). I ‘ve started noticing a bit of a trend in popular media — the bashing of farmers, especially those who grow crops we all depend on. These horrible people — or so the theme goes — are ruining […]

Farmers can help solve food problem

Agriculture has long been an integral part of southern Ontario. But these days, as the world grapples with rising costs and the growing potential of food shortages, the topic of food and farming is regularly and prominently showing up in all types of media outlets that traditionally don’t pay much attention to agriculture. The secretary […]