Blaine Pedersen (MLA for Midland) is minister of infrastructure.

Infrastructure minister rolls up sleeves

Infrastructure that supports growth of economy will be the focus, says new minister

Manitoba’s new minister of infrastructure says the $1 billion a year pledged for repair and renewal of key infrastructure will be aimed at projects that bolster economic growth. Blaine Pedersen, a grain and cattle farmer, has served as MLA for Midland constituency since 2007. He was appointed minister of infrastructure last week by Premier Brian […] Read more


Two Syrian women, in better times, partake of a celebratory 
feast of the rich and varied local cuisine  after a workshop on 
constructed wetlands in Damascus.

Ancient Syrian diet a delicious discovery

Gate to Plate: Shorbit Adas (Lentil Soup), Yakhanit Batata (Potato Stew)
, and Bharat (Syrian Spice)


The world continues to watch in horror as the conflict in Syria leaves so many hundreds of thousands dead and millions homeless, their cities and towns destroyed. Many Syrians now rely on emergency food assistance. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank, for example, has provided over $30 million of emergency food assistance since late 2012, to Syrians […] Read more



Aaron Zeghers grew up on the farm at Holland but his interest in photography, filmmaking and music took him elsewhere.

‘Holland, Man.’ documentary follows a Manitoba family’s transition

Winnipeg filmmaker Aaron Zeghers spent two years creating a film 
about the last two years of his family’s farm at Holland

After touring North America, a Winnipeg filmmaker is bringing the story of the last years of his family’s farm near Holland, Man. back to his hometown. The documentary film, called “Holland, Man.” will debut in Aaron Zeghers’ hometown May 12. Zeghers spent two years interviewing his father and other family members while producing the film. “It’s obviously […] Read more


Retired East St. Paul businessman John Ness builds replica barns and children’s toy barns as a hobby. The octagonal barn is a replica of a rare eight-sided barn still standing near Bethany, Manitoba.

Whimsical replicas bring out the kid in all of us, says hobby builder

East St. Paul retiree John Ness’s interest in tiny barn replicas began with a toy barn he built for his grandson

You don’t need to be a farmer to appreciate a well-built barn. Just ask retired East St. Paul businessman John Ness, or the curious visitors drawn to his replicas on display at farm toy shows. Ness’s display includes tiny toy barns kids love to play with, and replicas that the bigger ‘kids’ who flock to […] Read more



Growth in private sector businesses is indicative of a strong economy. But there are communities in rural Manitoba getting scant or no attention from economic development agencies.

Economic development delivery needs improvement: draft report

A draft strategy proposes ways to improve support business startups and other forms of rural development

Rural Manitoba needs a more co-ordinated approach to economic development delivery. That’s according to a draft strategy proposing some ideas for grappling with a system of too many groups working with neither a shared vision nor goals. What’s developed over time is now a “confusing landscape of programs and services” that many potential entrepreneurs see […] Read more


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The fat of the land

Gate to Plate: ‘Planned Over’ 
Cajun Ham Hash
 and ‘Freeze Ahead’ 
Holay Molay Chili


Here’s a term we’ve been hearing lately — the “obesogenic environment.” Do you live in one? It means any place where it’s all too easy to eat poorly and not very conducive to getting much exercise. That’s where a lot of us are at, according to the newly released Obesity in Canada report by the […] Read more



Sections of the provincial highway running through Carman, cited as ‘Main Street South and North’ now have the dubious distinction of being the worst roads in the province.

Rural roads worst in CAA’s 2016 voting

Carman mayor says 2016 campaign sends strong message about just how bad roads are

The mayor of Carman isn’t very happy to have his town’s Main Street now known as Manitoba’s worst road. But Bob Mitchell says at least it draws attention to a problem local people regularly give him and his council an earful about. Two sections of Provincial Hwy. 13 intersecting his town — dubbed Main Street […] Read more


Eighty-two-year-old Thornhill farmer David Lumgair, pictured here with his farm dog Rodger, says fossil discoveries on his farm over the years have made him think about the future of life on earth too.

The farmer and the fossil

David Lumgair’s Thornhill-area farm is the site of significant fossil finds from the 
Cretaceous period including a newly identified flightless bird now named in his honour

It isn’t every day a farmer is asked if a fossil can be named after him. But that was exactly what staff from the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre were asking retired southern Manitoba farmer David Lumgair earlier this month. Paleontologists had discovered a new species from a fossil found on his farm in 1978. They […] Read more



As older workers are set to retire, few replacements are to be found. One factor contributing to that is the lack of growth in rural population in Canada.

Agricultural labour shortage will worsen, new report says

Cash receipt losses to Canadian farmers from job vacancies pegged at $1.5 billion, 
or three per cent of the industry’s total value in sales and production

Canadian agriculture’s already acute labour shortage will worsen over the next decade, as high numbers of employees retire and the domestic labour pool continues to dry up. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council released labour market information (LMI) research last week, showing a gap of 59,000 employees between primary agriculture’s need for workers and those […] Read more


PIN chair Dustin Williams says winding up the organization was a difficult choice, but the right one.

Pulling the pin on the Prairie Improvement Network

The organization will create a scholarship endowment with remaining funds

After spending nearly two years struggling to reinvent the organization, the board of the former Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council (MRAC) is winding up the group. The Prairie Improvement Network (PIN) as it is now known, will cease to exist as of Mar. 31. Directors agreed last week, during a final annual general meeting held by […] Read more