Latest articles


Comment: Agricultural trade in the age of protectionism

The entire industry and government must work harder than ever to ensure market access

The world has entered a new age of nationalism, resulting in growing trade protectionism and increasing barriers for Canadian farmers and exporters who depend on international markets. The idea that trade is about winning or losing is dangerous and misleading. This idea ignores the world’s growth over the last 75 years and the disastrous outcomes […] Read more


Comment: A competitive concern

Too-high fees from the grain industry’s key regulator hurt the entire industry

In the August 16 edition of the Manitoba Co-operator, Allan Dawson’s article contains quotes from the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) about why a fee reduction wasn’t part of its decision for the surplus. The CGC does not believe a reduction would be passed through grain handlers to farmers, and this is positioned as a major […] Read more



Comment: Meal kits set the table for a new food retailing boom

Instead of takeout, consumers can choose a meal kit that allows them to whip up an appealing dish in minutes

Meal kits are sweeping across North America. It’s the perfect trend for consumers who want to be empowered by cooking but still need convenience. For example, Walmart has just partnered with Gobble to deliver meal kits. In the battle over the future of food consumption in the U.S., Walmart wants a fighting chance against the […] Read more


Comment: You don’t have to be alone with farm worries

There are resources to help those whose mental health can be determined by the level of the rain gauge

I thought I was doing fine. Not too worried or concerned. I kept telling myself it would all work out, and if it didn’t we’d be OK. We’ve always had a crop. We would this year too. It wouldn’t be a bumper crop. Not even an average one, but after being married to a farmer […] Read more



row of cows being milked

Donald Trump has it wrong on the Canadian dairy system

The president is in reality championing a globalized system that will disadvantage U.S. dairy farmers

Anthony Pahnke is vice-president of the Family Farm Defenders and an assistant professor of international relations at San Francisco State University. This piece appeared in a recent issue of Wisconsin State Farmer.  President Donald Trump is wrong on dairy because he supports free trade. At first, this may appear incorrect, especially with the trade disputes […] Read more


Farmer Walking Through Field Checking Wheat Crop

COMMENT: The power of co-operation — and the cost of disunity

By working together, the agriculture sector can continue to accomplish great things

There is a common adage in agriculture “wheat is 14 per cent protein and 86 per cent politics.” This was often applied in the era of debates over marketing, but it can still be fit today on many issues in agriculture. This is unfortunate and it comes at a cost. When governments in Canada receive […] Read more



Open the books

There’s no reason not to have a final audit of the CWB now the organization no longer exists

The following is a lightly edited letter of response sent from the National Farmers Union to Michael Ferguson, Canada’s auditor general. We would like to clarify that the National Farmers Union is not asking for an audit of G3; our request is for an audit of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) as it prepared for […] Read more


A made-in-Manitoba tragedy of the commons

Community pastures will suffer under recent changes to agricultural Crown land leasing in Manitoba

In February, a provincial news release about changes to agricultural Crown land advised that “The Manitoba government has launched a consultation focused on agricultural Crown lands, to ensure upcoming policy changes reflect the views of the livestock industry while improving fairness and transparency in the system (. . .).” How will these changes affect the […] Read more



Bridging the digital divide is no easy task

Rural residents are still living life in the slow digital lane

Anyone who dares suggest country life moves at a slower pace would be laughed out of the room in most rural communities, especially at this time of year as the spring-planting frenzy kicks into high gear. But there’s one sector of the rural economy and of rural living that few would deny moves at a […] Read more


Comment: What’s the matter with rural Kansas?

Mostly the current model for agriculture, according to one writer

For over 100 years, some Kansans have either built or added to their journalism reputation by asking this simple question: What’s the matter with Kansas? The answer, however, is far from simple. The first to ask was William Allen White, the publisher and editor of the Emporia Gazette. White, a mainstream Republican, posed the question […] Read more