It is with the deepest regret that we must pass on the news that columnist Paul Beingessner died last Thursday in an accident while repairing a haybine on his farm near Truax, Saskatchewan. Paul brought a unique combination to his readers – a love of farming, an analytical mind and a gift for writing. It
When mad cow disease hit Western Canada in May, 2003, farmers got a lesson in basic economics. The lesson wasn’t so much that prices went down in Canada. Take away the market for something like 50 per cent of the cattle produced in Canada, and prices will take a gut-wrenching tumble. That was a given.
It might not make me very popular in some circles, but the imminent demise of the hog industry in Canada leaves me kind of cold. Oh, I’m as worried as anyone about the job losses in communities that rely on hog barns for local jobs. But the industry itself isn’t one that I brood over.
Regular readers of this column will know I wasn’t too enthused about the sale of Lakeside Packers to XL Beef. The Competition Bureau decided that Canadian farmers would be well enough served by having two companies controlling 95 per cent of beef packing in Canada. It blessed the sale with the proviso that it would
There is seldom enough money available in moving grain on branch lines to afford extensive services from outside contractors. Nobody likes rain on the day of a parade. And so the metaphor about raining on someone’s parade is pretty apt. You don’t get to be the crowd favourite if you’re disrespecting an idea the crowd
Farmers should be grateful that Bill C-13, a bill to amend the Canada Grain Act, failed to make it through Parliament. The bill was removed from consideration for second reading by a motion supported by all three opposition parties. The motion called for the bill to be brought back to Parliament in six months, but
It is widely known that the Canadian public has a low opinion of politicians. The best evidence of this comes not from surveys or coffee shops, but from the low turnout in Canadian elections. Of course, politicians always try to spin this to suit their purposes. The winning party claims it is because people are
You don’t need to be really sophisticated to see that we’ve messed up bad as a species. 2008 provided the ultimate proof, if it was needed. The financial crisis engulfing the world didn’t happen by accident. It was caused by human stupidity, primarily the stupidity of elected officials who fell for the line that the
American President Barack Obama is creating a bit of a stir in agriculture circles. For one thing, he has indicated he’ll bring in a ban on meat packers owning cattle. This has been a long time on the wish list of American ranchers, who believe that when packers own cattle, they are able to manipulate
Cattle and hog producers watching the growing list of industries slated for infusions of cash by the Canadian government must be wondering what they have to do to convince politicians their industry’s worth. In addition to promising aid to the Canadian auto and aerospace industries, Canada’s free enterprise government is now talking about assistance for