Has the “Food Movement” Become a Religious Cult?

November 24, 2014

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I have a confession to make: in late August, I attended a conference sponsored by Big Ag. Wait, it gets worse…I went because I was invited to take part in a panel discussion. But that’s not all. One of my fellow panelists was a conventional farmer who grows thousands of acres of crops, many of […]

Posted in: Agriculture

Wordless Wednesday: Late Summer Tillage and Cover Crops

August 20, 2014

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This seed drill is an antique from the horse-drawn era, but it still gets the job done! This morning I sowed a mix of oats, peas, and radish into a field I ploughed recently. By doing primary tillage this time of year, I’m giving the soil life time to recover before winter sets in. Establishing […]

Feeding the World: Beyond the GMO/Organic Dichotomy

August 19, 2014

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We should all recognize by now that “feeding the world” is much more a logistical and political challenge than an agricultural one. As a farmer, however, I spend a lot of time thinking about producing food economically, efficiently, and ecologically. Conventional wisdom dictates that genetically-engineered crops are a vital part of the overall solution, while organic […]

Posted in: Agriculture, Food, Organic

Will a Neonic Ban Save the Bees?

August 15, 2014

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As an organic farmer, I get lots of invitations to sign petitions to ban things like insecticides herbicides or GMOs. When I was younger, I used to sign these petitions and even share them with others, often accompanied with white-hot exhortations that others should sign them too. More often than not these days, I find myself […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Organic Farming and Modern Technology: Friend or Foe?

June 27, 2014

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I just listened to a recent interview with Julie Borlaug, associate director for external relations for the Norman E. Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M. Julie is the daughter of the scientist who is often referred to as the ‘father of the Green Revolution,” which saw the introduction, beginning in the late 1950s, of […]

Posted in: Agriculture, Food, Organic

Academics Review: Selling the Fear of Organic Marketing

June 6, 2014

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It’s been a little over four years since I joined Twitter and a year since I started blogging. What I originally considered a way to share information about my farm has evolved into something that feeds my passion for informed discussion and logical debate. The farmers, scientists and bloggers I’ve encountered have radically altered the […]

Posted in: Agriculture, Food, Organic

Walmart and Organic Food: Help or Hype?

April 10, 2014

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According to a news release published yesterday and widely parroted around the web, Walmart is poised to take its “lowest price is the law” approach to some of its organic offerings, promising to make organic food “affordable” to all. According to their own research, 91% of its shoppers would buy organic food if the price […]

Posted in: Agriculture, Food, Organic

Want to Move the GMO Discussion Forward? Label Them!

March 26, 2014

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If your views tend toward the “pro-GMO” perspective, you’re the audience I had in mind when writing this piece. Here’s my thesis: I believe mandatory labels would be the best tool to provide clear, accurate and consistent information to consumers about foods containing, or derived from, genetically engineered crops and animals, and they would also […]

Posted in: Agriculture, Food

Deconstructing Don Huber – A Tale of Two Talks

January 10, 2014

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This is a story of two talks, both of which are almost identical. It’s also the story of two people, both of whom are also the same person. What separates both are a couple of years, perspective gained, and perspective lost. I first heard Dr. Don M. Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue […]

Better Beef? A Retro Perspective on Market Differentiation

January 8, 2014

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I noticed this certificate posted on the wall of an Ottawa diner we visited last weekend, and I couldn’t resist capturing the image. Issued in 1994, the faded print assures consumers that the restaurant uses Alberta Beef: “A Sign of Superior Quality” and it’s signed by representatives of the Alberta goverment, the Alberta Cattle Commission, […]

Posted in: Agriculture, Food