Browsing All posts tagged under »agriculture«

“Big Organic”: Threat or Opportunity?

February 10, 2016

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I’m proud of the growth in the organic sector. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic sales in the United States have increased from $3.6 billion in  1997 to over $39 billion in 2014. This double-digit rate of growth holds true for Canada, too, which is now the fourth-largest organic market in the world. This […]

Trading Places: Two farmers step out of their comfort zones

December 18, 2015

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step across the “conventional/organic divide”? During the first week of December, we (Jen Christie and Rob Wallbridge) did just that. Rob (an organic vegetable grower) had been invited to speak on a social media panel at Agri-trend’s Farm Forum Event in Saskatoon, SK; an annual […]

Infographic: Weed Control Strategies

May 27, 2015

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I get asked a lot about how organic farmers control weeds without the use of herbicides. (And with the rise and spread of herbicide-resistant weeds, the issue is on the mind of many conventional farmers, too.) Some naturally assume that in the absence of herbicides, hand-weeding or deep tillage, along with all the drawbacks of […]

New MacDonald, Old Divisions?

March 2, 2015

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Here's the real irony: campaigns like "New MacDonald" threaten to alienate the very people the organic sector needs most right now: farmers. In my opinion, it's time to start building bridges, not digging trenches.

“Fighting for Understanding”: An Advocate’s Checklist

February 18, 2015

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If you’re a farmer on Twitter, chances are you’ve come across #farm365, the agricultural advocacy concept that was hijacked by radical vegans, with sadly predictable results. After the first week, I was inspired to share a short list of “tips” that I hoped would guide conversations in positive directions. It generated a lot of supportive […]

End the Food Wars: Let’s Fight for Understanding Instead

February 10, 2015

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What would our conversations about food and agriculture look like if we strove for mutual understanding rather than a conversion to our way of thinking? What if the loser of an argument was the one who had failed to gain any understanding or appreciation for the viewpoints of their opponent?

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]