May’s been good for beef producers

Grilling season arrived early last weekend in Ontario. The gorgeous weather had many shoppers headed for the meat counter to check out beef for the BBQ, a summer tradition. And although it’s still early, it looks like beef producers will have a lot to smile about with the best grilling months still to come.
Photo credit: Lone Star Steakhouse, Mount Pleasant, Facebook

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Kids need to have farm safety savvy too

We have five grandchildren; three of them are what you’d call “farm kids.” They live on a family grain and livestock operation near Thamesville (by Chatham), and I suspect that’s where they’ll be until they leave home.
Photo credit: The Western Producer

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Gene editing goes forward on the farm

The livestock sector is uncorking champagne this week: In Canada, gene editing has been declared safe for livestock feed development, and that’s cause for celebration.
The declaration, by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Canada’s regulatory body for food and agriculture, means feed containing genes that have been changed through high-tech editing can be fed to animals entering the food chain.

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Europe is desperate to save small farms

We normally talk here about stories from American farms, and rightly so.
But this month, with some help from our European colleagues, we’re flipping the switch to find the story inside the troubled, complex European Union farm scene. Europe is a significant trading partner, and the drama surrounding farming that’s unfolded recently across the entire continent is alarming.
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Grain farmers give Ottawa a 25-year plan

A five-year plan was once the norm in management. But even before the world started going haywire (i.e., pre-COVID), doubts were emerging in some circles about anyone’s ability to look that far down the road.
Enter the three-year plan. However, even that was a stretch.

Photo credit: Grain Growers of Canada

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Brazil’s agri-food exports snap global attention

Jaws dropped earlier this year when export figures showed Brazil was becoming the global top exporter in grain and oilseeds, surpassing the the likes of soy. And now, as 2024 unfolds, it’s clear there’s even more to come in other commodities from the South American powerhouse.
Photo credit: The Grower

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U.S. and Europe: How farmers handle stress

What’s Your Story? Farmers struggle with their mental health and with high levels of stress across the U.S. No surprise, it’s happening in Europe, too. Here’s why and what to do about it.
The agricultural export story coming out of Ireland these days is upbeat. Irish food, drink and horticulture exports were up 22% last year, reaching a record high of 16.7 billion euros ($417.8 billion).

That’s good news.

Photo credit: Canadian Mental Health Association

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Urban Cowboy

Raising awareness and promoting dialogue about current food and agriculture issues.


Headshot of Owen Roberts

Owen Roberts is a faculty member in the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications program at the University of Illinois. As an agricultural journalist, he is the past president of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and a lifetime achievement award recipient from the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation. His programs and research papers have been recognized nationally and internationally through awards from the Journal of Applied Communications, the National Agri-Marketing Association, the Association for Communications Excellence, and others.