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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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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Soil: Out of the silo, into the spotlight

Soil, once a supporting actor in agriculture, is finally finding its way to the spotlight. It hasn’t quite made it to the red carpet yet, but integrated soil health and management are well on the way to getting top billing, even outside of agricultural circles.
Photo credit: thegrower.org

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In farming and beyond, everyone wants to know you’re real

Musicians struggled in the early 1980s — but not because of sex, drugs, or rock and roll, the usual causes.

Instead, for many of them, their nemesis was video.

And it’s all because of MTV. When the music channel debuted in 1981, musicians had to become actors overnight. Video support for new releases was a key to success, and performers went from fronting a band to following a script.
Photo credit: Etsy

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Senator: Don’t treat soil like dirt

Getting people to care about soil shouldn’t be hard. After all, if our soil is in trouble, then we’re all in trouble, for what should be obvious reasons.

But that hasn’t been the case, at last outside of the farming community.
Photo credit: Catherine Ulitsky, USDA/Flickr

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Worker program deserves the welcome mat

I’m hoping the United Nations special rapporteur on modern slavery, who singled out Canada a few weeks ago for what he believes is a faulty temporary farm worker program, is paying attention to a new report that offers another perspective.
Photo credit: Getty Images

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Urban Cowboy

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

OWEN ROBERTS

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.

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