Greenbelt disaster will test rural Ontario’s trust

If any political party wants to swoop in and try capturing Ontario’s farm and rural vote, I’d say now’s the time.

It’s hard to imagine anyone having faith in the government after the current Greenbelt debacle. But it’s a particular blow to rural Ontario, which has traditionally put its faith and hope in the Conservatives.
Photo credit: CBC

Read More

Generation Z is stuck in a say-eat gap

A new survey shows Generation Z, people born between 1997 and 2012, are caught in what’s called a say-eat gap.

Even though they’re believed to be a generation of foodies, highly tuned in to their food choices, research shows they say one thing about food, but they do another when it comes to buying and eating it.
Photo credit: Rachel Ray Show

Read More

The Farmers Weekly Podcast

I was privileged to join pro podcaster Johann Tasker on his Farmers Weekly Podcast from the UK, covering topics that arose when the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists met in Alberta: beef production, wildfires, labour and Olds College’s commitment to agricultural technology. Click “read more” below to hear the podcast.

Read More

Who has the right to own farmland?

The drive towards greater food security has raised a huge question: who has the right to own farmland?

North America has some of the best farmland anywhere. Its productivity is one of the big factors that determines the price. Buyers clamour for it.
Photo credit:

Read More

Resilient food systems need to absorb future shocks

I guess you would expect the agriculture secretary of the world’s most powerful country to be optimistic about the odds of feeding the world during such challenging times.

But it must be hard to keep your chin up when your country, which has a huge role in global food security, is so politically divided.

Photo credit: Alex Hudson on Unsplash, and World Economic Forum

Read More

Pushing back against monopolies

Farmers’ ire rises, and so do their costs, every time more market consolidation takes place.

It’s an age-old formula: by buying their competitors, the giants of the industry control supply and price….

Photo credit: Wickipedia

Read More

The radical middle needs to hear from farmers

Americans are nagged to no end about their diets. The Centers for Disease Control, for example, relentlessly chides consumers for eating less than 10% of their daily recommended fruit-and-vegetable intake.

The center says that leads to all kinds of health problems and disease. But who’s to blame?

Photo credit: Cushman & Wakefield Food & Beverage

Read More

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.