Agriculture must run farm bill race

Running ahead of the crowded pack vying for public attention will be tough over the coming months. With every vote expected to be crucial in the race to the White House, Americans will be consumed by people telling what they consider to be important stories.

Photo credit: Farm Journal

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Growers are anxious to spray with drones, but…

With increasingly fierce competition from nearly all corners of the planet, Canadian growers are anxious to have access to new technology. After all, technology uptake has long been one of their defining characteristics, and helps them compete against growers who enjoy larger economies of scale.

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Hunting for snacks

Jack Link’s meat snacks invite you to feed your wild side

Fittingly, Jack Link, founder of Jack Link’s Meat Snacks, was out hunting when the idea of making jerky came to him, back in the 1980s. After all, jerky is a convenient way to get a protein boost when cravings hit during outdoor activities like hunting, hiking, kayaking, biking or just walking.

Photo credit: Jack Link’s Meat Snacks

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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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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.