Author: Owen Roberts

Skin colour stirs controversy – but it’s white

A U.S. loan forgiveness program aimed at giving minority farmers a leg-up came under fire recently. Although the long history of discrimination they’ve faced has is widely acknowledged, a group of white farmers from four states are suing the Biden administration. They say their skin colour shouldn’t prevent them from being able to participate. It seems the road to righting past wrongs is still filled with plenty of potholes. Photo:

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Generation Z getting the message about eating grain

The Grain Farmers of Ontario recently surveyed young people to get a sense of their thoughts about eating grain. About 43 per cent of 18-34 year-olds reported looking for whole grains when making purchasing decisions. But 35-54 year-olds seemed to be less likely to be listening to Canada’s Food Guide recommendation that half of daily grains consumed be whole grains.

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Bright minds at Olds College

Olds College in Alberta has been an agricultural learning centre for more than a century. Now it’s a leader in western Canada for innovative applied research. Meet Dave and Lauren, two inquiring minds who are enthusiastic about what Olds can do for them – and how they can contribute to Canadian agriculture.

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Pandemic recovery depends on rural investment

Rural areas face will face greater challenges in resuming economic activity following the pandemic. The lack of rural amenities, education and infrastructure – although high speed internet is finally coming – will continue to make it tough to attract and keep skilled labour. A more targeted approach with greater industry – community action may be part of the solution. Photo:

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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.

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