As May Flowers Begin to Bloom…

4 05 2010

Wow, what a spring it has been already.  As I have been traveling down many roads in southwestern Ontario, the dust is flying from field to field with farmers working to get their spring planting into the ground.  It is hard to believe that as I write this on the night of May 3rd, I feel so far behind all other corn growers who already finished planting and are now well on their way to their soybean planting.

This growing season is already developing into another interesting year.  With its early start and lack of rain, with snow in the West and Quebec to warm weather in Ontario, we are sure to keep the coffee shops a buzz of tall tales and good rumours!! While everyones part in agriculture is different, I will share my part is.  Check back often to hear what I see, hear and do and how 2010 unfolds in agriculture.  Although I want to guarantee it will give a boost of up to 10% yield to your beans, I hope to guarantee it will give you a few chuckles to take ease the pain of when that 40% chance of isolated showers means your 200 acres of fresh cut hay.


How I Manage My Time

12 04 2010

Once again, this week’s edition of 60 Minutes on CBS featured Andy Rooney simplistic thought for the week.  While his theme didn’t have anything to do  with agriculture at all, it focused on a topic that I often feel like I’m wasting, or running out of some days, time.

His segment is only a minute and a half long so it doesn’t take much time to watch.  He goes on to say a lot of things that probably go against most of what we’ve been taught to do, but may not always be the best strategy for enjoying the grand scheme of life.  Considering the week I just had, it really seemed fitting that we all take a deep breath and enjoy the precent, because it will be gone before you know it.

A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney

Time Management, Andy Rooney Style

Raw Milk, again…

11 04 2010

The Debate on Raw Milk Continues

I’m really finding it hard  to go along with the notion that the benefits of raw milk out weigh (pun intended!) the chances of contracting food borne illness.  Cases like the this article show the reoccurrence of people becoming sick after drinking raw milk from bacteria infections are almost becoming as normal as the Leaf’s not making the playoffs.

Obviously there is demand for raw milk in Ontario, and normally I would support almost anything to expand the milk market here.  While many supporters the legalization point to other raw milk markets in the U.S. as places of progressive marketing, we really must remind them of how our food standards came to be in Ontario.  Our food safety standards were developed by leading the industry, not following.  Just sayin’.

Guelph students organize successful exchange with Oklahoma State University

29 03 2010

The following is a guest post from University of Guelph student Rebecca Hannam, who recently participated in an exchange with ag communications students at Oklahoma State University.

Members of CanACT, the Canadian Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow at the University of Guelph recently participated in a campus exchange program with Oklahoma State University (OSU).

CanACT members flew to Oklahoma earlier this semester to visit the OSU campus and learn more about agricultural communications. The trip allowed us to meet other passionate students and compare farming practices in Oklahoma with what we do here in Ontario.

The most rewarding portion of the exchange for me, however, was welcoming OSU students to Guelph to teach them about the Canadian agriculture industry. In addition to an afternoon in Niagara Falls and time spent on the University of Guelph campus, CanACT members showcased Ontario agriculture by organizing a day of farm tours during the Guelph portion of the exchange.

Stops at Gencor, Woodrill Ltd., the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association office, a beef feedlot and a family dairy farm were all on the agenda for our farm day. The itinerary allowed OSU students to meet active agricultural communicators and talk with crop, beef and dairy farmers during the tours.

“Seeing the diversity between production in the U.S. and Ontario was very interesting,” says OSU student Krista Anderson.

As an Ontario farm girl who grew up near Guelph, I was proud to welcome fellow young ag enthusiasts to the area and show off local farms and organizations. I hope that this initiative will inspire future exchanges so that other Ontario Agricultural College students can gain international perspectives in agriculture. Head]Head

Members of the University of Guelph CanACT and Oklahoma State University who participated recently in an exchange

Maple Syrup, what can’t it do?

25 03 2010

As if I needed any more encouragement to add some deep amber ammunition to my pancakes.  New research conducted by Rhode Island University have found a ton of new health benefiting nutrients packed into Canada’s favourite wedding favour.

Many of the newly found nutrients are anti-oxident are reported to have anti-cancer and anti-diatbes fighting qualities.  So next time your sitting down for a plate of flapjacks or french toast, load on the some pure maple syrup. You’ll be doing you health a favour and supporting maple syrup producers everywhere!

Once they get that syrup in them, they get all anti-oxident in their pants!

Cheese Please!!

24 03 2010

Alright, its true.  I love cheese, and this is almost a slap in the face to all the artisan cheese makers of the world have the talent to create the most incredible flavours known to crackers!

Cargill, which is one of the largest companies involved in food production in the world, (likely the largest), has developed an ingredient for the production of cheese that replaces the need for using any dairy product.  The product is named Lygomme™ACH Optimum and it was developed to produce a cheese like substitute for people with a dairy allergy.

I suppose I may be biased in my thinking since I am a dairy farmer without a dairy allergy and can enjoy a good block of cheese without having to worry about where the closest bathroom is.  But don’t expect me to be serving this impostor at the next pot luck, I’ll have nothing but the great smelly cheese!

My Approach to Blogging

24 03 2010

This is a few weeks old and I think there is no time then the present to put it out.  I was asked to write about my approach to blogging.  Although I am still quite green with this type of media, it is hard to ignore my biggest influence of media in how I blog.

Sunday nights in my household were usually spent watching 60 Minutes on CBS with my family.  It was my first introduction into many aspects of life and influenced the way I view journalism.

The creator, Don Hewitt has been credited with the creation of the way news is presented today.  His philosphy was simple, and could be described in 4 words, “Tell me a story”.  Don died last August and this January, 60 Minutes ran a episode about his career.  If you have a few minutes, watch the episode and see what he created, I guarantee you will not regret it.