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Updated: 11 hours 41 min ago

How much do farmers get paid?

11 hours 41 min ago
Farms.com Photo Credit: As previously reported on Farms.com, new data from the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) has found that by 2030 there will be more than 100,000 vacant jobs to fill in the agriculture industry. In 2023, CAHRC found a 15 per cent increase in the number of job vacancies compared to 2022. “This is your chance to help the agriculture industry ensure top talent for the future,” says Kathryn Doan, CVO, Director, Talent Solutions Team at AgCareers.com (a Farms.com company). Aimed to provide valuable data to the agricultural industry for attracting and retaining employees, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) is performing an Agricultural Producers Compensation Survey. AgCareers.com is conducting the survey on behalf of CAHRC. CAHRC invites grain, oilseed, dairy, swine, fish, and apiculture producers to participate in this crucial survey. Topics covered will include: Monetary Benefits: Wages for Farm Managers, Farm Supervisors, Farm Workers, Farm Labourers, and Specialized staff. Non-Monetary Benefits: health, dental, vision, relocation, housing, and more! Hiring and retention tactics of flexible scheduling, bonuses, and vacation and sick time The deadline for participation is March 15, 2024. Producers can find out more and take the survey at this link, or contact compensation@agcareers.com for additional information. Participants will receive a copy of the full results to aid in compensation, recruiting, and retention practices, plus they will be entered into a contest for a chance to win a $250 gift card for Mudeas or Durnin Workwear. About AgCareers.com The AgCareers.com mission is to provide global talent solutions in agriculture and food. They strive to “Feed the World with Talent” in the industries they serve. AgCareers.com’s passion is agriculture, demonstrated through their investment in time and resources that engage candidates and employers in the industry. They work to build the pipeline of talent to the industry by expanding knowledge about the breadth of career opportunities in agriculture. For more information, visit www.AgCareers.com. About CAHRC The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) is a national, non-profit organization focused on addressing human resource issues facing agricultural businesses across Canada. CAHRC works with industry leaders, governments, and educational stakeholders, to research, develop and communicate solutions to the challenges in employment and skills development in primary agriculture. For more information visit www.cahrc-ccrha.ca.

Greenview Fights for Agricultural Sector Amidst Obstacles

11 hours 41 min ago
The Greenview Agricultural Service Board (ASB) is addressing the challenges of the challenging agricultural landscape by advocating for the prosperity and viability of its farming community through direct action and understanding the complexities of the local agriculture sector. In late 2023, Greenview's ASB made headlines by exploring the potential for an Agricultural Disaster declaration. This move came after a thorough analysis of crop reports and consultations with local farmers, highlighting the year's mixed fortunes with record yields in annual crops but struggles in forages. Ultimately, the decision against recommending a disaster declaration was based on specific criteria not being met, showing the complex balance required in such decisions. The exclusion of Greenview from the 2023 Canada-Alberta Drought Livestock Assistance Program sparked considerable concern. This decision, influenced by a lack of recognition for the unique agricultural landscape of Greenview, prompted the ASB to take action. In early 2024, a letter was sent to the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, advocating for reconsideration and highlighting the essential need for tailored support mechanisms that acknowledge local conditions. Understanding the power of a collective voice, ASB Council Member Dave Berry emphasized the role of local producers in advocacy efforts. By engaging directly with political representatives, farmers can amplify their needs and challenges, pushing for policies that offer meaningful support and recognition. The ASB's work reflects a deep dedication to not only navigating the present challenges but also paving the way for a thriving future for Greenview's agricultural sector. Through continued advocacy, collaboration, and a keen understanding of the agricultural landscape, the ASB aims to foster a resilient and prosperous farming community. ASB Chair Warren Wohlgemuth stated, "The road ahead may be tough, but with everyone pitching in and working together, we believe our agricultural sector in Greenview can not only weather the challenges but come out even more robust and resilient than before. " This sentiment captures the essence of Greenview's agricultural advocacy efforts, marking a path forward filled with hope, resilience, and a collective commitment to the sector's long-term success.

Alta. community comes together for local grain elevator

February 24, 2024 - 7:45am
Members of an Alberta community came together in support of its local grain elevator. The people of Nanton, Alta. and the surroinding communities drew the winning ticket of a 50/50 raffle on Valentine’s Day, with half of the winnings, $4,910 to be exact, donated to the Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre. The community purchased 6,382 tickets for the raffle. This money is being used to recoup costs from a theft that occurred after Christmas. On Dec. 29, thieves stole one 30-metre 240vac cable and nine 15-metre power cables. These cables were rented or loaned to the discovery centre, CTV reported. These cables supply power to lights used for special displays throughout the year. The winning ticket went to a familiar face in the community. Jen Handley, the mayor of Nanton, won the raffle, the discovery centre’s website says.

Crossing bridges together

February 24, 2024 - 7:45am
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash The Migrant Community Worker Program will be holding its annual this Sunday, February 25, 2024, in Leamington, Ontario. The primary goal is to bring together diverse organizations and companies in Windsor-Essex County to collectively share vital information and resources that meet the needs of local migrant workers, and conversely, to bring together migrant workers to the services and support available to them and ensure they have barrier-free access to any other resources they would need. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by the migrant population, the mission of the Migrant Community Worker Program is to create a collaborative platform that promotes a supportive and informed environment. The one-day event will provide free services, such as general information, legal assistance, and much more. Date: Sunday, February 25, 2024; Time: 3–6 PM; Location: Portuguese Club, 217 Talbot Street West, Leamington, Ontario. The Migrant Worker Community Program (MWCP) seeks to build a stronger community support system for the approximately 20,000 migrant workers who come each year to live and work on Windsor-Essex County farms. The MWCP mission provides information and support to migrant workers by helping them gain educational, social, cultural, and recreational opportunities, while also helping them navigate available support services such as health and wellness, legal aid, and travel and immigration support in Spanish, English, and Tagalog. Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, is a project under the Migrant Worker Support Program (MWSP), providing migrant workers with accurate information and access to available services and support, and assisting them in learning about and exercising their rights while in Canada. To learn about the MWCP, visit www.migrantworkercommunityprogram.com. To learn more about the TeaMWork Project, visit www.TeaMWorkProject.ca.

Ag #5 for Canadian salary lies

February 23, 2024 - 7:45am
Chart via BonusFinder Canada Would you believe us if we said that the ag industry has the fifth highest incidence of liars, according to an industry survey? It’s no lie, although we should state that the numbers involving the ag industry are also lumped in with forestry, fishing, and hunting. We’re not talking about the camper who claimed to have seen Bigfoot rummaging through the garbage cans behind the local A&W Restaurant in Nelson, BC. Neither are we talking about regular folk talking about how they hunted and shot a 24-point buck when it was their pick-up truck that did the killing. And neither are we talking about the fisherman who claimed to have caught a fish “this big.” No, this one is about industry personnel who sometimes offer up a little white lie to the whopper, to the full-on baldfaced lie with regards to their salary. According to BonusFinder Canada—a Canadian online gambling business that has no affiliation with Farms.com—the average person lies four times a day. Sure, it could be to promote oneself, perhaps to protect someone’s feelings, or maybe to just not have to answer a telephone spammer’s questions. The gambling site asked some 3,000 Canadians for their take on lying. By the way, for all sectors, Canadians were more likely to lie or avoid discussing salary. Here are some of the highlights: According to the survey, the hospitality industry lies the most about their salary, at 66.3 percent. 6.0 percent of Canadians have lied about their salary. 37.7 percent have said their salary is lower than it is, and only 28.0 percent have inflated their salary. Folks from Ottawa lie the most about their salary, at 63.4 percent - more on that below, because it's not necessarily all a bad thing. People said that negotiating leverage is the most common reason for inflating salaries, according to 37.8 percent of the respondents. 28.4 percent said that they deflated their salary to others to avoid jealousy or resentment in the workplace. Interesting. The best way to avoid lying about salary is to not have such discussions. If a person chooses to reveal their salary, that’s one thing, but asking others seems... wrong. Unless that’s something Gen Z and the Millennials seem more comfortable with. Other reasons why people said they inflated their salary included: social status and image; family and social expectations; business or networking reasons; comparisons with peers (and the need to fit in); fear of judgement or discrimination; and insecurities (feelings of inadequacy). Yes, Ottawa had the most people lie about their salary (63.4 percent), but to be fair, of the Top 10 cities, Ottawa’s population was more likely to state that their salary was lower than it was (40.6 percent), but the second-most likely to inflate their salary (33 percent). The next biggest liar about salary—again, based on a total of 3,000 people surveyed—was Saskatoon (60.4 percent), with 37.6 percent lying low

Alberta open farm days celebrates success and growth

February 23, 2024 - 7:45am
By Farms.com Alberta's Open Farm Days, an event that bridges the gap between farmers and consumers, marked another year of impressive growth and community engagement in 2023. According to Tim Carson, CEO of the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies, the event attracted fewer visitors than the previous year but saw a significant increase in on-farm sales, jumping from $224,000 in 2022 to almost $299,000. This not only reflects a growing consumer trust in Alberta's agriculture but also a deeper appreciation for it. The event boasted an expansion in both the number of culinary experiences offered and the diversity of host farms, with about 35% of the 133 participating farms being new entrants. Despite challenges such as flooding and wildfires, the event was on the verge of surpassing its goal of 150 host farms. Efforts to enhance the event included the provision of 10 training sessions aimed at assisting farms with early planning and permitting acquisition. In addition to the host farms, 10 agricultural societies across Alberta participated, underscoring their crucial role in community support and local food promotion. Feedback from the host farms underscored the importance of direct engagement with consumers, offering insights into farming practices and the significance of agriculture in Alberta. With Open Farm Days generating over $1.4 million in on-farm sales since its inception, the event continues to be a vital platform for promoting Alberta agriculture. Looking forward to 2024, registration is already open, with anticipation for another successful year of showcasing the province's agriculture and food sectors. Mark your calendars for August 17 and 18 for the 12th annual Alberta Open Farm Days, a testament to the enduring spirit and resilience of Alberta's agricultural community

New $2M Agri-research facility opens in Northern Alberta

February 23, 2024 - 7:45am
By farms.com The agricultural sector in northern Alberta celebrates a significant milestone with the opening of SARDA Ag Research's new $2 million facility in Donnelly, marking a new chapter in agricultural research and community involvement. This development was sparked by a generous donation of 15 acres of land and $750,000 in funding from the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), under its Accelerating Capacity Initiative. Previously limited by an aging infrastructure, SARDA Ag Research now enjoys a modern 10,000 square foot building strategically located along Highway 2. This location not only increases visibility but also facilitates easier access for farmers and researchers alike. Executive Director Vance Yaremko highlighted the community's excitement, noting the impressive turnout at the grand opening despite inclement weather. This new facility represents not just a physical upgrade but also a leap forward in research capabilities, allowing for the establishment of long-term trials crucial for the region's agricultural development. Simon Lavoie, chair of SARDA Ag Research and local farmer, highlighted the importance of a research center that enables farmers to directly observe trial progress, highlighting its value as a crucial resource for the agricultural community. The facility's impact extends beyond research; it's envisioned as an educational hub for local students to learn about agriculture. Plans for school tours and a comprehensive program are in the works, aiming to connect the next generation with agriculture. Looking ahead, SARDA Ag Research seeks additional funding to further enhance the facility, create new jobs, and expand its programming. A second phase, including the construction of a cold storage facility, is also planned. SARDA Ag Research, directed by producers from the region, is dedicated to providing unbiased research on various agricultural aspects. The organization's efforts are supported by the WGRF, a farmer-funded body investing in research to benefit western Canadian producers. With over $240 million already invested in crop research and a $32 million commitment to expanding research capacity, the future of agricultural research in northern Alberta looks promising.

Fruit and vegetable growers honour Don Brubacher

February 22, 2024 - 7:45am
; Image courtesy of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (OFVGA) has named Don Brubacher as its deserving winner of the . The retired long-time General Manager of the Ontario Potato Board was presented with the award at the annual OFVGA industry banquet in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on February 20, 2024. “As a potato grower and current chair of the Ontario Potato Board, it is a particular honour for me to see Don receive this year’s Industry Award of Merit,” exalted Shawn Brenn, the Chair of the OFVGA. He continued: “Don devoted his entire working life to the potato industry and was respected by growers for his knowledge, dedication, and commitment to working on their behalf to make things better for the industry. He always enjoyed the people this industry brought together and was passionate about the work being done.” &

Feeding the world, one bean at a time

February 22, 2024 - 7:45am
Image by Ariel Núñez Guzmán from Pixabay Beans, beans, good for the wallet. Dry beans, such as pinto, navy, and kidney beans, are big business in Canada and around the world. Adzuki beans were Ontario’s top moneymaker per acre in 2023. Last year, Ontario farmers planted a record 23,000 acres of the niche crop, which was up from the 19,000 acres planted in 2022. Even still, those numbers paled in comparison to the almost three million acres of soybeans grown in Ontario last year. Then again, dry beans such as adzuki, pinto, navy, and kidney do cost more to produce. While some dry bean farmers will grow these beans every year, some only grow dry beans when prices are strong and they are likely to fit into their crop rotation. One of the biggest concerns for dry bean farmers, however, is weeds. Because the dry bean is a short-stature crop—and one that does not form a full canopy until mid-July—weeds tend to have free reign, which is one reason farmers must only grow it on fields that are already relatively weed-free. Other issues for dry beans include seedling diseases, where they suffer seed rot, and seedling blight diseases caused by , , and . And then there’s viral diseases such as bean common mosaic virus or yellow mosaic virus. Oh, and we all know that rust never sleeps. And bacterial blight. White mould. . Grasshoppers. Cutworm. It’s a wonder anyone can grow any type of dry bean sometimes. And it’s because there is a real need to grow these dry beans more efficiently and sustainably that money has been donated by Ontario Bean Growers (OBG) and an anonymous donor to the University of Guelph’s (U of G’s) Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). This $2 million donation will also be used to support the OBG Assistant Professorship in Weed Sciences faculty position at U of G’s Ridgetown Campus. Additionally, the U of G has announced the renewal of the Dry Bean Agronomy and Pest Management faculty position at Ridgetown Campus. Collectively, these faculty hires will better ensure that the University of Guelph will continue to be among the world’s best in dry bean agronomy and weed management research. The new OBG Professorship in Weed Management and the Professorship in Dry Bean Agronomy and Pest Management fill the vacancies left by Dr. Peter Sikkema, who recently retired, and OAC’s Chris Gillard, who will retire later in 2024. “Peter and Chris have had an immense impact on the Ontario bean industry for years,” stated Dr. Rene Van Acker, the interim Vice President (Research) at U of G. “This renewal of these professorships will ensure their legacy continues and

Lake Diefenbaker's waters set to flow - boosting Ag sector

February 18, 2024 - 7:43am
By farms.com Announced in 2020 by the Government of Saskatchewan, the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Project stands as a crucial water management initiative, poised to invigorate over 500,000 acres of agricultural land. Supported by both federal and provincial investments, this project is a symbol of hope for numerous rural municipalities (RMs) affected by persistent drought conditions, aiming to fortify the viability of their farmland and the economic resilience of rural communities. The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), along with its member RMs, has actively advocated for the expedited commencement of this project. With 90% of the canal infrastructure for Phase 1 already completed by 2023, the anticipation for water delivery is high. Beyond the scope of irrigation, the project is anticipated to catalyze economic growth in various smaller communities, enhance construction employment, encourage farm expansion, and increase local traffic. The forthcoming Phase 2, dubbed Project 2 Westside, promises to extend irrigation to an additional 260,000 acres, amplifying these advantages. Ray Orb, SARM's President, has highlighted the enduring benefits of the project for enhancing crop diversity and improving farm profitability. In the wake of agricultural disaster declarations due to drought in 2023, the need for the project's swift realization is more pressing than ever. Saskatchewan's farmers, lauded for their commitment to land stewardship, urgently require this irrigation infrastructure to boost food production for both Canadian and international consumers. SARM's request to the provincial government for a clear launch date for Phase 1 underscores the critical demand and enthusiasm for the project. With the canal system nearly complete, it's time for action and to witness the transformative power of water flow, heralding a promising future for Saskatchewan's agricultural landscape.

Manitoba ranchers want livestock theft protection

February 18, 2024 - 7:43am
Manitoba cattle producers want a public protective service available for livestock crimes. That’s one of the resolutions members of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) debated and passed during its annual general meeting on Feb. 8 and 9. Manitoba is the only province in Western Canada without a Livestock Investigations Unit and a dedicated RCMP officer to investigate livestock theft and fraud. Without those safeguards in place in Manitoba, criminals are finding ways to commit livestock related crimes. “It could be paper cattle, fake cattle being recorded and not inspected, or actual physical cattle theft, which happens unfortunately,” Carson Callum, general manager of MBP, told the Brandon Sun. “They might take (cattle) and if they take it to a sale barn or auction mart that doesn’t have inspection services, it doesn’t matter about the brand, or it doesn’t matter about any identification, because whoever brought it is selling him, right? And then they’ll get the dollars for it, and that’s what makes it a challenge and an issue in the sector.” Alberta has two, and B.C. and Saskatchewan have one livestock investigator each. Corporal Owen Third, an RCMP veteran with almost 20 years of experience, became Saskatchewan’s livestock investigator in October 2022.

Alberta Ag Hall of Fame accepting nominations

February 18, 2024 - 7:43am
Now is the time for members of Alberta’s ag community to nominate a peer deserving of a spot in the province’s ag hall of fame. Albertans have until May 3, 2024, to submit the name of someone who has “demonstrated leadership in farm, rural or commodity organizations or in the food industry,” the application page says. “Leadership must have been demonstrated over many years at the provincial level, and the candidate must have made a significant province-wide impact on the industry as a whole.” The ag hall of fame welcomes new members every two years. After the nominations are received, Deputy Agriculture Minister Jason Hale will appoint a selection panel to examine the candidates and select up to three inductees. The most recent class of inductions occurred in 2022. The inductees included Simone Demers-Collins, an ag advocate, educator and 4-H leader. Farms.com spoke with Demers-Collins following her induction announcement.

Alberta Farm Celebrates Rare Birth of Triplet Calves

February 14, 2024 - 7:42am
By Farms.com In the quiet early hours of a cold January morning, a family farm located near Morinville, Alberta, was bustling with unexpected excitement. The farm, known for its livestock, witnessed an extraordinary event that would soon make headlines: the birth of triplet calves. This rare occurrence has turned the farm into a local attraction, drawing attention from neighbours and fellow farmers eager to witness the trio first-hand. Triplet births in cattle are exceedingly rare, with the odds being reported as one in 105,000. However, for this family, it felt like a one-in-a-million miracle. Each year, the farm welcomes 50 to 60 new calves, with twins occasionally appearing, but triplets were never part of their experience until now. The survival of all three calves is nothing short of a miracle, given the complications that can arise from multiple births in cattle. The family was prepared for the arrival of the calves, although the presence of three instead of the anticipated one or two was a complete surprise. The smallest of the trio required some extra care, including bottle feeding, to ensure a healthy start in life. Remarkably, all three calves have shown good growth and vitality, much to the delight of the family and their community. The triplet calves have quickly become celebrities on the farm, with visitors coming by to see them and the family's children assigning them star-studded names. Such occurrences highlight the unpredictable nature of farming and the joys it can bring. The event has sparked conversations about genetics and the likelihood of future multiple births for the mother cow, adding an interesting twist to the farm's breeding discussions.

Canola Farmers in Alberta Eligible for 2023 SR&ED Tax Credit

February 8, 2024 - 7:40am
By Farms.com Canola farmers in Alberta can capitalize on the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit, with a competitive rate of 12.49% applicable for the 2023 tax year. This tax credit allows growers to claim a portion of their service charge payment, specifically used to fund qualifying research initiatives. Alan Hampton, Chair of Alberta Canola's research committee, emphasizes the significant value for growers participating in the canola service charge. He states, "Farmers can recover a portion of their dollars invested by the Commission in research through the SR&ED tax credit." Hampton highlights Alberta Canola's strategic partnerships and efficient allocation of research funds to tackle challenges such as blackleg and clubroot disease management, along with monitoring insect pests for susceptibility and resistance to insecticides. For instance, an individual grower who paid a $1000 service charge to Alberta Canola in 2023 is eligible to claim a $124.90 tax credit. The SR&ED tax credit can serve various purposes: Offset federal taxes in the current year. Receive a tax refund.
  • Alberta Canola introduces Walter Paszkowski award

    February 7, 2024 - 7:39am
    An Alberta ag organization has introduced an award for deserving canola farmers. During the Alberta Canola Conference, which ran Jan. 24 and 25, the Alberta Canola Producers Commission unveiled the Walter Paszkowski Farm Leadership Award. The award “pays tribute to (Paszkowski’s) legacy and dedication to canola, while emphasizing Alberta Canola’s unwavering commitment to fostering leadership and excellence within the canola industry and within Alberta’s rural communities,” Christine McKee, chair of Alberta Canola’s Grower Engagement and Extension Committee, said in a statement. The recipient of the award will receive a $5,000 bursary to support their participation in Farm Management Canada’s National Farm Leadership Program. This program includes virtual learning, an in-person residency, and leadership effectiveness support. Paszkowski is an important leader in Alberta ag. “He is the reason why there is a canola commission in Alberta,” Christi Friesen, an Alberta farmer, posted on X on Jan. 24. “Thank you, Walter, for everything you’ve contributed to the agriculture industry.” Walter Paszkowski being honoured tonight in the Peace Country- he is the reason why there is a c

    Preserving ecosystems

    February 7, 2024 - 7:39am
    rall, Director of Outreach, Education & Research, Pig Brig Trap Systems Wild pigs, also known as feral hogs, have become one of the most prominent invasive species across many parts of the US and Canada, disrupting the natural balance of ecosystems. Their rapid reproduction, generalist diet, and lack of natural predators allow them to outcompete native wildlife, reducing biodiversity and significantly damaging habitats. For farmers, ranchers, and landowners, the intrusion of wild pigs is a pressing concern, causing substantial economic losses through damaged crops, livestock threats, and property destruction. Environmentalists are equally troubled by the erosion, water contamination, and disruption to natural plant succession these animals cause, further stressing ecosystems already threatened by climate change and habitat loss. The ethical management of wild pig populations presents a complex challenge that requires balancing the management of their numbers and ensuring humane treatment. By adopting responsible and effective management strategies, we can mitigate the adverse effects of wild pigs on our ecosystems and agriculture, paving the way for a more sustainable coexistence with our natural world. Understanding the Challenge Wild pigs are recognized globally for their invasive prowess, which is characterized by their remarkable adaptability, high reproductive rates, and omnivorous diets that allow them to thrive in diverse environments. This adaptability, however, comes at a high cost to ecosystems, agriculture, and local economies. Farmers and ranchers face significant challenges as these animals root through crops and pastures, leading to substantial financial losses. Moreover, wild pigs compete directly with native wildlife for food and habitat, often emerging victorious due to their aggressive nature and generalist feeding habits. Wild pigs can also disrupt soil composition, water quality, and plant diversity, leading to the long-term degradation of habitats that reduces their biodiversity and resilience to other stresses. The cumulative effect of these disruptions poses a severe challenge to conservation efforts, agricultural productivity, and the maintenance of biodiversity, underscoring the urgency of finding effective management solutions. Ethical Wild Pig Management Strategies Ethical wild pig management involves strategies that minimize suffering, reduce environmental impact, and consider the welfare of both wild pigs and native wildlife. Among various management methods, trapping stands out for its adaptability, efficiency, and potential for humane treatment. Trapping allows for the selective removal of wild pigs from sensitive ecosystems without the use of poisons or firearms, which can harm non-target species and pose safety risks. The key to ethical trapping lies in designing and implementing traps that minimize animal stress and injury, including corral traps that can capture entire sounders at once, reducing the social stress associated with separation. It's also crucial to check traps regularly to ensure that captured animals are dealt with swiftly and humanely. Beyond trap design, ethical management strategies emphasize the importance of a comprehensive approach. This involves: Assessing the Ecological Impact and Necessity of Management Measures Implement non-lethal methods, such as

    4-H Canada’s 2023 national award recipients

    February 6, 2024 - 7:39am
    ; Photo courtesy of 4-H Canada 4-H Canada is proud to announce the recipients of three prestigious national awards: ; (s); and . 4-H provides youth with the guidance, resources, and opportunities to become contributing members of their community, their country, and the world by preparing them for the various paths of life and encouraging them to find their sense of self, purpose, and responsibility. Each year, the recognize the extraordinary contributions of supporters, volunteers, and alumni who embody the mission of 4-H and make an impact on youth and the communities they serve. Distinguished Alumni Award The is presented to honour the outstanding leadership and contributions of 4-H alumni to their communities, country, and world. This year’s winner is Jon Montgomery of Calgary, Alberta. That’s him in the photo above. You probably recognize him from at least one of three Canadian things. He is the TV host of The Amazing Race Canada, and he is an Olympic gold medal winner in the most dangerous winter sport—the skeleton, where you go headfirst down a curving downhill course atop a sled. He is one of this writer’s favourite athletes. He won his gold medal at the held in Vancouver, British Columbia. And if one thinks he can’t top all that, Montgomery is a proud second-generation 4-H’er! His involvement in the 4-H movement began in his hometown of Russell, Manitoba, where he was a youth member of the Russell 4-H Beef Club for four years. A proud alum, Montgomery has continued to live and breathe 4-H values throughout his career as an elite athlete, philanthropist, and national TV host. He embodies leadership skills, pride in his rural roots, drive to achieve world-class goals, and a ‘can-do’ attitude that parallels 4-H Canada’s ‘Learn To Do By Doing’ motto. Along with being an Olympic gold medallist, these 4-H values have taken him far, including taking on the mantle of host of in 2013 and remaining in that position today. A household name in Canada and around the world, Montgomery frequently uses his platforms as a motivational speaker on topics close to his heart, including leadership, teamwork, and healthy living. A strong advocate for agriculture, Jon has been a fixture at important ag-related events around the country, including and the . In 2023, 4-H Canada was proud to have Montgomery host the virtual , where he led the celebration of 4-H youth, leaders, and supporters around the country. In a subsequent interview with The Pledge, 4-H Canada’s a

    Sask. farmer with shoulder pain? The doctor would like to see you

    February 6, 2024 - 7:39am
    A researcher from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is looking for Saskatchewan farmers with sore shoulders to participate in a study about how producers move. “The initial focus is looking at the postural exposures (movement requirements) farmers experience at work,” Dr. Angelica Lang, an associate professor at the Canadian Centre for Rural and Agricultural Health at the USask’s College of Medicine, told Farms.com. Dr. Lang also wants to connect with farmers who don’t have shoulder pain. This will allow her team to define the movements, compare those to farmers with pain and make other comparisons along the way. “We’ll look at sex, to see if women do things differently than men,” she said. “And for people who already have pain, we want to know if they’re moving differently than the people without pain. This can help us understand why injuries might be happening.” This research emerged from a previous study Dr. Lang ran. In 2022, she and Dr. Kenzie Friesen, a postdoctoral scholar in the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre at the University of Calgary,

    France farmer protests over

    February 3, 2024 - 7:38am
    Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay It’s over. Two of France’s main farmers’ unions asked their members to end the protest that was blocking access in and out of the capital city of Paris after the government agreed to their demands. The French farmers took no pleasure in harassing their fellow countrymen. But it appears as though their hold on the arteries going in and out of the capital worked, as the French government agreed to many of their demands. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, just three weeks into the job, had failed with his initial attempt to quell the blockade that was starving Parisians of access to fresh fruits and vegetables. His second attempt went much better. The French protest was initiated after farmers said their concerns were being ignored by the government. French farmers were angry over rising input costs, increased taxes, falling income, and European agriculture policies. With regards to its European neighbours, French farmers were upset about its government purchasing too much agricultural product from Ukraine. Understanding that Ukraine is at war with Russia and can use financial aid, French farmers railed against its government for being too generous in flooding the market with Ukrainian goods, not to mention that they believe much of the Ukrainian products to be substandard to expected French food quality. Worse still, for the French farmers, the Ukrainian products were being sold at a cheaper price than their own. For French farmers, purchasing too many substandard and inexpensive Ukrainian agricultural products had affected their livelihood while lowering the accepted food standards for consumers. The French farmers said they had been raising their concerns to the government for years, but to finally get their point across, a tractor blockade at every roadway leading in and out of Paris caught not only the government’s attention but the attention of other European countries facing similar shortcomings. By way of apology and righting the situation, Attal said the government wants French ag to come first—French food products, produced in France, by its farmers. As well, the French government said it would create a $162 million financial aid package for its farmers. A financial aid package worth over CDN $215 million was promised for French livestock farmers. As well, the Prime Minister said there would be a ban on the import of fruit and vegetables treated with , an insecticide that may be harmful to honeybees. has been banned in the EU since 2019, but both Canada and the US allow its use, though only for limited purposes in Canada. Most importantly, the France plan—which follows the UK and EU’s plans—to reduce pesticide usage has been put on hold. While pesticide reduction is still being considered, the French government said it wants to implement an easier way for farmers to reduce pesticide usage while maintaining its yield quantity and quality. It just doesn’t know how to do that yet. The farmers’ action wasn’t a complete blockage. Aft

    Cow feed can now not be a gas

    February 2, 2024 - 7:38am
    Image via Grigorenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo Moo-ve over gassy feed, there’s a new additive in town. Just approved for use in Canada, , , is a livestock ingredient that will reduce cattle methane emissions via burps and… you know. With approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Bovaer product is said to neutralize methane in the rumen. When microbes in the rumen break down the feed, hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases are released, which combine when there’s an enzyme present. But Bovaer suppresses the enzyme, thereby reducing the amount of methane created. With less methane created, it also means fewer possible methane gases released by the cattle. Dsm-Firmenich said that the product (produced by the same-named Bovaer) could be available for sale in Canada in a few weeks. Dsm-Firmenich has the right to sell the product in Canada. Additional Canadian research into ingredient usage shows that cattle achieve a small increase in feed efficiency without any change in their growth rate. Mark van Nieuwland, the Vice-President of Bovaer, stated: “This will benefit Canadian farmers, the efforts of the sector, and support Canada in delivering on its international emissions reduction commitments, such as the Global Methane Pledge.” According to van Nieuwland, Canadian cattle feeders can reduce cow methane emissions by an average of 45 percent by using the ingredient. For dairy cows, the company said that the product additive can “reduce methane emissions by 30 percent on average, potentially lowering the overall greenhouse gas footprint per litre of milk by 10 to 15 percent.”