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Siemens named Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers

March 29, 2023 - 6:05am
A husband-and-wife duo from Rosenort, Man. recently received an industry award. Harley and Brooklynn Siemens, owners and operators of Siemens Farms, a 95,000 layer and 15,000 pullet operation, are Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2023. The award recognizes the work of farmers between the ages of 18 and 39. “We were very humbled just to be nominated,” he told “I know so many other young farmers who could have easily won this award, so to be selected as the recipients for 2023 is such an honour.” This award adds to the family’s accomplishments as Harley was chosen as part of the Top four under 40 poultry farmers in Canada in 2021. As part of the Outstanding Young Farmers process, Harley and Brooklynn, as well as the other nominees, Brett and Chantel McRae from Brandon, were tasked to make a presentation showcasing their progress in ag, community involvement and more. The Siemens highlighted the development of their farm, Harley said. “We showed how we’ve grown into one of the largest layer farms in Manitoba. We really leaned on that,” he said. “We also talked about innovation on our farm, building new facilities and having free-run housing for our hens.”

Exporting more Canadian potash to Bangladesh

March 28, 2023 - 6:04am
Canada will be exporting more potash to a South Asian country. On March 17, federal Trade Minister Mary Ng announced a contract between Canpotex, a Saskatchewan-based potash supplier, the government of Bangladesh and the Canadian Commercial Corporation. Established in 1946, the Canadian Commercial Corporation is a Crown corporation that supports international trade by helping Canadian exporters access foreign government buyers. Through this contract, the volume of Canadian potash exported to Bangladesh will increase. In 2022, Bangladesh imported about $500 million of Canadian potash. This agreement is a win for all involved, said Mary Ng, Canada’s federal trade minister. “The sale of Canadian potash to Bangladesh, made possible through the hard work of the Canadian Commercial Corporation, shows our commitment to being a reliable partner and quality supplier of agricultural products in the Indo-Pacific region,” she said in a statement. “Canada is a global leader in helping to address challenges in global supply chains, all while promoting Canadian values and protecting good, middle-class Canadian jobs.” Canada has supplied Bangladesh with potash since 1972, totaling more than 907,000 tonnes,

Are Cereal Grains Better Than Canola for Canada?

March 28, 2023 - 6:04am
By Haley Bilokraly Intern Do you know what difference your cereal crop makes to the Candian economy? Cereals Canada commissioned a report to understand how much of an impact the cereal grains sector has on the Canadian economy. The report was completed by LMC International, an independent economic consulting firm that focuses on agriculture and the agri-business sector. To get a comprehensive and detailed view of the sector, the report analyzed data from four cereal crops: wheat, barley, oats, and durum. As a result of the report, it was found that cereal grain is the second highest industry in terms of economic impact, with a total of $68.8 billion. Cereal grain only follows the oil and gas industry which has a total impact of $128.1 billion. Behind the cereal grain industry for economic impact is communication services ($66.1 billion), beef cattle ($51.6 billion), and canola ($29.9 billion). When diving deeper into the impact that cereal crop has on the Canadian economy, it is further broken down into direct and indirect. Direct impact is any benefit derived straight from the grains value chain. For example, a wheat farmers wage or the effect related to milling oats are direct impacts. Indirect effects are benefits received from industries that supply or are related to the grains sector. Employment from jobs that support barley farmers would be considered an indirect impact. Of the four cereal crops that were analyzed, wheat and barley were overwhelmingly the top contributors to the sector, both directly and indirectly. This is attributed to the vast amount of acreage that these crops account for in Canada and the many commercial bakeries and breweries across the country that rely on the production of wheat and barley. Much of the impact from wheat and barley is associated with Western Canada, as this is mainly where the production of the two crops takes place. However, indirect impacts are likely to be credited with Eastern Canada since this is where the majority of wheat and barley processing happens. Whether you are a grain farmer in Western Canada or a factory worker at a mill in Eastern Canada, it is clear that cereal crops continue to support our families and economy across the country. Next time you’re enjoying a beer from a local brewery or oat milk in your morning coffee, remember the importance of cereal grains in Canada. Watch the video about the report from Cereal Canada.

Ag in Sask.’s provincial budget

March 24, 2023 - 6:01am
Saskatchewan’s provincial government is committed to increasing ag spending in 2023. “The 2023-24 budget includes $548.2 million for the Ministry of Agriculture, a 19 per cent increase from the previous year’s budget to fund programs, services and agricultural research as well as providing business risk management programs,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said in her March 22 budget address. Of the total amount, $408 million will be directed for federal-provincial risk management programs like crop insurance and AgriStability. And $89.8 million is for strategic initiatives under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. That amount includes $38 million for ag research and innovation. Other ag investments include $1 million to help control invasive weeds on Crown pastures, and increasing the AgriStability compensation rate from 70 to 80 per cent for 2023. This budget puts Saskatchewan’s ag sector in a position to thrive and be an economic driver for the province, said David Marit, Saskatchewan’s ag minister. "This budget will help Saskatchewan's farmers, ranchers and agri-business remain competitive and operate sustainably while continuing to deliver safe, high-quality food,” he said in a statement.

Developing a plan to stay safe

March 23, 2023 - 6:01am
By Haley Bilokraly Intern Last week was Canadian Agricultural Safety Week. You like read countless stories cautioning you to be safe on the farm and encouraging you to create a farm safety plan. But will you? and why should you? What is a Farm Safety Plan? A farm safety plan is a document with a variety of policies, rules, procedures, maps, and information that aid in creating a safe working environment on a farm. Often these are hard copy documents that are well-known and readily accessible to anyone it affects. You know how dangerous a farm can be, you see it every day. It is almost a guarantee that if you haven’t experienced a serious incident or close call on the farm, you know someone who has. Most producers agree that farm safety is important, yet only 15% of Canadian farmers have a safety plan. Are Farm Safety Plans Necessary? So, why should you write a farm safety plan? After all, isn’t safety just common sense? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Farm safety plans include deliberate and personalized information that differs with each farm, such as emergency response plans or inspection history. Even if you know this information, it could be lifesaving to have written down in the case that you may not be available to help. Creating a farm safety plan is also a financially smart decision. Whether it is fixing broken equipment or losing valuable work time, safety incidents on the farm are expensive. You can avoid these costly incidents with a farm safety plan and keep your hard-earned money. Additionally, your farm is a workplace. For this reason, you have a responsibility to keep the people who work and visit your farm safe. Creating a farm safety plan is a reasonable precaution to take to prevent injuries and demonstrates steps of due diligence. Creating a Farm Safety Plan Although safety plans will look different from farm to farm, there are a few elements that every plan should incorporate. According to Jody Wacowich, the executive director of AgSafe Alberta, every safety plan should include hazard assessment and control, emergency response planning, inspections, training procedures, a commitment from leadership, health and safety representatives, incident investigations, and a plan to administer the plan. From there you can add information that is relevant specifically to your operation. The requirements of a safety plan may sound complicated, but it is much simpler than you think! Many organizations have farm safety plan templates available for free online so that you don’t have to start from scratch. A great option to start with is the FarmSafe Plan by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association. Creating a plan is just the first step in ensuring your farm is a safe place to live and work. Take the next step by putting the plan into action, start safety conversations with family members and workers, and continually review and update your documents.

Ag mental health program celebrates first anniversary

March 17, 2023 - 5:58am
A mental health resource for Manitoba’s ag community reached an important milestone earlier in the month. The Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program (MFWP) celebrated its first anniversary on March 1. “It’s been a really interesting year,” Gerry Friesen, a founding member of the MFWP and certified counsellor and mediator, told “Our initial focus was on raising funds and that came together relatively quickly. Then we recognized we had to pivot and work on building awareness.” Manitoba farmers may have seen MFWP representatives at various farm shows throughout the province like CropConnect and Manitoba Ag Days, Friesen said. And that awareness work will continue in year two. In addition, the organization has set a target for how many farm families it wants to help in 2023. The MFWP wants to raise enough money to support 160 farm families. The 2021 Census of Agriculture counted 19,465 farm operators. Reaching each one is the ultimate goal, he said. “I’d love to reach every single Manitoba farmer and make them aware of who we are and wh

APAS holding livestock summit on April 5

March 16, 2023 - 5:58am
The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) is hosting a livestock summit next month to identify how to support the sector. The event, scheduled for April 5 at the Saskatoon Inn, will bring together farmers and other stakeholders to discuss the issues and possible solutions for cattle, bison and sheep producers. “Our membership has identified that there’s issues in the livestock industry in this province and felt it necessary to organize this summit to understand these issues,” Bill Prybylski, vice-president of APAs and a grain and livestock producer from Yorkton, told The livestock population is among the challenges in the sector. Saskatchewan farms had 1.037 million head of cattle on Jan. 1, 2023, Stats Canada data shows. But that number is down from 1.056 million head in January 2022 and down further from 1.091 million head in January 2021. “There’s been a significant decline,” Prybylski said. “Some of that is due to the drought that has been very persistent. But there’s also a financial aspect too. When a producer can recognize the value of crops on a given piece of ground, knowing they’re not making a whole lot of money raising cattle, it’s tempting to convert that land into annual crop production.”

Hit Snooze on Your Alarm for Safety!

March 16, 2023 - 5:58am
By Haley Bilokrary, Intern Do you get enough sleep? According to our recent polls, 48% of readers spend less than 7 hours sleeping each night, the recommended minimum for adults. A further concerning fact about this percentage is that it doesn’t consider sleep habits during busy seasons, like planting, harvesting, or calving, where farmers may sleep significantly less. So, farmers don’t get enough sleep... why does it matter? Although it’s often overlooked, sleep is crucial for the daily functioning of your body. Aside from the general health risks that come along with fatigue, such as weakened immune systems, high blood pressure, and a greater risk of diabetes and heart disease, sleep is also important for safety on a farm. When farmers don’t get the amount of sleep that they need it leads to decreased coordination, reaction time delays, reduced concentration, and greater mood swings that affect decision making. All of these side effects are dangerous, especially when working on a farm around large animals, tall structures, and heavy equipment. For this reason, sleep has become one of the most common causes for a variety of incidents on the farm like falling into grain bins, tractor crashes or roll overs, and amputations from machinery. We know that getting enough sleep is not always a simple task. Peak seasons in agriculture can make it hard to set aside sufficient time to sleep and can affect the speed you fall asleep once in bed. However, there are a few strategies you can implement to help get a better sleep. Here are a few tips that could help you have a productive rest... Establish a regular sleep schedule Refrain from caffeine and alcohol a few hours before bed Avoid using electronics right before sleeping Sleep in a dark, quiet, and cool environment Try to limit naps after 3:00 p.m. Remember that even an extra 20 minutes every night can make a big difference. Take time during Canadian Agricultural Safety Week to start good sleep habits and stay safe on your farm. For more information about Canadian Agricultural Safety week, visit

McCain invests $600 million in Alberta facility

March 15, 2023 - 5:57am
McCain Foods is making a multimillion-dollar investment in Alberta. The food processor announced it will invest $600 million to upgrade its French fry production plant near Coaldale. This represents the largest global investment in the company’s history. “This will fuel continued growth for the business, allowing us to serve key markets further by bringing customers high quality potatoes that begin with our dedicated local farming community,” Max Koeune, president and CEO of McCain Foods, said in a March 13 statement. Part of the expansion, which is scheduled to begin later this year, includes two new production lines which will increase the plant’s workforce from 225 to 485. Wind turbines and solar panels to provide the plant with 100 per cent renewable electricity are also part of the construction. And Biogas created at the wastewater treatment facility will be taken to steam boilers to offset natural gas demands. A water recycling program will also be brought on board to produce clean potable water for manufacturing. Alberta’s minister of agriculture and irrigation, Nate Horner, celebrated the announcementon Twitter calling it “great news for our rural economy.”

Manitoba kicks off Outstanding Young Farmers award season

March 15, 2023 - 5:57am
Canada’s first Outstanding Young Farmers award winners for 2023 will be revealed this coming weekend. The Manitoba Outstanding Young Farmer regional event takes place March 17 to 19 at the Elkhorn Resort at Riding Mountain National Park. The award recognizes farmers between the ages of 18 and 39. Two farmfamilies are up for the award. The first is Harley Siemens and his wife Brooklyn, chicken and egg farmers from Rosenort, Man. They raise 25,000 layers, 15,000 pullets and are invested in Manova, another Manitoba poultry operation. Harley is also a director with Manitoba Egg Farmers. “I was quite pleased to find out we were nominated,” Harley told “We’ve been doing lots of work to upgrade our farm and it’s nice to know you’re being recognized for the work you’re doing.” Part of the upgrades include barn renovations. The National Farm Animal Care Council’s code of practice for pullets and laying hens requires that “all hens must be housed in enriched cage of non-cage housing systems” by July 1, 2036. &l

Auto industry celebrates while Canadian ag suffers

March 15, 2023 - 5:57am
The news that automobile icon Volkswagen was going to construct its first-ever overseas battery manufacturing facility in St. Thomas, brought with it platitudes from the Canadian automobile industry—but the opposite from the Canadian ag sector. On March 13, 2023, Volkswagen—Europe’s largest automaker—announced that its subsidiary PowerCo will establish an electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facility in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. 'This historic investment is a testament to Canada’s strong and growing battery ecosystem and Ontario’s competitive business environment. With a highly skilled workforce, clean energy, an abundance of critical minerals, access to markets, and a flourishing automotive and battery sector, we are an attractive investment destination with everything companies need to grow. In addition, Canada and Ontario offer stability and predictability to their business partners,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade in a jointly issued statement. “This investment is another significant step forward as we build a clean transportation sector to meet global and North American demand for zero-emission vehicles.” While economic pundits for the manufacturing sector praised the Volkswagen initiative that will support clean technology and create well-paying jobs and economic growth within the St. Thomas area, the Canadian ag industry saw this action as yet another slap in the face, as the province loses even more viable farmland. In this instance, some 1,500 acres of farmland in the area (see the highlighted area in the image above) were purchased for the auto manufacturer’s interests. Although hearsay, it is rumoured that the farmland was purchased for $60,000 up to $100,000 per acre. It is said that most of this swathe of freshly-purchased farmland had previously been bought up by a few local farm families. According to Ontario Farmland Trust, over the past 35 years, Ontario alone has lost 18 percent of its farmland—that’s 2.8 million acres—to non-agricultural usage. While the term “non-agricultural usage” usually refers to urban sprawl, it also refers to such industries as aggregate mining, and now per the PowerCo facility a loss to further green technology. Now that’s irony. Along with losing farmland to grow crops, the proposed battery manufacturing facility will also result in a loss of ecosystem habitat. Our Ontario farmlands are utilized for food and shelter by a plethora of species. We can only assume an environmental study was undertaken, however, but it still makes the loss of the ecosystems within the St. Thomas farmland that much more tragic. We would be remiss if we did not recognize that the province of Ontario’s agri-food sector is the largest economic sector in the province, employing over 860,000 people (as of 2021 data). While we can applaud the auto ind

High-speed disc sells for highest price at Alta. auction

March 15, 2023 - 5:57am
Of the items sold during a March 9 Grande Prairie, Alta., Ritchie Bros. auction, a piece of tillage equipment sold for the highest price. A 2017 Degelman Pro-Till 26ft. high-speed disc sold for $79,000. Specs: 16 in Notched Front Discs, 18 in Smooth Rear Discs, 5 in Spacing, Hydraulic Parking Jack. Other pieces of ag equipment sold during the auction include: A 2012 John Deere 2520 4WD utility tractor that sold for $27,000. Specs: 696 hours, Differential Lock, Hydrostatic Drive, 2012 US EPA Label, John Deere 200 CX Loader, Quick Coupler, John Deere 60 in Bucket, 1 Mid-Mount Remotes, Auxiliary Hydraulics, 540 PTO, 3-Point Hitch w/ Quick Hitch, John Deere 46 24 in Backhoe Attachment, John Deere 62D2 Mower, 23x8.50-12NHS Front Tires, 14-17.5NHS Rear Tires, John Deere 52 Quick Hitch Broom. A 2009 Lode King HGF28-3L super b-train lead grain trailer sold for $17,500.

Prairie farmers wanted for wheat survey

March 15, 2023 - 5:57am
An ag research body is asking Prairie farmers to participate in a survey. The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition wants farmers in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan to complete the Midge Tolerant Wheat Grower Survey The 12-question survey asks farmers questions like if they planted midge-tolerant wheat in 2022, if they plan to do so again in 2023 and their level of midge pressure in 2022 compared to 2021. Midge-tolerant wheat varieties include AAC Broadacres VB, AAC Chiffon VB and AAC Whitehead VB. It’s estimated that based on wheat priced at $10 per bushel, producers can achieve $70 per acre in yield and grade benefits by planting midge-tolerant wheat, the Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Program says. The data collected from the survey will be used to manage the program, which the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition operates. Some farmers could see higher populations of wheat midge in 2023 compared to previous years. In Saskatchewan, for example, the 2023 Wheat Midge Forecast Map&lt

Make Your Farm Safer Using the Hierarchy of Hazard Controls

March 15, 2023 - 5:57am
By Haley Bilokraly Intern According to the Canadian Agricultural Safety organization, agriculture is the fourth most hazardous industry in terms of fatal injury rates. This frightening statistic emphasizes the importance of safety on a farm and encourages serious conversations about farm-related injuries. There is no better time to start these conversations than this week, Canadian Agriculture Safety Week. Although it’s not possible to avoid the dangerous realities in agriculture, there are ways to minimize risks on the farm. By using the hierarchy of hazards control, a guide that outlines effective techniques for keeping farmers safe, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of incidents. The hazards control hierarchy, from most to least effective, is elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment. The first step to implementing the hierarchy of hazards control is to identify what hazards are on the farm. From chemical hazards to properly using machinery, there are many areas of a farm that pose a higher risk of injury. Recognizing these areas will help determine which technique to apply from the hierarchy of hazards control. Guides such as the risk score assessment from Farm Safety Nova Scotia, are great tools for determining high and low risk hazards on the farm and prioritizing which areas should be urgently addressed. Once the hazard has been identified, the next step is to determine what realistic solutions are available from the hierarchy of hazard controls. 1. Elimination Eliminating a hazard is the most effective way to control a hazard. Eliminating a hazard could be as simple as sweeping the floor or tidying your workspace, but it is not always realistic. 2. Substitution Substitution is the next best course of action after elimination. If the hazard cannot be removed completely, a safer substitute might be available. For example, switching noxious chemicals for less toxic versions when available. 3. Engineering Controls When both elimination and substitution are not possible, the next option is engineering controls. This is designing or modifying a space to remove or minimize risk regarding a hazard. An example of engineering controls is using soundproof equipment or barriers to protect your ears from dangerous levels of noise. 4. Administrative Controls After engineering controls, the next choice is administrative controls. This control is different as it doesn’t deal with the hazard itself, but the behaviour of those interacting with the hazard. Training, education, preventive maintenance, and safe workplace policies are all examples of administrative controls. When possible, administrative controls should be used alongside another control. Personal Protective Equipment The least effective control is personal protective equipment (PPE). This control does not work to remove a hazard, it only helps reduce the harmful effects of it. When implementing PPE as a control, it is crucial to ensure all workers are trained in the proper way to use and maintain the PPE. Once a control has been implemented, the hazard should be reviewed. This is to make sure the control is effective and to confirm that the control has not created another hazard. This review should happen immediately after implementing the control and anytime

Alberta crop insurance premiums going up by about 22 per cent

March 10, 2023 - 4:55am
Alberta farmers will be paying more for crop insurance. For 2023, farmers will pay an average of 22 per cent more for crop insurance premiums compared to what they paid in 2022. Some reporting indicated crop insurance premiums would be increasing by 60 per cent based on numbers in the latest provincial budget. The 60 per cent increase in the budget “relates to the 2022 budgeted premium compared to the 2023 budgeted premium, not the actual premiums,” Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation says in a fact sheet. “Budgeted rates are estimates, prepared months before prices and premium rates are finalized.” The higher cost in premiums is concerning to farmers, but not surprising. Because crop insurance premiums are related to commodity prices, producers could’ve seen this coming, said Dean Hubbard, a producer from near Claresholm, Alta. and member of the Alberta Wheat Commission board. “Any increase isn’t great at this time,” he told “But 22 per cent is something most producers should’ve been expecting given the big payouts in 2021 because it was such a disastrous crop year, plus the increase in commodity prices.” It was in 2021 that the Alberta government provided a 20 per cent reduction in crop

Former Sask. ag minister Lyle Stewart resigns from politics

March 10, 2023 - 4:55am
A familiar face to Saskatchewan farmers is leaving the provincial legislature. Lyle Stewart, the MLA for Lumsden-Morse who served as ag minister from 2012 to 2018 under Premiers Brad Wall and Scott Moe, announced March 10 as his last day in politics. He’s resigning his seat to focus on his health. “I’ve been living with prostate cancer for a number of years now, but unfortunately, my condition has worsened in recent weeks to the point I can no longer do the job to the standard I expect of myself and that my constituents deserve,” Stewart said in a Saskatchewan Party release on March 6. Stewart also addressed his colleagues in the provincial legislature (his remarks begin around the 1:30:00 mark of the video). “It was my intention to finish out this term, at which time I would have put in 25 years of service as an MLA,” he said. “I need to spend more of the time that I have left with my grandchildren and my dear friend Juanita.” At least one Saskatchewan ag group wished Stewart well in his future. On behalf the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, we would like to thank Lyle Stewart for his dedication and hard work on behalf of our industry during his tenure as the Minister of Agriculture. We wish him all the best in his retirement.

Do not become a farm incident report

March 10, 2023 - 4:55am
This week, March 12–18, 2023, is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week – a week dedicated to promoting farm safety. It’s one of those things that you think will never happen to you. For example, a farm family in Casselman, Ontario, felt the same way, but then in November 2022 an 82-year-old farmer was fatally injured when the truck he was driving in his farm field struck a ditch. This too could happen to you. According to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, agriculture in Canada is one of the most dangerous industries to work in. The first step in preventing farm incidents or accidents -- is to identify hazards. Hazards can include equipment, chemicals, and the working environment. Of course, farm safety is about more than just being aware of hazards. It’s about engaging in conversations that reflect on the importance of farm safety so that everyone makes safety a priority and takes it seriously. No one thinks it will happen to them, but you need to commit to farm safety. You have to commit to making farm safety a priority each and every day of the year, to ensure no one gets hurt on your farm. Ensure anyone who works on your farm, family or employee, is trained to be aware of the hazards they may encounter, let them know what tools are available to help them and to protect them. Also, let them know that you encourage safe, not risky, behaviours. This Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, celebrate Your Farm, Your Family, Your Success. For more information and resources to help you commit to safety, visit

Celebrating International Women's Day in agriculture

March 9, 2023 - 4:54am
By Haley Bilokraly Intern As women across the world are celebrated on International Women’s Day, let’s take a look at the statistics related to women in agriculture and the steps being taken to encourage women in the industry. Firstly, the number of women working in agriculture is growing. There has been a 2.3% increase of women farm operators in Canada since 2016 with the total number rising from 77,970 to 79,975. The proportion of women working in agriculture compared to men is growing closer together. In 2016, 28.7% of farm operators were women compared to 30.4% in 2021. Since 2016 there has been a 26.5% increase in female farm operators managing one-operator farms. As a result, 1 in 7 one-operator farmers in Canada are managed by women. If you were to visit a sheep or goat farm, it is likely that you’d encounter a woman operator as 41.1% of sheep and goat farms in Canada are female managed. The farm type least likely to be operated by a woman is oilseed and grain farms. Female farm operations occur from coast to coast as British Columbia has the highest percentage of female farm operators at 39.7%, in second is Alberta at 32.4%, then Ontario with the third highest at 31.0%. Although these statistics are promising for women in agriculture, women have not easily been recognized in the industry. For many years, women have gone unnoticed for the hidden work they do on farms and were often left out of agriculture-related leadership opportunities. For example, in 2015 the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council found that only 28% of Canadian agricultural associations had at least one woman on their board, further emphasizing the underrepresentation of women in the agriculture sector. However, it is important to celebrate the progress that has been made. This is only achievable because of the individuals and organizations who have created events, networks, programs, funding and more that is dedicated for women in agriculture. A few examples of these initiatives include the Farm Credit Canada Women Entrepreneurship Program, the Engaging and Advancing Women in Agriculture Project, and the Ag Womens Network. This International Women's Day, take a moment to reflect on the promising story told through these statistics and the progress that still needs to be made for women in agriculture.

Finding her passion for ag

March 8, 2023 - 4:53am
It took Jackie Dudgeon-MacDonald working in the ag industry to realize she wanted to work in the ag industry. When she started at the University of Manitoba pursuing her ag diploma, her dad, Rob, got her a summer job at a local Viterra retailer. That experience helped develop her passion for the sector. “It’s crazy to think that doing the grunt work of cleaning out a shop and blending fertilizer made me fall in love with ag,” she told “But it did. And it’s mostly because of the relationships. It always felt like family and it was a really uplifting place to be.” Today, Dudgeon-MacDonald and her husband, Devon, raise beef at North Shade Cattle Co. near Moden, Man. They also help on Jackie’s father’s grain farm. And Jackie is a member of the board for the Manitoba Canola Growers Association. As involved as she is in ag now, she didn’t want to be growing up. Instead, her mind steered towards other career paths. “I wanted to be a lawyer because lawyers made lots of money,” she said. “Then I thought I wanted to be an athletic therapist or physical therapist.” One of the reasons she didn’t want to initially pursue ag, she says, is because she didn’t understand how complex the industry is.

Do you get enough sleep? Answer our poll!

March 7, 2023 - 4:53am
By Haley Bilokraly Intern Sleep is an important safety tool on the farm, but it is likely one of the most overlooked. With long work hours and constant physical demands, daily life on a farm is already dangerous. Adding fatigue to the mix of hazards only increases a farmer’s risk of injury and has become the cause of many avoidable incidents. It is recommended that adults regularly sleep for 7 hours or more each night. This time of sleep is crucial for body regulation, lowering the risks of serious health problems such as heart disease or diabetes, reducing stress, and keeping the ability to think and act clearly. Although many farmers know the benefits of a good night’s sleep, it doesn’t always impact their sleep schedule. This is especially true when there are external circumstances influencing the number of hours they can get in bed. A few factors that might inhibit sleep include stress or anxiety, health conditions, medications, caffeine, alcohol or drugs, untreated sleep disorders, and undoubtedly busy season on the farm. Throughout demanding time periods, such as harvest or calving, it is common for farmers to ignore their need to sleep so they can keep working. Once this becomes a pattern, exhaustion and drowsiness start to affect a farmer’s ability to be productive and safe. During Canadian Agricultural Safety Week 2023, happening from March 13 to March 19, we want to bring awareness to the importance of sleep for a farmer – but first - we are looking to hear from you! To include real statistics in an upcoming article regarding farmer safety and sleep, we are asking our readers if you get enough sleep each night. Click one of the links below to vote on our Twitter poll! Ontario Farmers: Western Canada Farmers: