The Highs & Lows of Week One On #Farm365

January 7, 2015

By Andrew Campbell, Ontario dairy farmer

Who knew so many people would want to look in on the farm?

What started as a simple idea on New Year’s Day based on other photo-a-day challenges, #farm365 on Twitter has turned into something far greater than a few pictures of corn or cows. It’s turned into a great force of farmers sticking up for themselves and consumers getting a better idea of what it takes to send food out of the driveway. I wanted to share a few highs and lows about the first week. Let’s get the lows out of the way. Continue reading

Be positive when responding to critics in social media

By Brent Royce, Ontario farmer

As I’ve watched Twitter over the last week I’ve been both surprised and disappointed by how those in Ontario agriculture have reacted to the point that for a few days I didn’t even know what to say or how to say it.

With the New Year, a new hashtag has emerged: #farm365 is the brain child of a very good agriculture spokesman – @FreshAirFarmer. The uptake of this has been amazing to say the least; agriculture has grabbed hold of this and have run to open their farm doors virtually to help connect with the urban public. Continue reading

New Year’s Roundup: The Top 5 in 2014

On the last day of 2014, we thought it would be fun to look back at the most popular posts on Let’s Talk Farm Animals this year. Here’s how they stacked up in popularity with you, our readers.

#5: Let’s get talking! 

Alright.  I believe it is time to dust off the old soap box and step back on…
Many organizations reporters and marketing programs recently have expressed opinions about what is the “ideal” regarding animal production in Canada.  “Better Beef” from A&W, the W5 report regarding egg layer operations, PETA, HSUS throw around ideas and words intended to pluck at the strings of the consumer’s heart to show that they are better, that they care, that they are not the enemy while big business – agriculture – is trying to simply make an extra buck.  Phrases such as environmentally friendly, sustainable, humane, antibiotic free are tossed around like so much feed in a pig barn. Although I group these organizations together, their underlining intent is often not the same. READ MORE

#4: Conventional versus organic milk production – do you know the difference?

This weekend an interesting conversation came up about organic milk production.  And it’s shameful to admit but I realized just how little I know about it!  So this started me on a quest to learn more about the differences between organic and conventional milk and thought I would share some of my findings with you. READ MORE

#3: Animals are animals, not people

A few weeks ago we were sitting around watching a Disney cartoon with our two young children before bedtime activities started. One of the more senior members of our family who happened to be in the room with us (a recent retiree from farming) made a comment that went something like “Disney has ruined society’s perception of animal agriculture”. At first, I brushed it off with a laugh but have been thinking that perhaps that statement holds more truth than I first thought. READ MORE

#2: Inside Farming: Hormones are everywhere, including in you

There is much buzz in today’s media about wanting hormone-free meat. Can I let you in on a secret? There is no such thing. You see, just like humans, all animals have naturally occurring hormones in their bodies. What the consumer is actually trying to get when they ask for “hormone-free beef” is animals that are raised with no hormones outside of their own. Companies such as A&W are trying to scare consumers into thinking that their products are better because they are using beef that is raised without growth hormone implants. READ MORE

#1: Kids in the barn

Over the past few months, as people hear I’m now working in the barn alongside my husband, there’s one question that we commonly get asked. “What do you do with the kids while you’re in the barn?” READ MORE

 

 

Seth loves helping in the barn

Seth loves helping in the barn

Happy New Year!

 

 

OFA looking for science-based solutions to bee issue

This Commentary from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture first appeared on September 27, 2013. It is reprinted with permission from the author.

By Mark Wales, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

The recent death of bees in record numbers continues to concern scientists, beekeepers, farmers and regulatory bodies alike. Ontario’s bee population has taken a significant hit over the past few years, a troubling trend since so much of agriculture relies on bees and pollinators. This is an issue of concern for Canadian farmers who rely on the strength of the land, water and soil – and pollinators to keep crops and pastures healthy.

While there is considerable speculation on what exactly is causing bee mortality, no single reason has been identified conclusively. An emerging theory is that the cause of, or a contributor to bee deaths is neonicotinoids, a class of insecticide commonly used in Ontario as seed treatment on corn and soybeans. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) maintains our position on this troubling issue and is calling for sound science-based solutions by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).

Continue reading