Future of Agriculture & Food

Supporting local…

This year the Always in Season program was launched in hopes to promote ways in which locals can support small, rural industries during these economically trying times. It is important to understand that while consumer habits are changing drastically, it is still possible to support local farmers and their families. The program itself was designed to aid in economic sustainability, enhance perspective of agro-tourism opportunities, and elevate the local brand. Read more >>

Changes to animal farming…

In the past factory farms have been a point of contention regarding ethics and longterm sustainability. With the COVID-19 pandemic slowly but surely resorting in both urban and rural communities, there are now many concerns being voiced on how these large companies are a risk for their workers. It seems as though the risks of spreading the germs and bacteria between the working class among these companies is the final straw for a lot of individuals involved with agro-business. In addition to the concerns on reducing employees contact with different ailments, Kendra Coulter has also drawn attention to other reasons why the shift to home-based meat production may aid in a better tomorrow. Read more >>

Planning for success…

Especially now, it is crucial for anyone involved within the agro-business industry to carefully assess the supply and demand market for what they are planting, before they plant it. On this brief podcast segment from Rural Roots, Mike Witkowicz discusses the importance of making – and sticking to – a reliable business strategy prior to committing to any sort of seeding. During these uncertain times for agriculturalists everywhere, he highlights some very fundamental ways to ensure a successful year. Listen in here!

The Sprout Talks Trade Deals…

There have been efforts put forth to assist many in the agro-business through the tremulous times we’re currently facing. However, with the reduced travel restrictions there has been significant consideration to enact trade agreements with the European Union in order to facilitate some economic growth. Recently The Sprout released a brief statement on what these trade deals could do for Canadian agriculturalists, as well as some strategies that may be useful for the future. Read more >>

Rural vulnerabilities to excessive heat…

The CMAJ have recently been looking into the effects of excessive heat on rural communities due to the extreme heat and storms Canada are currently facing. Without proper research, it is impossible to implement proper heat-adaption policies. Aside from the immeasurable damage excessive heat can have within farming communities, it can also lead to significant health concerns that must be acknowledged. Read more >>

A brief look into agricultural-economics & COVID-19: The RDI Blog…

The ongoing pandemic has altered both agriculture, and the socio-economic structures of countries all around the world. The relationship humans have with food is constantly changing, and it has been predicted that the impacts of COVID-19 on the world of agro-business as well as consumer habits will have lasting implications on the future. Michael Asante, a Research Assistant of the Rural Development Institute, has formulated a report reviewing the work of Brent Swallow, which outlined the leading “pathways of vulnerability.” Read more >>

Rural Futures: The RDI Blog…

“If asked about the “future of farming” here in Canada, what might be the first topics that come to mind? This Note addresses this question based on the recent publication of sponsored content from various leaders in the agriculture and agri-food sector in the March 28, 2020, Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition).” Read more on these points on agriculture on the RDI Blog!

The risks in processing plants…

Food security is of course a paramount concern for countries everywhere, and there have been many pleas to reopen meat processing plants in order for people to maintain job security as well as aid in food production. However, a recent COVID-19 outbreak in Alberta has unfortunately become an example of the risks close quarter work environments pose. Read more >>

Small businesses flourishing…

There are of course concerns regarding food security across Canada due to the current restrictions on food processing and shipments. However, many small scale agricultural businesses are able to feel their communities well, and are seeing many citizens responding positively, and entering into local markets more and more. Could the COVID-19 pandemic influence popularity in smaller local farms in the years to come? Read more >>

Research & Development…

PembinaValley Online is an online news forum that is constantly keeping the world up to date with the ongoings of agriculture and rural communities across the country. A recent piece discussed the concern regarding current students and the tole the COVID-19 pandemic will have on agricultural research. The research being conducted has the ability to enhance agricultural development, and with current concerns for food security, many are ensuring that now more than ever there must be additional assistance to students and their work. Read more >>

More on Consumer Habits…

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a significant shift in the relationship people have with not only their food, but with their markets and shops. While the interest of shifting consumer habits has taken flight, CTV has conducted interviews with experts to see how these pandemic habits may persist well beyond the current state of emergency. Read more >>

Will the Set-Aside Program be enough…

Real Agriculture is a news forum discussing the on goings of current agriculture. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there are many concerns surrounding how the agri-food industry will sufficiently continue on. One of a more recent update is calling for a review of the once utilized Set-Aside Program, and some additional strategies that could be implemented which would alleviate some of the daunting stresses cattle farmers are facing with regard to the new regulations in response to COVID-19. Read more >>

Works to inspire innovation…

The Windsor-Essex region is a particular hub for agri-business industries having market relations with the U.S., and regions across Canada. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic these processing departments have been forced to adapt to the trading and production regulations, and have lost much of their business because of it. As of this past March Windsor-Essex organizations implemented a WindsorEssex COVID-19 Economic Task Force in order to adapt to these changes to the industry. Their strategies in moving forward with business as usual as business can be, this task force and their new initiatives may be something of an inspiration for many organizations in the agri-food industry. You can find more information on the strategies and impacts of the task force here!

Consumer Adaptions to COVID-19…

Widespread concern surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way citizens envision consumerism. In terms of grocery shopping, and food supply Canadians are being forced to reevaluate how they look at food as a resource rather than a source of indulgence. In the COVID and the global food industry episode of The 2020 Network podcast, with host Jodi Butts speaks and guest Sylvain Charlebois, all topics regarding food production to consumerism are discussed in depth. Listen in here!

Structures supporting agriculture…

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Newsroom is constantly sharing the ongoings of rural development. One piece in particular discussed how the federal and Ontario governments had allocated a significant amount of funds in order to connect individuals with high-demand agricultural labour work during the current pandemic. If there is any hope to preserve the supply chains across the country through the COVID-19 pandemic, there must be positions filled in the realm of agriculture. Read more >>

Cattle farming response to COVID-19…

Rural Roots Canada is a type of news forum thats works to highlight the lives and stories of rural communities and agriculturalists across Canada. Their stories are collected and shared with the purpose to give tribute, and share the knowledge of the individuals whose livelihood is cultivated through the agriculture industry. With hopes to inspire others wanting to pursue these lifestyles, the Rural Roots Canada Podcast focuses on sharing brief sentiments on the ongoings of the industry. The most recent segment focused on how cattle farmers may be needing assistance with regards to keeping their cattle until the guidelines and restrictions derived from the COVID-19 pandemic are lessened. Listen in here!

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada…

With contemporary concerns of agri-food prosperity due to the ongoing pandemic, Agriculture Canada releases plans for the 2020-2021 year. Specifically recognizing the need to strategize how to navigate the international market, the report addresses how trade agreements should be structured, how productions should be successfully promoted, and how resolve market barriers. Read more >>

Positive change in agriculture…

With agriculture being the leading concern of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, multiple organizations have come together to share ideas for initiatives that would revolutionize standards of agriculture. In order to reinforce the dire need to shift towards more regenerative practices, practices must be put in place. Read more >>

Issues and Concerns of the Future…

The Folio news web-forum is an excellent resource in keeping up to date with news, advances in business, science & technology, societal developments, and contemporary innovations for all Canadians. One piece in particular has highlighted a variety of things to consider within the agricultural industry. While identifying five key issues of the agri-food industry, the article was structured to outline concerns that have presented themselves through the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more >>

Change or have change happen to you…

Be the change or be changed, says Nikolas Badminton, futurist and TechTour alumnus. What does that mean for agriculture? Well, according to Badminton, it means that farmers are either going to have to adapt and evolve their practices, technology, and equipment, or someone else willing to do so will be the one farming and not them. It’s perhaps a strong message for an industry steeped in tradition like agriculture, but history shows that farmers have always been able to adapt, change, and move forward. Read more >>

Farmer 4.0: The skills revolution…

A fourth agricultural revolution is underway, and Canada needs to seize it. The Internet of Farming, powered by advanced technologies like autonomous tractors and drone-mounted sensors, is already transforming the way we produce food. But this new generation of agriculture will take a new generation of skills, too. Canada is poised to meet that challenge. No other country has as much land, water or market access — or the education system to develop farmers and food producers who can thrive in a hyper-connected, data-driven economy. And yet our share of global exports is falling and productivity of our farms stalling. Read more >>

Food for thought: current events through the virtual-tabloids