Hot topics and futures in food and farming in Ontario, Canada and beyond. We build on research at University of Guelph and experience in Ontario's agri-food community, to inform listeners about diverse topics from farm to fork. The program celebrates the people, research, and work that shape the food we eat. Broadcast on radio Thursdays 10 am on CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph, live onwww.cfru.ca or podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts and other platforms. Produced by Abdul-Rahim Abdulai, Emily Duncan, and Paul Smith. COVID19 has reduced the frequency of our shows.
Farmers for Climate Solutions' Director Karen Ross talks to Paul Smith about their report “A better future starts on the farm: Recommendations for recovery from COVID-19 in Canadian agriculture” and its five recommendations to support farmers recovering from the pandemic while helping them deal with the long-term effects of the climate crisis. Their lobbying efforts resulted in a key phrase added to the recent Throne Speech "recognize farmers, foresters, and ranchers as key partners in the fight against climate change, supporting their efforts to reduce emissions and build resilience." Hopefully, additional measures for farmers and ranchers will appear in the new federal climate plan, expected soon. The five recommendations are discussed.
COVID-19 and Data Decisions after Disruptions - Part 2. Got data? That is a question of the day it seems. In the midst of this pandemic our interest in data has never been great. Welcome to the panel discussion on data and decision making during the time of disruption. It's hosted by the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph. Jeff Wichtel, Dean of the Imperial Veterinary College chairs a panel of University of Guelph experts. Rozita Dara, an associate professor school of computer science, Amy Greer Research Chair in Population Disease Modeling and associate professor, Department of Population Medicine. Simon Somogyi, an Arrell chair in Business of Food and associate professor school of Hospitality Food and Tourism Management. And Alfons Weersink professor, department of Food Agriculture and Resource Economics. Part 2 of the webinar.
Got data? That is a question of the day it seems. In the midst of this pandemic our interest in data has never been great. Welcome to the panel discussion on data and decision making during the time of disruption. It's hosted by the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph. Jeff Wichtel, Dean of the Imperial Veterinary College chairs a panel of University of Guelph experts. Rozita Dara, an associate professor school of computer science, Amy Greer Research Chair in Population Disease Modeling and associate professor, Department of Population Medicine. Simon Somogyi, an Arrell chair in Business of Food and associate professor school of Hospitality Food and Tourism Management. And Alfons Weersink professor, department of Food Agriculture and Resource Economics.
Here is Part 2 of the discussion on #COVID-19 social impacts on rural communities. Philip Loring, Arrell Chair in Food Policy and Society at the University of Guelph, chairs a panel on the impact on rural communities. First panelist is Abdul-Raheem Abdulai, he's an Arrell scholar and PhD candidate in the Department of Geography. Second is Dr. Ryan Gibson who's an Associate Professor in Regional Economic Development, he's in the Rural Planning and Development program at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Third is Dr. Helen Hambly Odame, she's an Associate Professor of Capacity in the Capacity Development and Extension program also in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Finally is Jacqui Empson Laporte is an Environmental Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs. Part 1 of this discussion is a previous episode.
More information: https://arrellfoodinstitute.ca/webinars/
COVID-19 has had many social impacts on rural communities. Philip Loring, Arrell Chair in Food Policy and Society at the University of Guelph, chairs a panel on the impact on rural communities. First panelist is Abdul-Raheem Abdulai, he's an Arrell scholar and PhD candidate in the Department of Geography. Second is Dr. Ryan Gibson who's an Associate Professor and the Libro Professor in Regional Economic Development, he's in the Rural Planning and Development program at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Third is Dr. Helen Hambly Odame, she's an Associate Professor of Capacity in the Capacity Development and Extension program also in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Finally is Jacqui Empson Laporte she's an Environmental Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs.
Part 1 of the discussion. Part 2 to come. More information:
Fertilizer is fundamental to agriculture and key to feeding all us, but excess nitrogen and phosphorus have unintended effects on soil ecosystems, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. This episode explores how the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program brings together research, agronomy, environmental science, and education to help farmers plan fertilizer use to conserve the environment while growing their crops. 4Rs practices can reduce phosphorus contributing to excessive algal growth and eutrophication, as well as reduce conversion of nitrogen to the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. Extensive research is needed to define and support these practices. McKenzie Smith, Director, Stewardship and Regulatory Affairs at Fertilizer Canada in Ottawa and Nicole Penney of FS PARTNERS out of Guelph help us explore this topic. This second part of a two-part exploration of the 4Rs delves into the science, environmental aspects and related research on the 4Rs system.
Fertilizer is fundamental to agriculture and key to feeding the world population. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are often the focus—what agronomists call crop nutrients. Yet fertilizer use can have unintended effects on soil ecosystems, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. So, sustainable use of fertilizer is a key issue in farm sustainability. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship program brings together agronomy, environmental science, crop planning and education to help farmers plan fertilizer use to grow their crops, save money and conserve the environment. The 4Rs stand for the Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place for fertilizer application. McKenzie Smith, Director, Stewardship and Regulatory Affairs at Fertilizer Canada in Ottawa and Nicole Penney of FS PARTNERS out of Guelph help us explore this topic. The first of this two part exploration of the 4Rs delves into the science, training and practices within the 4Rs planning system. The next episode explores the environmental aspects and related research on the 4Rs system.
In the episode, Abdul discusses some of the agricultural-related news that have made waves in May. Some of the issues include the Federal government support for the ag sector and sector reactions, Covid-19 deepened labour crises in Canadian agriculture and disruptions to meat supply chains.
This episode is part two of the podcast version of the COVID 19 + Lessons for Food Systems webinar by the Arrell Food Institute and Food from Thought Initiative. In this episode, food experts reflect on some of the potential impacts of the COVID-19 on the food system
This episode is a podcast version of the COVID 19 + Lessons for Food Systems webinar by the Arrell Food Institute and Food from Thought Initiative. In this episode, food experts reflect on some of the potential impacts of the COVID-19 on the food system.
Hosted by Rene Van Acker, Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph, the panel includes Larry Goodridge, Lee Young Professorship in Food Safety and the director of the Centre for Research in Food Safety; Jess Haines, associate professor in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition and one of the leads of the Guelph Family Health Study; Dana McCauley, the director of New Venture Creation in the Research Innovation Office of the University of Guelph; and Mike von Massow, OAC Chair in Food Systems Leadership and an associate professor in the department of Food Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph.
The #Coronavirus pandemic affects local food and farm businesses in Guelph and Wellington County in so many ways. Christina Mann of Taste Real (County of Wellington) tells us about how local farm and food businesses are coping with and adapting to the challenges of #COVID19. Increased demand for local food sources have created opportunities for some businesses, while the challenges of offering food in ways that protect producers and customers require much extra work. Going online for purchases has helped for many businesses. Farmers markets in 2020 will be very different to accommodate distancing. Greater interest in growing and preparing food at home is a factor, online cooking classes are one way of meeting that demand. Consumers can support our local farm and food businesses.
More information is available at:
Learn why food companies are investing in regenerative agriculture in this special episode recorded at a public lecture held back in September, 2019. Hosted by the SOILS AT GUELPH initiative of the University of Guelph, the CREATE-Climate Smart Soils graduate program, and Grain Farmers of Ontario, “Regenerative Agriculture at General Mills: The Way Forward” features speaker Steve Rosenzweig, a soil scientist at General Mills where he leads research and outreach programs across North America to support farmers in improving soil health. Rosenzweig's talk was followed by a panel discussion with Dan Petker, a farmer from Norfolk County; Anne Loeffler, a conservation specialist with Grand River Conservation Authority; Jim Barkley, an agronomist with Hensall District Co-op; and Paul Johnston, the farm products manager at Thompson’s Limited. The panel was moderated by Mike Buttenham of Grain Farmers of Ontario.
Click here for the episode transcript.
Follow SOILS AT GUELPH, CREATE-CSS, and Grain Farmers of Ontario on twitter: @SoilsAtGuelph, @SmartSoils, and @GrainFarmers.
Find out more about the SOILS AT GUELPH initiative on our website: https://soilsatguelph.ca/
The Farmers for Climate Solutions campaign is an effort to build a movement and change policies to help farmers fight climate change and adapt to the changes. Farmers are experiencing weather extremes brought by climate change, 2019 being a glaring example. Katie Ward, the national President of the National Farmers Union and Brent Preston, President of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario tell Paul Smith more about the campaign. Those organizations and five others are partners in the campaign that launched on Agriculture Day, February 11, 2020. The focus is on changing federal and provincial policies to better encourage farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices that can also benefit profit and resilience. We also talk about recruiting more organizations to the campaign.
More information is available at:
In this episode, we spoke to students about their experiences at The Improve Life Challenge (ILC). The ILC-Hack the Farm is a one-day immersive experience where interdisciplinary student teams will work together with community partners to tackle real problems and come up with possible solutions. At the end of the day, student teams will present their solution in a pitch-style competition.
The corona-virus epidemic has caused panic around the globe, affecting over 90,000 people in over 70 countries. The growing trend of infections around the globe has caused panic in many countries, including in Canada. We review some of the issues emerging from this epidemic in relation to the food system. Declining sales in the restaurant industry, panic buying and clearing of stocks in grocery stores, and the disruption of supply chains and export markets are some of the issues discussed in the episode. #covid19 #coronavirus
Taste Real is an innovative local food and farming initiative of the County of Wellington and many other partners. In this episode, Christina Mann, the Taste Real coordinator for the County, talks with Paul Smith. Taste Real started out as a branding initiative “to support local businesses, farms and producers who are passionate about the way local food is grown, prepared, presented and enjoyed, and how real it tastes”! Taste Real supports “local small businesses and farms to build stronger rural communities and grow one of the most vibrant, local food economies and food tourism destinations in Ontario”. The local food map is well known to residents and tourists as a go-to way to find local food. The local food fest held each year at Ignatius Centre on June 21 is a celebration of local food and community for the whole family. The spring and fall Rural Romp events get people to visit local farms and businesses to gain authentic experiences of agriculture and food.
More information is available at:
In this episode, Abdul talks about some of the stories making headlines in Canadian Agriculture in the week. The rail blockade, labour shortages, and discussions a potential seed royalty in Canada are some of the issues talked about.
Ralph Martin’s new book is an evocative mix of science, philosophy, memoir, reflection and manifesto for change. And food and farming tie it all together. Food security is certainly a focus, but the book ranges far beyond a narrow view of that phrase. Ralph is a retired professor of plant agriculture at Guelph with an emphasis on organic agriculture and forage crops. The book promo says the following. “Canadians are failing to balance reasonable food consumption with sufficient and sustainable production. The modern agricultural system is producing more and more food. Too much food. The cost is enormous: excess nutrients are contaminating the air and water; soil is being depleted; species loss is plunging us toward the sixth extinction; and farmers, racking up debt, are increasingly vulnerable to economic and climatic shifts. And then there is the waste — householders, food processors, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers collectively waste 40 percent of the food produced. A radical rethink is required. We need to move from excess to enough.” Listen to his discussion with Paul Smith.
More information is available at:
This episode provides highlights of the 2020 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference, held in London, Ontario on the 29th and 30th of January 2020. An overview of the main activities at the conference is provided alongside interviews with organizers and digital technology exhibiters.
Sustainable farming is about the people and organizations working daily to that end. Stuart Wright, a dairy and cash crop farmer from Kenilworth, Wellington County, is the new President of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. Both Stuart and the Soil and Crop organization work hard on farm sustainability. Stuart describes his family’s work building soil health and sustainability using crop rotation, no till, strip till, cover crops, and the 4Rs of nutrient management. Since 1939, Soil and Crop has been innovating new ways of growing crops to improve both production and conservation. Stuart’s discussion with Paul Smith illustrates the complexity of juggling crops, livestock and changing practices. He also reflects about how farmers learn from other farmers, advisors and researchers, and then try new things on their farms—illustrating the importance of the network of organizations collaborating on sustainable agriculture.
More information is available at:
Have you ever wanted to make your own maple syrup but were unsure where to start or how to do it? Urban sugaring provides the answer. The Urban Sugaring Project allows tree owners in the City of Guelph to work together to create maple syrup. And in this episode, Emily Duncan interviews organizers on the specifics of the program this year, which is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2020. Listen to this episode to learn more about Urban sugaring and how to participate.
In this special episode, Abdul highlights themes in Canada 2020 Food Price Report while also paying tribute to two friends and the University of Guelph colleagues, Ghanimat Azhdari & Milad Ghasemi Ariani, who lost their lives in the Iran plane accident. Ghanimat's work on indigenous resource conservation and Milad's dedication to work and communality are highlighted. The later part of the episode dive into the forecast in 2020 Food Price Report to highlight some of the key issues that influenced prices in 2019. Anticipated food headlines including retail plastic packaging, Smart shopping, and climate change interventions in the food sector. #flightps752
Conservation Authorities work with Ontario farmers and other landowners to assist in conservation work like tree planting, erosion control, water quality improvement and soil health. Conservation authorities undertake many other activities to fulfill their watershed management mandate. The Ontario government’s Bill 108 amended the Conservation Authorities Act as well as many other statutes for the stated purpose of “increasing housing supply”. Then in August 2019 the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks sent a letter to all conservation authorities telling them to “wind down” programs not within the “core mandate” of conservation authorities. Farm and conservation organizations are concerned that important stewardship programs of conservation authorities are not lost to farmers and landowners. Paul Smith discusses these issues with Kim Gavine, General Manager of Conservation Ontario and Joanne Rzadki, Business Development & Partnerships Coordinator also of Conservation Ontario.
More information is available at:
Emily Duncan and Abdul-Rahim talk about the top stories on the show and main ag issues in Candian and global level in 2019. The show presents the top ten picks of our year. Issues discussed include;
Main ag issues this year:
Canada releases 2019 Food Guide
EAT-Lancet reports on maintaining a healthy planet and healthy people
Federal budget 2019 lay foundation for the creation of Canada National food policy
The city of Guelph wins Smart City Challenge with a circular food economy proposal
Canada in trade tussle with China as canola, beef, and pork exports are disrupted.
Federal government roles out carbon taxing across the country
Women make strides in Canadian agriculture leadership. First female Minister of Agriculture – Marie-Claude Bibeau and the first female director of CFA – Mary Robinson takes office.
CN rail workers go on strike, disrupting harvest 2019.
Ontario sets the stage to protect farmers with Security from Trespass and Animal Safety Act
The 2020 Canada food price report is released.
In this episode, we talk about the 2019 Arrell Food Summit which took place on 3rd December at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto. Abdul and Emily participated in the summit and they reflect on the packed day of presentations and discussions. Snippets from key guests, organizers, researchers, and student participants are presented to reflect on strategies for feeding the globe, a central theme at the summit.
For a World Soil Day special episode, and the final installment in the "Talk Dirty To Me" miniseries, Cameron is joined by Dr. Bill Deen and Nicola Linton from the University of Guelph. Bill and Nicola talk about how different crop rotations and tillage practices impact the soil, crop production, and the environment based on discoveries from a 40-year experiment in Elora, ON. Hang in until the end to catch a montage of reflections on what we need to appreciate more about soil, from attendees at this year's Latornell Symposium. It's a special capstone to this series; we hope you've enjoyed it!
Follow Nicola on Twitter @MicroNicola
To stay up-to-date with Soils at Guelph activities, follow us on Twitter @SoilsAtGuelph and check out our website: soilsatguelph.ca
Series host Cameron Ogilvie managed to catch up with Norfolk County farmer Dan Petker (@PetkerFarm) in the combine cab to learn about his pursuit of soil health. Dan offers both a hopeful and critical perspective on what it takes to improve soil and loves to talk about the economic burden of sustainable soil management practices.
For more information on the December 5, World Soil Day event, visit the event posting here: https://news.uoguelph.ca/event/world-soil-day/
For more information on cost-share and incentive programs that support Ontario farmers, check out the following links:
The Environmental Farm Plan or EFP builds sustainability on Ontario and Canadian farms by farmers assessing their farms' environmental risks and changing practices to reduce or eliminate those risks. It began over 25 years ago in Ontario, led by farmer organizations working with governments, building consensus and changing social norms. EFP has now spread across Canada and evolved to fit each region’s needs. The evolution continues to meet changing demands. EFP may become the base for farms’ sustainability certification. An improved electronic version improves convenience and may appeal to younger generations. Listen to Paul Smith’s conversation with Andy Graham, Executive Director of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, and others reflecting on the history, evolution and future of the Environmental Farm Plan.
The Royal Agriculture Winter Fair happens in Toronto every November, and the FoodFarm Talk team visited this years' event to capture highlights from participants. Reflections from participating organisations including Farm and Food Care Ontario, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Grain Farmers of Ontario, as well as individuals are presented in this episode. Participants reflects on the exciting activities witnessed through the 10-day event and what has been learned during the period, while emphasizing the rich culture and relevance of the fair.
Emily Duncan talks about the quality and safety of the food we eat with Dr. Maria Corradini of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph. Maria discusses her research in food processing and value addition. The discussion highlights the role of food processing in improving the quality, safety and life of food. It emphasizes the need for consumers to appreciate the central role of processing as food moves from farm to table.
On this episode, Cam takes a trip to Heartwood Farm & Cidery to catch up with some friends from the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO). Val Steinmann and Brent Preston are both farmers involved with EFAO's award-winning farmer-led research program, coordinated by Sarah Hargreaves. Together they talk about the importance of soil for their operations, how EFAO has supported them to discover innovative ways to improve soil, and the results of a recent soil health benchmarking study.
Give them a follow on social media: @EFAO2, @soilsarah, @heartwoodcidery
Stay up-to-date on the latest Soils at Guelph news: @SoilsAtGuelph
Abdul talks to Alan Abdul Kader (@fortybytwenty) , an undergraduate student in the Ontario Agricultural College, on a range of issues in today's agriculture. Alan traces his journey as a young high school student who fell in love with agriculture while working on friend's family farms. The values of farming, including the ability to care for nature and being outdoors are among the drivers in his journey. The episode emphasizes the positives agriculture has to offer and why it is important for farmers (and the industry in general) to be proactive in reaching out to the public.
World Food Day is October 16 and this year focuses on zero hunger and healthy diets. Emily Duncan and Abdul-Rahim Abdulai explore the themes and significance of World Food Day. They also interview a number of researchers at the University of Guelph on the significance of their research for food. #wfd #worldfoodday #zerohunger
How can we measure Farm Sustainability? Sustainable sourcing for the agri-food marketplace requires measurement and certification. What does this mean for Ontario farmers and consumers? Nick Betts of Sustainable Agriculture Initiative or SAI Platform and Andy Graham of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association help us explore this topic. This show forms part of a new series on farm sustainability hosted by Paul Smith. #ontag #cdnag #food #ontagweek
Series host Cameron Ogilvie talks with Mel Luymes and Tori Waugh about the state of Ontario's agricultural soils and how the Ontario Soil Network, a farmer-to-farmer learning network, is improving soil health across the province.
Follow the Ontario Soil Network on twitter @SoilNetwork, and find them on the web at http://ontariosoil.net/
What is Farm Sustainability? Cutting through the "sustainababble". We explore farm #sustainability and #sustainable sourcing with Nick Betts of Sustainable Agriculture Initative or SAI Platform. Perspectives of the Food and Agriculture Organization, Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef and Syngenta are also presented. This show forms part of a new series on farm sustainability hosted by Paul Smith. #ontag #cdnag #food
Abdul speaks with Rebecca Clayton of the Seed FoodHub ahead of the Carrot stock food and music festival this Saturday September 21 at the Everdale Farm. An encore presentation.
Today Emily Duncan discusses the #COFS19 Canada's Outdoor Farm Show with Sarah Marquis and Aidan O'Brien #Ontag #precisionag
Survey for farmers:
We're pleased to bring you this series on soil health in partnership with the @SoilsAtGuelph initiative. On this episode, series host and Outreach and Communications Coordinator Cameron Ogilvie chats Dr. Adam Gillespie to lay the groundwork for this series: What is soil? What makes for a healthy soil? And what is the state of our soils in Ontario?
Find out more on the Soils at Guelph initiative by visiting the following news articles:
A conversation with Josh Moran, honours agriculture student, hosts the Why and How Podcast where we look to answer big questions in agriculture, food, and the environment through casual conversations rooted in research. The Why & How is published by the Ontario Agricultural College of the University of Guelph.
The #EatThinkVote event brought together Guelph candidates in the federal election to talk about food issues. The Arrell Food Institute sponsored the event along with Food Secure Canada and The SEED, a project of the Guelph Community Health Centre .
We talk to Brent Preston of TheNewFarm on the values of organic farming, short supply chains, growing what people eat, building communities through farms and customers with shared value.
Emily interviews Natalie Vasilivetsky, University of Guelph campus sustainability coordinator, about Composting and the circular economy.
Farm sustainability will be the focus of a number of episodes this year. But what is farm sustainability? And what does it mean for farmers and consumers. Host Abdul discusses this with Paul Smith, who will be the guest host on farm sustainability issues. Paul worked in environment management for three decades including half of that on environmental sustainability for Ontario farms. Sustainability includes environmental, economic and social elements and so in complex to assess.
Some links on sustainable agriculture:
Abdul talks with Lenore Newman, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she is currently an Associate Professor of Geography and the Environment. She also serves as Director of the Food and Agriculture Institute.
Hear about a project where several Guelph graduate students worked with the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario on Climate Change issues among their members. Victoria Lesy, Matt Orton, Abdul-Rahim Abdulai, Nicole Unterlander, Abigail Van Reisen from the Arrell Food Institute worked with the EFAO.
Abdul and Emily talk about with Jeanna Rex about Food from Thought research assistant program at the Arrell Food Institute
Emily Duncan talks about her research on Precision Agriculture in Ontario. From interviews with grain farmers, dairy farmers, and precision agriculture technology retailers she found potential social consequences of digital data-gathering technologies in agriculture.