Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Food and Agricultural Report


Farm stories for Tuesday.


Clean energy, biofuels and consumer demand for healthier organic foods are creating new opportunities for those looking for a "green'' career.

Meghan Summers -- a third year environmental horticulture student -- is on a career track that will allow her to maintain her environmental beliefs while still being practical about making a living.

The 24 year old from Belleville found herself attracted to an agricultural college after reassessing earlier plans to become a math teacher.

She says more students from urban centres are going to agricultural colleges to learn more about where their food is produced.

School officials say there's a growing interest in agriculture, sustainability, food safety and security.


An outbreak of a contagious equine venereal disease is galloping across the United States and Canadian officials are trying to keep it from spreading north.

Several Canadian mares have been quarantined because they may carry the disease.

It may have been contracted from American stallions whose semen has been shipped to farms around the world.

In the last few weeks, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has imposed restrictions on shipments of semen and live horses moving across the border.


A conference hosted by the Canadian Wheat Board this week in Winnipeg is designed to give producers some answers about the global economic crisis and how it's affecting farmers and grain traders.

The GrainWorld conference is bringing together experts from a variety of areas.

Warren Jestin -- the chief economist of Scotiabank -- says despite the federal government's efforts to stimulate the economy, the latest forecast says the recession may be deeper and the recovery slower than the Bank of Canada is projecting.

Bruce Burnett -- the Conference Chair and an analyst for the wheat board -- says people are looking for some insight into what lies ahead and how they can manage in the meantime.


The number of organic producers in Alberta has increased dramatically in the past few years.

In response, the Going Organic Network says it will hold a provincial conference next month.

Organizer Dorothy Marshall says organic farming offers a viable option for small family farms that are struggling to survive in today's economic climate.


Some livestock producers exporting to the U-S hope President Barack Obama's friendly attitude toward trade with Canada will chill the impact of a controversial new law.

Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling -- also known as COOL -- was created in the United States, supposedly as a means of enhancing food safety.

But Murray Roeske says COOL is a non-tariff trade barrier that has already damaged Canada's swine industry and threatens to harm the beef sector as well.


Maple Leaf is calling for a co-operative regulatory approach for addressing concerns related to Listeria.

A Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency working group is recommending a number of measures to reduce the risk of the bacteria -- including end-product testing.

A Maple Leaf spokesperson says the U-S focuses on risk-based food safety management and there shouldn't be too much emphasis on finished product testing.

Rory McAlpine says a harsh regulatory response may cause operators to hide what they find.


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