Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Young Farmers Share Views


Federal government looks at how to attract more young farmers.


Young farmers are expressing their concerns to the federal government over the future of agriculture.

National Revenue Minister Jean Pierre-Blackburn toured the country recently -- talking to a new generation of producers about the government's role in farm sustainability.

Discussions covered topics such as farm succession, barriers to entry, leadership planning and ways to address declining enrolment in university programs.

Blackburn says he will develop an action plan to respond to the issues raised and help young people play a larger part in the agriculture sector.


As Canada's hog sector teeters on the brink of collapse -- groups are working on a restructuring strategy to help producers bounce back.

The Canadian Pork Council and Alberta Pork are trying to restructure the industry so it can compete in the face of a high dollar and high feed costs.

Part of the long-term plan involves transforming Canadian pork from a commodity into a brand.

The idea is to showcase the high quality of grain-fed Canadian pork -- which is firmer, less fatty, has a better texture and is produced under better health safety rules than pork produced in other countries.

The hope is that consumers will pay more for a better product.


The federal government is being pressed to do a better job of enforcing G-M-O regulations.

Terry Boehm -- the president of the National Farmers Union -- has told the House of Commons agriculture committee that closure of the European market for Canadian flax exports due to contamination proves the regulatory system isn't working.

He says farmers are facing challenging market conditions, and approving varieties of G-M-O wheat would only further raise the likelihood of more border closures because of contamination.


Agriculture Canada and the University of Manitoba are planning to evaluate the genetics of the rare Canadienne breed of cattle to determine whether it needs to be preserved.

It's part of a national initiative to catalogue Canadian cattle genetic resources.

Gary Crow -- an animal genetics and breeding professor -- says the genetic difference between the Canadienne and the more common dairy and beef breeds will be measured to determine the value of preserving the breed.

He says previous research identified some unique genetic material in the Canadienne that could merit preserving.

Blood samples will be collected over the next year.


Saskatchewan's largest hog operation has been given more time to set up a restructuring plan for its creditors.

Big Sky Farms went into bankruptcy protection last month and owes creditors more than 80 million dollars.

The company now has to file a plan by next Friday and creditors would have until mid-January to fill out forms detailing their claims.


And a new study says a popular farm crop can make life easier for those who have diabetes.

Researchers recently conducted 41 randomized experiments which revealed that pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas helped lower fasting glucose and insulin levels.

Health Canada says they can also reduce saturated fat in the body, increase dietary fibre and reduce health-care costs.

Pulse Canada C-E-O Gordon Bacon says pulses are a Canadian-made prescription for healthy living.


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