Blog Category: Essays and Opinions

Don’t Miss a Step When it Comes to Ladder Safety!

Posted by Moss Dance on July 23, 2018

Ladder Safety AgSafe

By Wendy Bennett, CRSP, Executive Director, AgSafe Falls from ladders are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. Sprains and strains are the most common types of injuries associated with ladder use resulting from overreaching, shifting weight or body position, and lifting or carrying ladders. Tripod ladders, also known as orchard ladders, are commonly used by workers to harvest tree fruit and by landscape workers for pruning and hedge trimming.  This type of ladder should never be used like a step ladder or an extension ladder because it is not designed to be set up on firm, smooth ground and may … Continue reading Don’t Miss a Step When it Comes to Ladder Safety!

Petition to WorkSafe BC: Create a New Class of Small-Scale Vegetable Farming

Posted by Moss Dance on June 18, 2018 2 Comments

Carrots - WorkSafeBC create new class of small-scale vegetable farming

John Hofer, a farmer in our Young Agrarians network, is calling all small-scale veggie farmers and supporters of local agriculture to sign his petition. The petition is asking WorkSafeBC to set a lower insurance rate standard for small-scale vegetable growers. WORKSAFEBC – BACKGROUND The WorkSafeBC website describes how industries are classified in order to set premium rates. This is an excerpt from that description: Our classification system groups employers in similar industries with similar levels of risk, so we’re able to set fair rates and charge your industry an appropriate rate that reflects the rate of injury and illness in your industry. … Continue reading Petition to WorkSafe BC: Create a New Class of Small-Scale Vegetable Farming

GROW YOUR OWN JOB – New farmers seeking agriculture careers in Ontario

Posted by Moss Dance on April 25, 2018 1 Comment

Agriculture Careers

EDITOR’S NOTE: In this article, Stephanie Gordon follows the stories of several young farmers getting started in agriculture careers. She explores the barriers faced by new farmers in Ontario, including rising land prices, and equipment costs — and the differences between those who have grown up in farming families, and those new to farming. She also notes smaller-scale farming enterprises can be a good entry point for new and young farmers. AGRICULTURE CAREERS: GROW YOUR OWN JOB Can a young person get into farming today? By Stephanie Gordon On Dylan Sher’s first day of his summer job at the dairy farm, a cow had fallen ill. … Continue reading GROW YOUR OWN JOB – New farmers seeking agriculture careers in Ontario

Letters to an Elder Farmer

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

Letters-to-an-Elder-Farmer-Young-Agrarians-ft

Inspired by Stone Barns Centre for Food & Agriculture’s recently published book Letter to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming and Our Future, Young Agrarians invited young farmers to write Letters to an Elder Farmer. As young farmers, we walk in the footsteps of those that have come before us caring for the land and cultivating a community that values organic and ecological farming. You may have noticed too, that young farmers have also been blazing new trails to adapt to our changing society and changing planet. We hope, like the book Letters to a Young Farmers, that the stories in these … Continue reading Letters to an Elder Farmer

Letters to an Elder Farmer: Britt Embry

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

Letters-to-an-Elder-Farmer-Young-Agrarians-ft

“May those who are hungry be fed.” – Tess Taylor, Work & Days Dear elder farmer, My partner, Justin, and I farm five acres of organic fruits, vegetables and herbs in southwestern Manitoba on the La Salle river — a slow-moving river that widens and narrows throughout mostly agricultural land before emptying into the famed Red River in Saint Norbert. Our land is good, but not ideal for vegetables. When Justin went to discuss how to amend our soil with a soil scientist, his advice was: “Consider moving.” (Were this a letter to an older soil scientist, my first point … Continue reading Letters to an Elder Farmer: Britt Embry

Letters to an Elder Farmer: Ian Griebel

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

Letters-to-an-Elder-Farmer-Young-Agrarians-ft

Dear Elder Farmer, When raised the question what we as youth or new farmers need from our elders—the experienced, the weathered—the answer is complex in details, but simple in theory. My name is Ian Griebel. I was born and raised on a small farm outside of Castor, Alta. But like most of the young people today, once high school was finished, I left the nest and flew to an urban centre, where I developed my skills at carpentry, learned of night clubs, traffic, and the constant hustle of a busy city. When the that became too much, when the constant buzz … Continue reading Letters to an Elder Farmer: Ian Griebel

Letters to An Elder Farmer: Lisa Lundgard

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

Letters-to-an-Elder-Farmer-Young-Agrarians-ft

Dear elder farmer, My friend gave me a hat which simply says: “FARMHER.” The feminist in me goes wild every time I wear it. When most people hear the word farmer, they picture an older man wearing a plaid shirt and a hat, and driving a combine. But, insert an h into the word farmer and a different image comes to mind. This letter is meant for all those older generation FARMHERS out there, both the ones who hide behind their husband’s farmer status, and the ones who have worked hard and earned a living as a solo farm woman. … Continue reading Letters to An Elder Farmer: Lisa Lundgard

Letters to An Elder Farmer: Takota Coen

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018 1 Comment

Letters-to-an-Elder-Farmer-Young-Agrarians-ft

The Thistle and the Forest Dear Elder Agrarian, Ten years ago this spring, the neighbours cleared some land. What was once a vibrant forest of beautiful complexity gave way to a barren soil and smoking piles. I played in these woods as a child and was struck by the sudden change. While some saw progress, I saw a terrible loss. For reasons still unknown to me, the owners walked away almost as soon as the smoke cleared. For a decade I watched a transformation I will never forget. First came the weeds. By the end of that first summer, thistles … Continue reading Letters to An Elder Farmer: Takota Coen

Letters to An Elder Farmer: Keely Wohlgemuth

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

Letters-to-an-Elder-Farmer-Young-Agrarians-ft

Dear Elder Farmer, We see you work: Building callus upon callus on your tan hands while you prep the air seeder for spring. We see your worry: The wrinkled brow; the scratch of your head; the antacid pills; the scraps of paper with calculations and a plan to make ends meet. We see your frustration: Mumbled curse words and the forceful pounding of a hammer as you try to straighten a bent swather knife. We see you hurry: Meals forgotten; tools left out; the scamper up the ladder to close the grain bin before the rain. We see your exhaustion: … Continue reading Letters to An Elder Farmer: Keely Wohlgemuth

Number of female farmers has risen in Canada since 2011

Posted by Dana Penrice on January 19, 2018

27_3-Col_GettyImages-166041203

Despite an increase in their numbers, women are still having trouble being taken seriously on the farm. | Getty Images Originally published January 18, 2018 in The Western Producer by Nikki Wiart At Lazy T Farm, a holistic cattle ranch near Halkirk, Alta., and a short drive from my own family farm, the future really is female. Jenna Hauck and her mother, Clara Nibourg, represent the fourth and fifth generations of women in Nibourg’s family to take over the farm. With that kind of history — a farm being passed down through five generations of females where duties are equally shared, … Continue reading Number of female farmers has risen in Canada since 2011