let's talk farm animals

When rodents get political

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and food commentator

Mice may be cute but they are also the subject of political debate. According to RadioNetherlands, mice have moved into the Dutch parliament building during the winter recess. The debate began when the Animal Rights Party informed the press and the leader of the lower house that the party would be “removing all the mousetraps in their part of the building and replacing them with mouse-friendly traps.”

This became front-page news and editors came up with some truly awful puns as they covered the rodent drama. Things took a new twist when a regional TV station discovered that the mouse-friendly traps weren’t friendly at all: “the mice start squeaking and create panic throughout the rest of the mouse family,” the station reported.  Presumably these “humanely” trapped rodents are being relocated or adopted by the Animal Rights Party. Meanwhile, some MPs have recommended getting a house cat to solve the pest problem.


Posted by FFC on February 28th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,Animal cruelty,Regulations,Wildlife
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A teachable moment on fur applies to agriculture too

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and food commentator

As anyone who knows a teenager is probably aware this year’s hot ticket items for Christmas receiving (or any other occasion) included real UGG boots (not the synthetic copies) and Canada Goose jackets.  The price of these natural fibre clothing items put them in the “not happening” category in my household and that of many of my friends. But both items are hot sellers among the under-30 crowd. So it should come as no surprise that they are also receiving negative attention by the “don’t use animals” crowd.


Posted by FFC on January 16th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,animal by-products,Animal cruelty,Innovation and technology,PETA,Wildlife

Changing markets for changing times

 by Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate
In recent years, interest in local foods and what farming practices are being used has created a shift.  Consumers are starting to seek out farmers who sell direct through farmers’ markets and on-farm stores, and farmers are spending more time connecting with consumers.


Posted by FFC on July 22nd, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Chickens,Consumers,Farm life,Feeding the world,Turkeys,Wildlife
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Dealing with the Wile E. Coyote

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

Over the past year or two, coyotes have gained a lot of media and therefore public attention. Reports of attacks on pets and even people have become common in the news and at town and city council meetings across the country. For the farm community coyote attacks are nothing new. They are killers. It’s what they do. They’re wild animals. They are not, as some like to argue, misunderstood and unloved wild dogs.

But in recent years farmers, just as with urbanites, have found that predator problems are getting worse. And just as for urbanites, there are no easy solutions for farmers and rural landowners in dealing with the Wile E. Coyote.


Posted by FFC on July 18th, 2011 :: Filed under Farm life,Housing,Media,Sheep,Wildlife
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Bambi and the cows

by Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

Farmers see some strange things on their farms.  Sometimes things will happen that are completely unexpected – yet absolutely beautiful reminding us,  first-hand, what nature can do.

One day, while I was at university studying agricultural science, I got a call from my mom at home on our farm.  The call wasn’t unusual -  but the story she was about to tell me certainly was. 

One day, while out checking the beef cattle, they noticed a young fawn in the same pasture as the cattle.  Over the next few days, my family noticed the fawn was always within sight of the cattle – but never too close.  They never saw a doe, and were wondering who was caring for this little fawn.

Bambi in the field with the cows.


Posted by FFC on May 19th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Beef cattle,Family vs factory farming,Farm life,Uncategorized,Wildlife,winter
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