let's talk farm animals

Faces of Farming calendar - meet the faces of April.

by Patricia Grotenhuis

Starting up a business is challenging, and starting up a farm is no different.  Add in an international component and it becomes more challenging yet.

Not all farmers take over the family farm.  Amy Cronin and her husband Mike were both raised on dairy farms but became hog farmers after they married.  Thanks to a lot of hard work, the farm has grown and expanded, with farms in both Ontario and Iowa.

Cronin and her six year old daughter Emmy are featured in the 2012 Faces of Farming Calendar published by the Farm Care Foundation. Their page was sponsored by Molesworth Farm Supply because of Cronin’s work on the farm and in the industry.

Amy and Emmy - the faces of April


Posted by Farm and Food Care on April 4th, 2012 :: Filed under Animal care,Canada,Faces of Farming,Family vs factory farming,Farm life,Pigs,Pork
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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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Farmers don’t marry their animals

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

I know that a dog is a man’s best friend, but sometimes people get ridiculous when it comes to animals. Now I don’t know of any farmer who has married their cow or chicken but I have read about several cases of people marrying their pets. Some do it as a lark, some to make a kind of political statement about “animal rights”.


Posted by FFC on January 9th, 2012 :: Filed under Farm life,Misconceptions,Urban Myths
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Animals in the news: 2011 top ten

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

New Years always brings with it retrospect’s of the past year and predictions for the year ahead. As a result we get “top ten” lists, “most” lists, trends lists and all types of year in reviews.  So in the spirit of year-end lists, here is my top ten “quirky” animal news items for 2011.


Posted by FFC on December 28th, 2011 :: Filed under Media,Uncategorized
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Christmas music wouldn’t be the same without animals

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

When we think of Christmas and animals we may think of Santa’s reindeers or the manger in Bethlehem. We may think of turkey dinners and Beeswax candles or horse drawn sleigh rides, the Red Cardinal or fur-lined mitts.  We don’t often think of music though.


Posted by FFC on December 19th, 2011 :: Filed under animal by-products,Consumers,Turkeys,winter
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Farm kids are just a little different

 Farm kids are just a little different

By Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

Even though a farm kid looks the same as their non-farming classmates and friends, inside is a completely different story.
I have a nephew who lives in town.  He’s just a few months older than my son. My nephew does spend a fair amount of time on the farm, but not enough to completely erase the differences.  When the boys were younger, my nephew had started talking while my son had just a few words in his vocabulary.  If you asked them what a cow said, my nephew would dutifully say “mooo”.  My son had his own way of answering that question.  He would tip his head back, push his lips out, and make a “mmmmmm” sound.  It was very cute to watch him try to mimic the cows.


Posted by FFC on December 13th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Consumers,Dairy cattle,Family vs factory farming,Farm life
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Why expertise does not trump politics

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and Food Commentator

There’s lots of talk on the need for science-based policy decisions by politicians at all levels of government.  No more so than at the municipal level.  The City of Toronto is a prime example of local politicians over-riding both science and experience in making decisions about animals.


Posted by FFC on November 28th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Animal care,Regulations
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If slaughterhouses had glass walls…

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farm and Food Commentator

There is a common saying among vegetarians that “If slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone would be a vegetarian”.  Having been to all types of meat plants I disagree.  And so did one of North America’s largest processing companies.


Posted by FFC on November 21st, 2011 :: Filed under animal handling,Beef cattle,Consumers,Education and public awareness,Meat/slaughter plants,Media,Vegetarian
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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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