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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Introducing the farmers of March in the 2012 Faces of Farming calendar

 by Patricia Grotenhuis

Research and development are critical components of Rob and Jim Judge’s work as hog farmers.  They have been working to improve pig genetics in Ontario and shipped a group of pigs with their improved genetics to Korea recently.

The father/son team of Jim and Rob are the faces of March in the 2012 Faces of Farming calendar

The father-son team is featured in the 2012 Faces of Farming calendar, which is published by the Farm Care Foundation. Their page in the calendar was sponsored by New Life Mills, a supplier to their business.  Their Simcoe-area farm family has a “farrow to finish” type of hog farm which means that the pigs are born on the farm and raised there until they go to market. The family also raises chickens and crops in addition to the pigs. 


Posted by Farm and Food Care on March 15th, 2012 :: Filed under Animal care,Canada,Family vs factory farming,Farm life,Innovation and technology,Pigs,Sustainability of the family farm
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A Family Factory?

Guest blog, by:  James Bosma, Dairy Farmer and Agriculture Advocate.

Factory versus Family farming has come to the forefront of discussion as of late. But what defines a family farm?


Posted by FFC on November 14th, 2011 :: Filed under Education and public awareness,Family vs factory farming,Sustainability of the family farm
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Farmers’ view of Ag careers rosier than public’s

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and Food commentator

A few blogs ago I wrote about a U.S. listing of dirty jobs that no one wants. That list included several that were ag-related. Unbeknownst to me, a study has also been done here in Canada. The results of the Farm Credit Canada survey were recently released. And it is not good news for attracting new entrants to the farming sector.


Posted by FFC on October 3rd, 2011 :: Filed under Consumers,Food,Speaking out
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In praise of the Fall Fair

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and food commentator

The local fair means more than just Ferris Wheels and Beaver Tails- they are also the chance for neighbour to meet neighbour and city to meet country.  They are a part of our national heritage and culture. Fairs have been organized in Canada by local Agricultural Societies for more than a century. Though fairs (and farms) do look different than they did 100 years ago, they continue to serve many of the same purposes.


Posted by FFC on September 26th, 2011 :: Filed under Consumers,Education and public awareness,Food,Rodeos
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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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A Tribute: So God Made a Farmer

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

Narrated by the late Paul Harvey, this Internet presentation is one that anyone involved with farming will likely identify with.  It is an important message for the non farming audience as well as an appreciation of our farmers. Paul Harvey was “a friendly and familiar voice in the lives of millions of Americans,” according to commentators on his life. He is very familiar to me having spent my childhood summers in the U.S. Every weekday just before noon, his words of wisdom resonated over American radios. And even as a child I often stopped what I was doing to hear what he had to say. I was rarely disappointed.

It is unclear where this tribute first originated, but some believe Mr. Harvey first spoke these words at the 1978 National Future Farmers of America Convention. Thanks to Farms.com this Made-in-America tribute features Canadian farmers. Some who I know personally, and all of whom I am thankful for.


Posted by FFC on June 27th, 2011 :: Filed under Faces of Farming,Farm life
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Sad but true: Food recalls will never end

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

Fact:  There is no such thing as “zero risk”.

Canadians, unlike other parts of the world, enjoy one of the safest, most abundant and diverse food supplies. We don’t know empty shelves or tapeworms.  But despite that, I think it is only reasonable to expect more food recalls in the future.


Posted by FFC on June 13th, 2011 :: Filed under Canada,Consumers,Food safety
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A taste of farm freshness

Guest Blog by Jeanine Moyer

Jeanine was raised on a pig, beef cattle and crop farm in Ontario

Each seasonal change evokes an awakening of the senses. And nothing beats the arrival of spring and summer to make a person salivate over fresh spring greens and sweet berries. I never realized how lucky I was to grow up on a farm where we grew most of our own fruit and vegetables until I didn’t have a garden of my own to enjoy.


Posted by FFC on June 8th, 2011 :: Filed under Farm life,spring,Weather,winter
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Passion for farming results in presentations by student to hundreds of fellow classmates

We think this Canadian student’s passion for farming and his willingness to talk openly to others is an inspiration. In the last few months, he has spoken to hundreds of students at a Woodstock-area high school about food and farming. Keep reading to hear Rudi’s story.

by Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate.

When Rudi Spruit attended a recent conference of the Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario and saw a presentation about the misinformation consumers have about agriculture and food, he knew he wanted to do something to help spread the right information. “There are lots of misconceptions. Even teachers have some. I try to encourage others to learn,” says Spruit, a young farmer from Ontario.

What has evolved from an idea formed in March has turned into a 50 minute presentation made to various classes at Spruit’s school. So far, Spruit estimates he has presented to 300 students from his 850 student school. Spruit says there are a total of between 20 and 25 farmers attending the school.

Rudi and his classmate Drew give a presentation on farming to a class at their high school.


Posted by FFC on June 6th, 2011 :: Filed under Canada,Dairy cattle,Education and public awareness,Misconceptions,Pigs,Speaking out,Urban Myths
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