Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm confused...

I was disheartened today when I read another supply management bashing story written by the Globe and Mail. Seriously, who over at the Globe and Mail has it in for the dairy industry.

What I'm most confused about, besides the entire article, are the comments after from consumers. They, like the Globe and Mail, bash the supply management system. What I'm most confused about is that one minute, consumers want safe, local food. In the last few years, the local food movement has totally taken off and is reflected in how we now see food marketed to us as consumers. But then, the next minute, people who are making comments on the article, say that consumers should buy dairy products from the States and other countries so they can buy it cheaply?

I'm confused consumers.

Supply management essentially helps to keep safe milk here in Canada, and allows for "local food" or in this case, "local milk" from only Canadian farms to be served only to Canadians. And hint: Health Canada bans hormones like BST or BGH (Bovine Growth Hormones) so Canadian milk is hormone-free and second to none in terms of quality and safeness.

Why are consumers so quick to jump over supply management in the dairy industry?While free trade is great, supply management seems to work for our dairy producers and provide our Canadian dairy farmer's with a steady income and reliable milk cheque each month. Is that too much for them to ask? As a 9-5'er myself, I certainly love the feeling of knowing what my income will be each month. Who doesn't like that feeling? Can we blame our dairy farmer's for appreciating the security and stability that supply management provides, in addition to many other benefits?

While I realize there are flaws and downsides to supply management, we have to remember that no system is perfect. So while there are many SM bashers out there who continue to curse the SM system, it seems to work for our dairy farmers in Canada. What's the saying- "To each his own?" Does every agricultural industry in Canada have to operate the same way? No. So leave SM alone.

Consumers, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this! Do you want safe, local food but have to pay a little more for it? Or do you want products from other countries that don't have the same standards as Canada, just to save a few extra bucks?

Speak up and share your thoughts!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Finding humour in agriculture...

I always enjoy when people can use humour and associate it with agriculture. Let's be honest, there is so much "serious" content out there that when a funny blog post or article comes along, I love getting a good chuckle.

This video below is especially funny and cute because I had the same aspirations as a girl growing up. I always wanted a horse so bad, but never thought of going to these great lengths to fulfill my dream when my dad didn't get me a pony. Good for this girl for training this animal to a) be comfortable with her on its back but b) for learning how to clear the jumps!

I can't say this horse cow will be making her way to the Olympics anytime soon though- she looks like she's having trouble barely clearing those small jumps left alone jumps that are four or five feet high!

Hope you get a chuckle like I did :)

*Video credit is due to Allison over at Cultivating Words, where I first saw this video.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just another reason to eat local...

With the recent news of a mutant e-coli bug that has killed 18 people in Europe and recently, 3 people in the U.S., to me, this is just another reason for consumers to eat locally.

While the source of this e-coli strain has yet to be determined (they thought it was beansprouts from Germany but this was been ruled out as of late), it was first believed to have been perhaps from cucumbers in Spain. This rumour was quickly squashed, but its scary to think they still don't know where the strain evolved from, or from what, and where.
For me, this raises alarm bells with eating anything from other countries. While we all eat food or food by-products from other countries (whether we know it or not) or choose too by eating things like bananas, oranges and other fruits/veggies that can't be produced in Canada, this is a just another reason, on top of the 6,732,258,203 reasons why we as consumers, should continue to eat local!

By eating local, you know exactly where your food is coming from, and if something like a sickess like this were to occur, you would know the exact cause of it and what farm to speak too. Canadian food is of the highest quality and safety standards, so you can be assured that when you eat Canadian food, it is the best food.

I think we take for granted as Canadians that we have one of the best food supply systems IN THE WORLD! While a strain like this foreign e-coli strain is devastating and heartbreaking to the people who have lost loved ones to his unknown bug, there is something positive to come out of this. Be thankful for the food that you eat as a Canadian.

[Photo Credit]

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Putting your neck on the line...

Have you ever heard the saying "I'm putting my neck on the line" or variations such as "my head is on the chopping block?"

[Photo Credit]

Just a few days ago, I did just this, by submitting a Letter to the Editor to a provincially-read agricultural newspaper and as luck would have it, it got published.

Its crazy to actually see your thoughts printed in on paper. I don't regret writing the letter as I feel very strongly about what I said within the letter. Once I saw it though in print, it made me realize that by writing and putting my thoughts to paper, you are putting myself out there. Literally. I could potentially be setting myself up for possible rebuttals/negative comments from people who are complete strangers. They may judge me on my thoughts and opinions and how I view agricultural issues. Perhaps people will totally disagree with me. What if they thought my letter was horribly written?

Irregardless, I have to be proud of myself. I wrote what I believe a lot of people were thinking on the controversial issue. I wrote as a passionate and concerned agricultural advocate. You can't knock a person for that. I couldn't help but think of the page last week that stood up in the House of Commons with a "Stop Harper" sign. She put herself out there- whether it was right or wrong- whether people agree or not- you have to give her credit for taking a stance. And as it turns out, the job offers are rolling in for this newly-fired House of Commons "rebel." Good for her.

We must not forget that we elect the people who make a majority of the decisions in our provinces and country, and that, we the people, ultimately have a say in how we want things run. Some of the most successful people in the world put their "necks on the line" and it paid off. So now I don't feel as bad anymore. I shouldn't be ashamed of saying my piece, hopefully gaining a few fans along the way, and maybe even ruffling a few feathers too.

To those who are reading this- speak up and have your say. Especially in the agricultural industry where we need strong voices that will protect our farmer's rights... we need your voice! People won't always agree with you, but they can't knock you for having the confidence to speak up to try and evoke change!