What if our farm is the antonym of sustainable? WHAT IF WE FAIL?

I admit it. I’m a geek. To those of you who’ve been following me for a while, that admission isn’t much of a shocker. You’ve already figured out that I was the kid who liked school, got straight A’s, and reveled in the opportunity to take an exam. (Ok – ok – I didn’t revel…

The miracle of birth

Every cattle farmer will tell you, calving season is the best and worst time of the year. The hours are long. The work is exhausting. And sometimes despite all of your best efforts things go wrong. But some days, everything goes right. When I find myself standing in the sunshine watching a cow give birth to a healthy…

The slow work of farming

I’m standing in the barn, typing on an iphone so you know this will be short and error ridden, watching my new twins. We are supposed to start calving in a week or so but have had an early set. Its not uncommon for cows, like people, to have a shorter pregnancy when they are…

Consumer watch reports on antibiotics in meat

Earlier this month, CTV’s Consumer Watch played a brief clip on antibiotic resistance in children and the growing demand for niche-product meats. I found the segment shallow and biased. Biased to the extent it seemed designed to mislead and manipulate viewers rather than inform them. That, in my mind, is the job of marketing agencies –…

My daily mantra: feed – water – shelter – health.

Inspire me today says, “Every day should be a positive one, no matter what it may bring you. One way to focus on the positive is to start each day with a mantra…”. They suggest the mantra, “My word of the day is ______ and I will keep it with me.” (they suggest inspiring words…

It Starts With Biology: The Basics in Antibiotic Use Decisions

It starts with biology: The basics in antibiotic use decisions Disclaimer: This post is part of a series written for Saskatchewan livestock & poultry producers. Content may not be relevant for non-producers. When was the last time you used antibiotics in your operation? How did you choose what product to use? No doubt, you considered…

Santa as a Scientist

For generations, Santa Claus has astounded grown-ups and children alike with his amazing ability to deliver presents around the globe in a one short night. Recent evidence indicates that not only does Santa use science to achieve this feat but that he has done so by being a pioneer of genomics technology. Listen to Don…

Antibiotics & Ag: Can we solve global challenges in <144 characters?

This week swine veterinarians from across western Canada met in Saskatoon. On our agenda – antibiotic resistance. We heard about the human health threat, learned about upcoming changes in regulations for livestock antimicrobials in Canada, and discussed our professional role in this issue. In trend with many conferences I tweeted interesting thoughts, facts and ideas…

Antibiotic Resistance & Human Medicine

This post provides background information on the issue of antibiotic resistance. It is written as a general overview for people that are hearing about the topic in the media but don’t understand the key concerns. Alexander Flemming discovered penicillin in 1928. By 1945, when he received his Noble Prize for this discovery, Flemming warned that…

CONSUMER AND MEDIA INTEREST IN AGRICULTURAL ANTIBIOTIC USE

Canada’s livestock & poultry industries are facing scrutiny over antibiotic use. Attention is coming from within the agriculture sector itself, our regulatory agencies, international trading partners and increasingly from retailers, consumers and media. Today’s post will focus on consumer concerns about antibiotic use in animal agriculture. The next edition will flip the coin and look…

Grateful reflections on Thanksgiving

Obviously it’s cliché to share what I am thankful for on Thanksgiving, but if I don’t stop to reflect on my blessings then what makes this anything more than another Hallmark-card-day? Keeping with the cliché, I am intensely grateful for my family, our health, safety, and home. I know how lucky I am to have…