IFAJ

Farming’s just a croc for these Aussies

Like most livestock farmers, Peter and Angela Freeman are passionate about the four-legged beasts in their charge. They care about animal welfare, and market forces drive them to be innovative marketers and adopt new technologies. So what sets them apart? Owners of Hartley’s, the Freemans are crocodile farmers in the northern part of the Australian […]

Read More

World’s farm journalists come to Canada

It’s finally here. The International Federation of Agriculture Journalists (IFAJ) 2011 congress is now underway with several pre-congress events taking place in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Together with my colleague Owen Roberts (@theurbancowboy), I’m co-chairing this gathering of about 260 farm journalists from 30 countries around the world, which is taking place in Ontario […]

Read More

In the fields of remembrance

I’ve always had a special connection to Remembrance Day – ever since I was lucky enough to visit Vimy Ridge as part of a school trip when I was 16. I have also been fortunate enough to participate in the national service in Ottawa one year when I was the Canada-wide winner of an essay […]

Read More

Where food, farming and bombs collide

When they’re planting their crops, farmers in this area must always keep an eye out for unexploded bombs. Their lands were once battlefields and the dangerous remnants of those conflicts are still a threat today, decades after the end of hostilities. Now any number of war-torn corners of the world may come to mind as […]

Read More

In a palace by the sea

Well, we’ve finally arrived in lovely Ostende, a city on the Belgian coast and our home base for the next few days. And we are among the lucky ones – it looks like about half of our IFAJ colleagues either never got off the ground or are stranded at airports in various parts of the […]

Read More

Meeting the little man that pees

The great Belgian adventure of 2010 is underway…and I spent less than 24 hours in Belgium before leaving that country for another. At the moment I am in Luxembourg, where we’ll be spending the next three days of our IFAJ 2010 pre-congress tour. IFAJ is the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists – and this year […]

Read More

But for the kindness of strangers

We have known since we arrived in Austria that we might have some difficulties getting home from the IFAJ congress because of some bad flight scheduling on our part – inadvertent but still our fault. But neither Kelly nor I had any idea of how hard it is to get there from here, or that […]

Read More

More than just pie

For me, pumpkin is indelibly linked to that sure-fire sign of fall, pie. But here in the Styrian region of Austria, pie is the furthest thing from their minds and pumpkin production is booming.

Read More

Canada cleans up

There was an impressive showing by Canadian agricultural writers and photographers at the 2008 Star Prize awards handed out at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in Graz, Austria yesterday.

Read More

Mud, minerals, water…ahhh!

Earth, nutrients and water are the fundamentals of growing food. But today I had the chance to experience these fundamentals from an entirely different perspective – a mud bath and healing waters in a Slovak health spa.

Read More

Home at last

No matter how good a trip has been, there’s always something special about coming home. Now comes time to unpack, sort through all the materials we’ve gathered over the last week and finish downloading and filing all the pictures. Japan was a wonderful experience – the people were warm and welcoming, and always helpful, even […]

Read More

Team Canada in Japan

Five Canadians were present at this year’s annual IFAJ congress in Japan (from left): Kim Waalderbos, winner of the 2007 Canadian Farm Writers Federation travel bursary (sponsored by Monsanto) Owen Roberts, IFAJ Vice President of Professional Development and co-chair of the 2011 IFAJ congress in Canada Lilian Schaer, President of the Eastern Canada Farm Writers’ […]

Read More

A word about shoes

Shoes are very important in Japan – considerable time is spent taking them off and putting them on each day as you enter and leave various premises. This is especially prevalent in rural areas, where old customs and traditions are still heartily embraced and practiced. Several of our tour stops asked us to remove our […]

Read More

Venturing into the countryside

Today and tomorrow we are venturing into the Japanese countryside to meet with farmers and rural businesses. Tonight we will be staying at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese country inn. It promises to be unlike anything we’ve ever experienced…stay tuned!

Read More

The quest for coffee

I’ve written already about the Japan’s national drink: green tea. Coming from a coffee-centric culture, it is not always easy to adjust to not having unlimited access to coffee 24/7. Owen and I have resorted to vending machine coffee – not bad surprisingly – as you can see here at our stop at Zen-noh distribution […]

Read More