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Opinion

Beat the Heat

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July 19  |  Emergency Preparedness, News, Newsletters, Opinion, Research  |   Webmaster

Web MD, a trusted source for professional medical information, has provided a timely special report on the importance of water during hot temperatures and other important health tips and resources to stay safe during hot summer days.

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Web MD has a dedicated team of board-certified physicians, award-winning journalists, and trained community moderators, all solely dedicated to providing accurate, timely, daily information about a wide range of personal health care concerns.  They are committed to helping people find the health and medical information, support, and services they need.

Please click on the links below for more information and feel free to subscribe to their electronic newsletter.

Take the Quiz:  How much do you know about Hydration?

Symptoms of Dehydration

Heat Stroke – Symptoms & Treatment

Sign up for Web MD newsletters and information

 

 

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Health Canada restricts antibiotics

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July 13  |  antibiotics, Beef, Editorial, Farm, Farmers, food safety, Immune System, Opinion, Pork, Poultry, Press Release, Research  |   Webmaster

Health Canada restricts use of antibiotics for growth in livestock

In an effort to curb drug-resistant superbugs, Health Canada is restricting the use of antibiotics in livestock.

Producers will no longer be allowed to continuously feed animals low-level doses as a way to promote growth.

Dr. Trisha Dowling, a pharmacologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says penicillin and tetracycline have long been fed to livestock in order to reduce the workload of animals’ immune systems, thereby causing them to grow faster using less feed.

She says in many cases, products specifically marketed as growth-promotants are older drugs that have fallen out of use in humans as bacteria have developed resistance.

The rules do still allow in-feed antibiotics as a preventative measure against disease.

Dowling says that in many cases, the exception means business-as-usual for producers.

She says this was especially true in the poultry industry, where improved growth is essentially a side benefit for producers using the drugs to prevent infections that can wipe out whole barns if they get a foothold.

“If you don’t put (antibiotics) in the feed, and you wait until you get an outbreak of necrotic enteritis, you’ve got a lot of dead birds and you’ve lost a lot of money,” she said.

On the cattle side, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association CEO Craig Douglas said most producers don’t feed antibiotics.

“Without singling out any other industry — it’s other sectors where that’s been more of a standard procedure,” he said.

Douglas said most ranchers only reach for the antibiotics when an animal is clearly unwell.

“They’re not medicating their animals unless their sick,” he said, adding that costs as high as $500 per animal tends to keep the use of injected antibiotics in check.

~ The Canadian Press – Friday, July 11, 2014

 

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A Tribute to Dairy Farmers

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April 23  |  Dairy, Editorial, Farm, Farmers, Opinion  |   Webmaster

This page is dedicated to Dairy Farmers as a tribute and acknowledgement for their hard work, dedication, and care.  We admire and respect all farm operators, especially family operations which take pride in providing us all with safe, nutritional food.

While Puroxi Pure Water Global has expanded its reach with new products, systems, throughout international markets, we will always have a special fondness for farm operators, particularly dairy farmers.  This hardy savvy group was the first to see the benefits of our product and appreciate the results.

Dairy farmers work hard every day to bring you and your family fresh, great tasting, wholesome milk products.  Almost all dairies are family-owned, and as active members of their communities, farm families take pride in feeding our country and maintaining natural resources.  That means preserving the land where they live and work, protecting the air and water they share with neighbors, and providing the best care for their cows—the lifeblood of their business.

Read more at www.dairyfarming.org

dairy farmer

Some Dairy Facts:

• Average number of cows in milking herd: 70

• Canada has 12,529 dairy farms with almost 1 million cows

• Canadian dairy farmers sell an average of 7.31 billion litres of milk annually to processors

• Three main processors process approximately 80% of the milk produced in Canada

• There are approximately 450 milk processors in Canada

• 700 kinds of cheese are made in Canada

• Sales of milk and dairy products contribute $10 billion to the Canadian economy

• Ontario’s milk production in 2012 was 2.6 billion litres of milk

• The farm gate value of milk from Ontario’s dairy farms is about $1.9 billion annually and  accounts for about 19 per cent of the province’s agricultural production

• Licensed dairy farms in Ontario as of December 2012: 4,100

• Average age of Canadian dairy farmers: 47

• Number of dairy cows in Ontario in 2012: 315,000 milking cows plus 173,000 heifers over one year old.

~ Facts courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Read more about dairy families here:

http://www.prairiefarms.com/about-families-helping-families.aspx 

Following are some other links to information, fact sheets, videos and more, to help you understand a dairy farmer’s life & perspective …

Watch the real life stories of the dairy farmers behind 100% Canadian milk

Life on the Farm

Dairy Farmers of Canada

So God Made a Dairy Farmer

Dairy Farmers of Canada

Ask a Dairy Farmer

Myths vs. Facts

Dairy Nutrition Facts

2014 Milk Calendar 


Farmers’ Voice is a blog that gives Canadian dairy farmers a place to share their stories and talk about life on a dairy farm, in their own words. Written by dairy farmers who provide milk that is among the best in the world, Farmers’ Voice offers an insider perspective on subjects that matter to farmers.  See http://www.dairyfarmers.ca/farmers-voice/

 

 

 

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Climate Change | Water Shortage | Agriculture

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December 29  |  climate change, crops, Editorial, Farm, global warming, Nutrition, Opinion, Research, safe drinking water, water conservation, water preservation, water stewardship  |   Webmaster

While the pundits and partisan experts continue to argue over the validity of global warming, there is little doubt that climate change is a reality.  The rapidly increasing changes in our climate are impacting our water supply.

Scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have calculated how much of this essential resource the world risks losing to the effects of climate change.  Droughts will become more widespread and wildfires are expected to get bigger, longer and smokier by 2050. The growing world population and its increase in water consumption are also straining fresh water resources.  Water sources are melting and drying out.   

37 nations already make do with the bare minimum in water resources, according to experts at the World Resources Institute (WRI), a co-author of the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas.  Massive investments in efficient water management are necessary to counter the effects of water scarcity.

 Agriculture is the world’s largest consumer of water

In times of rising food prices, the agricultural sector has become more interesting for investors. Asian companies, particularly in China, as well as their European counterparts are buying up large swaths of land in Africa to grow food products. They, too, have a vested interest in good harvests and are keen on investment in any aspect of agriculture that offers a significant opportunity to reduce its demand for water. However, technical solutions to save water in agriculture will play only a small role due to the high costs.

Changes in the world’s agriculture and eating habits need to be re-examined

Hunger follows on the heels of water scarcity

Agriculture must change in order to counter dwindling water resources. Climate researchers warn of an increased risk of hunger, in particular in poorer countries, with farmers trying to adapt to cycles of recurring drought and extreme, torrential rains.  One way to counter these extremes is through organic farming, which strengthens the capacity of the soil to absorb water, to enrich it and later deliver it again to the plants.

Organic farming could also limit the spread of diseases and pests without farmers having to resort to pesticides.  Crop rotation and diversity would make it more difficult for diseases and crop destroyers to infest cultivated areas.  This was common practice for many generations before industrial farming began.

In addition, consumers will have to alter their habits in ways that include eating less meat and seeking out crops more attuned to local conditions.  In dry regions of the world, farmers could plant the cereal crop millet, which needs significantly less water than corn.

Another climate-friendly measure: growers and consumers should be located closer to one another to decrease theamount of shipments and transports.

Such changes would help feed a constantly growing global population.  Even today, the world produces enough food for 14 billion people.

We don’t need to produce more foodwhat we need is better quality and more diversity.

 

Source:  http://www.dw.de/climate-change-fuels-water-scarcity-and-hunger/a-17325128

 

 

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Global Warming

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September 29  |  climate change, Editorial, global warming, Latest News, Opinion, Research  |   Webmaster

The Global Warming debated has heated up again, following the recent release of a report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

On one side, the climate change deniers emphasize the fact that global warming has remained relatively stable for the past 17 years.  They maintain that this supports the “Hockey Stick” conclusion that global warming has actually leveled off and therefore not expected to increase in the foreseeable future. 

On the other side, the IPCC continues to insist that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and continues despite regional differences, over a time line of 1400 years.  Furthermore, it maintains that we will see far more dangerous and potentially irreversible impacts in the decades ahead, if we do not choose to reduce global carbon emissions. There has never been a greater urgency to act than there is now.

Which side is right?  Well, maybe they both are, in their own way.  As with most heated / controversial topics,  everyone has their own strong opinion and many will strive mightily to affirm their agenda.  As their almost religious fervor develops, there will  undoubtedly be misdirection, cherry-picking, half-truths, outright falsehoods, and even personal verbal attacks.  At the heart of this controversy is the credibility of the IPCC position and agenda, as well as their format for accepted, qualified peer reviews.

Nevertheless, no one can dispute the facts that polar ice caps are melting and that the world’s oceans are getting warmer, thus setting up even more change for climate patterns around the world.

We urge you all to do your own independent research and make your own informed conclusions.  We have listed some recent links below, to get you started.

http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/press_information.shtml#.Ukh8F3_NmNg

www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5-SPM_Approved27Sep2013.pdf

http://scienceblogs.com/significantfigures/index.php/2013/09/27/what-does-the-2013-ipcc-summary-say-about-water/

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/28/ipcc-climate-change-deniers

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/09/27/un-climate-change-report-dismisses-slowdown-in-global-warming/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420783/computers-got-effects-greenhouse-gases-wrong.html

http://www.colby.edu/sts/controversy/pages/ipcc_controversy.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-27/global-warming-s-slower-pace-hardens-views-on-need-to-act.html

 

 

 

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Water Critical Issue for Farmers`

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March 10  |  Case Studies, Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Opinion  |   Webmaster

This is a very timely and telling story for Canadians.  It’s shocking to think that Canada, a country with more water than almost any other country on the planet, has to worry about water supply. This seemingly inexhaustable supply has always been taken for granted and thus encouraged us to be wasteful and inefficient with our use of water. That can’t continue.

A panel of experts has reported that water is becoming a critical issue for Canadian farmers and better water management needs to start now.

The comprehensive 284-page report, Water and Agriculture in Canada: Towards Sustainable Management of Water Resources is from the Council of Canadian Academies, an independent, nonprofit organization that prepares science-based studies to inform public policy.

The panel identified critical areas, such as risks to water supply, monitoring of water quality and quantity, land management, new farming technologies and governance of water resources.

See the full story by Bob McDonald, science editor for CBC, please click here  …

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Thank God for Farmers

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February 17  |  crops, Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Livestock, Nutrition, Opinion  |   Webmaster

The whole world was buzzing with tweets, emails, facebook comments, and all sorts of social media shortly after the airing of the now famous “So God Made a Farmer” commercial during the Super Bowl football game.  It struck a chord in most people and for a brief moment in time, seemed to transcend the differences between country-folk and city-folk.  It served as a reminder for all of us to pay tribute to that small group of dedicated individuals and families, scattered throughout the land, who help feed and nourish us.   Farming and ranching has a long history and is a cornerstone in our success as a civilization.  Yes, indeed, thank God for farmers.

Farmers Feed Cities

Thank a Farmer

 

 

 

The words in the video are from the speech that Mr. Paul Harvey gave to the 1978 National FFA Convention.   Here is the transcript to this wonderful and inspiring speech:  

So God Made a Farmer

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the township board.” So God made a farmer.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle a calf and yet gentle enough to cradle his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait for lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure to come back real soon and mean it.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year,’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse, who can fix a harness with hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, will put in another 72 hours.” So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to help a newborn calf begin to suckle and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower in an instant to avoid the nest of meadowlarks.”

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, rake, disk, plow, plant, strain the milk, replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with an eight mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his his son says he want to spend his life doing what dad does- “So God made a farmer.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Following are the links for the Dodge Ram ad, the original YouTube video, and other informative sites:

http://www.youtube.com/ram

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuzhwkaNC40

http://www.farms.com/FarmsPages/ChatDeshBoard/ChatThreadView/tabid/146/Default.aspx?chatid=112671

http://www.puroxi.com/archives/5653

I love farmers

 

 

 

 

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It’s all about the Drought!

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August 26  |  crops, Dairy, Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Livestock, Newsletters, Opinion  |   Webmaster

Unless we’ve been in a cave or in outer space for the past few weeks, we are all aware of the severe drought that has been plaguing the Midwest.  Actually, you can see its effects from space:

 http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/us-drought-so-bad-nasa-can-see-it-space.html

This is the worst drought since 1988 and may go on record for causing the worst economic and social effects since the infamous 1930s “Dustbowl”.  It may take years to recover as a nation, but many small & medium size farms may not survive it.

The USDA is issuing weekly updates …

http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/08/24/agricultural-weather-and-drought-update-%e2%80%93-82412/

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=DISASTER_ASSISTANCE

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

It’s estimated that this current drought is affecting over 68% of farmland and over 80% of essential crops in those areas, especially corn, hay, soya beans, etc.  And the effects will be felt across the nation with rising food prices and a strained federal budget to try and offset some of the losses.  Thank God for crop insurance!  Payouts from this year’s drought are expected to set record levels.  Unfortunately, livestock producers and dairy farmers have no such safety net.  Various government levels have tried to open up reserve land for grazing, water-sharing programs, meat buying programs, etc. but it is a drop in the bucket.  Clean water and grazing lands are becoming scarce and feed corn and hay have doubled in price since 2010.

While the debate rages on about whether global warming is the cause or whether this is just one of earth’s cycles of change and the while the policy makers on Capitol Hill bicker about their partisan lobby interests, farmers and ranchers struggle to survive, waiting for the much anticipated Farm Bill to finally become law.  It may be too late or not enough for some.   These dedicated, hearty individuals are used to struggle and adversity and being dependent on Mother Nature.   But they don’t like to depend on any level government.  Emergency drought legislation would surely help right now.

Meanwhile, more and more farmers and ranchers are taking to the internet and social media to stay connected, updated, and to network with others, sharing stories, ideas, and recommendations.  In fact, they have their own hashtag on Twitter: #drought12.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/08/24/159999270/farmers-waiting-out-the-drought-tune-into-twitter

Yes, this has been and will continue to be a very tough year for those dear folks.  Next to oxygen and water, they are responsible for the most important ingredient for our life – FOOD!  We are grateful for their dedication, hard work and pioneer spirit and are proud to be a part of their operations.

Let’s all offer them whatever support we can and pray for them.

 

Following are some links of interest to this ongoing story.  There are many more.

 

http://cropwatch.unl.edu/croprss/-/journal_content/56/1841/4969212?

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/24/us/drought-missouri-dairy-farmers/index.html

http://www.agprofessional.com/news/Farmers-persevering-through-drought-167350075.html

http://farmprogress.com/customPage.aspx?p=382

http://science.time.com/2012/07/18/how-the-drought-of-2012-will-make-your-food-more-expensive/

http://www.businessinsider.com/photos-of-drought-devastating-american-farmland-2012-7?op=1

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/drought/index.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/08/23/f-drought-climate-change.html

http://www.fb.org/

 

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Dairy Farmers left out in the heat with no assistance from govt.

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August 26  |  crops, Dairy, Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Livestock, Opinion  |   Webmaster

“Where’s the Beef?”

Dairy Farmers left to fend for themselves while partisan politics delay the Farm Bill.

No emergency drought assistance forthcoming.

 

The drought pushed fifth-generation dairy farmer Mark Argall out of the business    photo by Brandon Ancil/CNN

 

Small and medium sized dairy farms are barely hanging on, while some are selling off parts of their herd and others unwillingly going out of business, while Capitol Hill drags it feet in passing the omnibus Farm Bill.

The Obama administration earlier this month announced emergency drought assistance that included low-interest emergency loans; a federal buy-up of meat from livestock producers; and the opening up of some protected lands for livestock grazing.

None of those efforts are targeted at dairy farmers, however, dairy advocates say.

Farmers in southern Missouri are selling of dairy cows because their fields have dried up. photo by Brandon Ancil / CNN

 

Missouri’s governor, meanwhile, created a cost-share program to help farmers get access to water for their cattle, but McCallister said that’s more of a Band-Aid than a real solution.

Michael Scuse, under-secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said dairy farmers have not been offered enough of a safety net because Congress has not finalized an omnibus piece of legislation called the Farm Bill.

“Had we had a Farm Bill passed by now, there’s a very good chance we could offer some additional assistance” to dairy farmers who are struggling because of the drought, he said.

Several programs that deal with emergency assistance for livestock owners expired in September 2011; and an insurance program for livestock producers, which he said “never had adequate funding,” will be cut further in September and eliminated by October 1 unless new legislation is passed, he said.

 

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Let’s acknowledge Farmers

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July 23  |  Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Livestock, Newsletters, Opinion  |   Webmaster

Take a Moment to Appreciate Farmers and Ranchers:

We all take the supply and safety of our food for granted, without really thinking of how it got to our grocers.

Please take a moment to view these videos to gain a true appreciation for all those dedicated, hard-working folks who take their responsibilities seriously to keep us fed, well-nourished, and healthy.

YouTube

http://youtu.be/121obbAdQtM      

http://youtu.be/Kg_T3cZm5Ms    

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=uqYTMjintSA     

http://youtu.be/R4rzCJehqn4

 

And here are some interviews and insights from local ranchers and farmers:

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/07/16/what-every-farmer-wants-to-hear-go-usa/?hpt=ea_r2

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/07/03/no-bull-start-a-conversation-with-a-farmer/

 

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