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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

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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. 

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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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Things you should know before criticizing food production

By Leslie Ballentine, farming and food commentator

This past year, a University of Manitoba student was inspired by a campus talk she heard by the Ontario Farm Animal Council.  So inspired, in fact, that she wrote a thought-provoking article in the student newspaper. Titled: Things you should know before criticizing food production, the article is directed to the students on campus. But I think it should be directed to everyone. And it is food for thought to start the year.

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Posted by FFC on January 3rd, 2012 :: Filed under Environment,Family vs factory farming,Food safety,Housing,Innovation and technology,Misconceptions
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Farm kids are just a little different

 Farm kids are just a little different

By Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

Even though a farm kid looks the same as their non-farming classmates and friends, inside is a completely different story.
I have a nephew who lives in town.  He’s just a few months older than my son. My nephew does spend a fair amount of time on the farm, but not enough to completely erase the differences.  When the boys were younger, my nephew had started talking while my son had just a few words in his vocabulary.  If you asked them what a cow said, my nephew would dutifully say “mooo”.  My son had his own way of answering that question.  He would tip his head back, push his lips out, and make a “mmmmmm” sound.  It was very cute to watch him try to mimic the cows.

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Posted by FFC on December 13th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Consumers,Dairy cattle,Family vs factory farming,Farm life
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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?

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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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Vacation? What’s that?

by Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

Growing up, I always heard about the family vacations my friends were going on. Trips to Florida to escape the snow, flights to other parts of Canada or the world for a relaxing escape, and weekend getaways were talked about on a regular basis, but the conversations were always hard for me to join.

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Posted by FFC on May 31st, 2011 :: Filed under Animal health,Family vs factory farming,Farm life
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Bambi and the cows

by Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

Farmers see some strange things on their farms.  Sometimes things will happen that are completely unexpected – yet absolutely beautiful reminding us,  first-hand, what nature can do.

One day, while I was at university studying agricultural science, I got a call from my mom at home on our farm.  The call wasn’t unusual -  but the story she was about to tell me certainly was. 

One day, while out checking the beef cattle, they noticed a young fawn in the same pasture as the cattle.  Over the next few days, my family noticed the fawn was always within sight of the cattle – but never too close.  They never saw a doe, and were wondering who was caring for this little fawn.

Bambi in the field with the cows.

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Posted by FFC on May 19th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Beef cattle,Family vs factory farming,Farm life,Uncategorized,Wildlife,winter
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In the field with a farming father

Guest Blog by Jeanine Moyer Jeanine was raised on a pig, beef cattle and crop farm in Ontario

Growing up on our farm meant that quality time spent with dad was ‘seasonal’. Cold winter days would keep dad in the house where my siblings and I could play and spend time with him. But as soon as spring came we knew our time with dad would be limited to those short hours at mealtimes and on rainy days.

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Posted by FFC on May 3rd, 2011 :: Filed under Crops,Family vs factory farming,Farm life,spring
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Food animals are not pets

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

The following letter to Reader’s Digest points out that even veterinarians can have misplaced views about animals.

Dear Editor:

The recent issue of Readers Digest carries an editorial titled “Food For Thought:  Pets are family, but chickens are food?” Written by a rural vet in Quebec, this editorial claims to “examine our changing view of other creatures” to make an argument for applying the same standards to food animals as we do our pets.

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Posted by FFC on April 21st, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Consumers,Family vs factory farming,Letters to the Editor,Veterinarians
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What is a ‘factory farm’ anyway? – Part 2

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

The over-used term “factory farm” never seems to be defined. Many farmers and others who work in the agriculture business consider it an insulting term, much like a racial slur that shouldn’t be tolerated.  Here is what one farmer thinks.

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Posted by FFC on March 23rd, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Education and public awareness,Family vs factory farming,Letters to the Editor,Sustainability of the family farm
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