Thursday, April 28, 2011

How Living Off the Grid Works

by Charles W. Bryant

Around the same time each month, millions of Americans go to their mailboxes seeking the comforts of a handwritten letter or their favorite magazine only to be greeted by white envelopes with miniature cellophane windows. We're all familiar with these mailers -- power, water, gas and telephone bills, all conspiring to take your hard-earned money. For most people, paying utility bills is a tiresome and frustrating task. What if there was a way to get out from under the thumb of public utilities and produce your own sustainable energy? Well, there is. Going "off-grid" is becoming an increasingly popular choice for people looking to reduce their carbon footprint, assert their independence and avoid reliance on fossil fuels.

"The grid" is a common name for the power grid -- the linked system that delivers electricity to the masses. A typical house is connected to power, natural gas, water and telephone lines. Going off the grid means shunning these public utilities in favor of creating your own energy. Some homeowners choose to be partially off the grid by supplying their own electricity and ditching their phone line, while relying on the convenience of city water and sewage. Others choose to live completely off-grid by digging wells or using a cistern system to collect water. A septic tank takes care of the sewage and, just like that, no more water bill either... read more story at

From Facebook to Farm Hand: How Crop Mobs Grow Agricultural Social Networks (Video)

Image credit: Perennial Plate

by Sami Grover, Carrboro, NC, USA

I've been following with interest the development of "crop mobs" for some time now. Empowered by social networking, these impromptu gatherings of volunteer farm laborers are bringing back the idea of the barn raising, and demonstrating that we all have an interest in making sure our farmers continue to thrive. I've just come across an awesome video of one Minnesota crop mob featuring enthusiastic mobsters, a very vocal accordionist, and a whole bunch of wine.

Created by The Perennial Plate - the same folks who brought us a hauntingly beautiful video about hunting and eating roadkill in Minnesota - this episode cuts to the heart of why crop mobs are so important. This isn't about replacing farm labor, or "playing at being a farmer". It's about making connections between people who grow our food, and the people who eat (or drink) their crops... read more story at

It sure looks like fun.

The Perennial Plate Episode 30: Crop Mob from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Food Is The New Frontier In Green Tech

by Ali Partovi

Around Earth Day, we’re reminded about global warming and pollution, as well as the “green” technologies and consumer choices that may save our planet. We don’t hear as much about agriculture, one of the world’s largest polluters, nor do we appreciate the environmental impact of our diet.

According to research by the World Resources Institute, agriculture is mankind’s biggest contributor to climate change, generating at least 26 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide — more than from all electricity and industry or from all the world’s planes, trains and automobiles. Other estimates suggest agriculture generates 36 percent of emissions.

Feeding the growing world population using today’s practices is increasingly unsustainable. Just as we need new technologies in areas like renewable energy, we need more “renewable” approaches to producing the most primal form of energy: food. Brace yourself for this two-minute video from the University of Minnesota, which summarizes the problem with some startling more story at GreenTech

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Canadians overwhelmingly support regulated expansion of national aquaculture industry

OTTAWA, April 20, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - A new survey reveals the majority of Canadians support national legislation to govern and enable the growth of our aquaculture industry.

Conducted from April 7 - 14, 2011, the survey found that eight in ten Canadians (81 percent) either strongly support (40 percent) or somewhat support (41 percent) a national Aquaculture Act. Only 4 percent oppose national legislation.

Even in British Columbia - where campaigns opposing aquaculture are most active - 79 percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat support the development of an Aquaculture Act. More than six in ten Canadians indicated support for national legislation, saying the country needs national standards for the industry (69 percent) and a framework for industry growth (60 percent).

"Canadians overwhelmingly support our call for a federal Aquaculture Act," said Ruth Salmon, Executive Director of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA). "Canada's finfish and shellfish farmers have long been advocating for sustainable expansion and efficient regulations, and this survey confirms the Canadian public recognizes the social, economic and nutritional benefits our sustainable industry provides."

Currently, the Canadian aquaculture industry is governed by 73 pieces of often conflicting rules and regulations, making Canada's aquaculture industry one of the most heavily-regulated in the world. Canada is also the world's only major farmed seafood producing country without national legislation specifically designed to govern and enable its aquaculture industry.

The survey also found that almost nine in ten Canadians (88 percent) have eaten seafood in the past three months and that over 70 percent of respondents feel it's important to get fresh protein year-round, food that's locally-grown, and food grown in an environmentally sustainable way.

"Demand for seafood is on the rise as consumers opt for healthier lifestyle choices," said Salmon. "If the industry were able to expand in an efficiently regulated manner, we would be in a position to meet growing domestic and international demand for our product - something we currently can't do."

Abacus Data Inc. conducted the online survey among 1,196 randomly selected Canadian adults from an online panel of over 75,000 Canadians, who were randomly selected to join the panel by telephone. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is comparable to +/-2.9%, 19 times out of 20.

The detailed findings from the survey can be found here:,_2011_FINAL.pdf

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Can Small Sustainable Farms Feed the World?

by Sami Grover, Carrboro, NC, USA

Nick Ziggelbaum over at Cane Creek Farm—a purveyor of some of the most delicious sustainably-reared pork and beef I have ever tasted—has clearly got tired of answering questions about the viability of small-scale sustainable agriculture to feed the world. In a post entitled Feeding the Masses, Nick cites the UN report on how agroecology could double food production,and lays out why hunger is primarily a problem of distribution, not production. He also makes the case for why we need to move away from feeding grains to animals as much as possible.

Finally, he points out a bitter irony of the world hunger problem—many of the poorest people most at risk of hunger are indeed farmers:

The poorest people in the world, the ones that are starving, are FARMERS. Supporting localized, sustainable food systems around the world means funneling money towards the people that need it in order to buy food. You might think it strange that farmers don't have access to food, but many of these farmers don't actually own the food they grow. They work for corporations, which own the crop that is barely edible anyway for people (feed grade corn is not the sweet corn of late summer). If we buy more food from small farmers we empower them to grow a more diverse crop, increase their profit and our money comes back through the local economy in the form of jobs (construction, labor, mechanics, trucking).

He's got me convinced. Anyone else care to argue?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Make This Easter Weekend a Safe One on and Near the Water

Water levels expected to be near normal this year following 2010 drought

TORONTO, April 19, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is reminding people to Stay Clear and Stay Safe this Easter Weekend. Winter's last gasp means spring freshet is delayed in some regions, which means faster than normal water can be expected near OPG's dams.

"The water this time of year is very cold and riverbanks are slippery. The best thing to do is keep a safe distance and make sure your Easter Weekend is a safe one," said OPG's John Murphy, Executive Vice President - Hydro.

Murphy noted that the company was expecting most lakes and rivers it manages will see normal water levels this year.

"We've got good snow pack in some regions, others had more than 30 cms of snow on the weekend and we're getting good rainfall too. The information we've seen so far indicates that 2011 will be a normal year for precipitation. This is a sharp contrast to 2010 when we had record droughts resulting in many reservoirs having lower than normal water levels," he said.

Murphy explained that each year OPG lowers the levels in the reservoirs and lakes feeding into its power dams. This is done in anticipation of spring rains and snow melts.

"People coming up to their cottage or camp may see some low water at this time of year but if we get normal freshet and rain then levels will be back to normal averages," Murphy added.

He also noted that many lakes managed by OPG are in fact reservoirs that were created for power generation.

OPG manages the water levels and flows on many rivers and lakes based on water management plans approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources. These plans are established after consultation with stakeholders, and factor in such things as water levels and water flows for fish and wildlife, recreational and commercial use, and downstream users such as water treatment plants and power generation.

"It's always a balancing act. We manage what nature provides us and try to make sure everyone gets their share of this valuable resource," Murphy said.

Water War Erupts in Erin, Ontario as Town Council Proposes Mandatory Hook-up to Town Water - at Homeowners' Expense

ERIN, Ontario, April 18, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Erin, Ontario, the largest municipality in the province with no sewage treatment plant, is the site of escalating controversy in light of Town Council's proposal of mandatory hook-up to the municipal water supply for a small group of households and businesses located adjacent to Town water lines. Council is proposing by-law amendments at a meeting Tuesday, April 19 that could force approximately 100 homeowners to spend what the Town Water Superintendent estimates to be between $13,000- $17,000 per household to personally pay to decommission their wells and connect. The move is intended to offset a deficit water management situation created over the past several years.

"The only problem being addressed here is overspending of the Town's water budget," said Howard McRae, a local resident championing fairness on the issue of the water by-law. "Affected homeowners who responded to a water survey conducted over the last few days indicate no existing problems with water quality or quantity from their wells - so whose agenda is this and why wasn't the issue raised during the recent municipal election? And how fair is it for just 100 households to be forced to bear the brunt of balancing the community's water budget?"

In an April 15th memo to Council from Frank Smedley, Water Superintendent for the Town of Erin, revenue from the proposed hook-up is projected at $601,028 collected from the 100 households. Also under consideration by Council is a proposed water rate increase that would impact existing and new system users and which would net another $1.1 million in revenue by the end of 2019, Smedley reports. Erin and neighbouring Hillsburgh, also affected, are located northwest of Brampton.

"In Hillsburgh there are a number of smaller homes occupied by first-timebuyers like myself, and in this economy, we have no buffer to pay for this," said homeowner Jaime Baker. "If these by-law amendments go through, all the houses in my neighbourhood could be devalued and young families might be unable to sell and could be forced to walk away from their homes. This is a devastating possibility for everyone affected."

A consulting report recently completed on behalf of the Town of Erin did not advocate these measures, instead providing options for the Town to balance the water budget within three years without putting onerous pressure on residents. Another major Planning Report called SSMP which will lay out the blueprint for the area, is due within months, and 90 percent of residents surveyed indicate they would like Council to wait for that report before making by-law changes.

An editorial in the Erin Advocate of April 6 described the proposed by-law change as "a draconian measure" given Council has proposed withholding Building Permits for certain home improvements until homeowners sign up. And once homeowners hook onto the system, they can anticipate an estimated average spend of $1200 annually for the use of Town water. Retirees in the area have expressed grave concern about the sudden capital outlay and increased ongoing costs.

The Town of Erin has an ample and high-quality water source which accounts for why the Town hasn't previously needed to adopt wide-scale centralized sewage and water treatment to date. Ironically, the Town of Erin itself has the best of both worlds because in addition to using its own Municipal water, the Town draws on well water to service the local hockey arena and water a downtown park.

"It seems to me that the Town is setting a poor example when one or more of its own properties are serviced by both municipal water and a private well," a resident's submission to Council states.

McRae added that since implementing a sewage treatment system may be next, many think it would be preferable to hold off and install both more waterlines and sewer pipes at the same time - which would be fair to all residents and keep costs down through economies of scale and potentially accessing government grants.

"Ratepayers here simply can't understand why the sudden urgency to push through these amendments when the SSMP study will be completed within months. It just doesn't make common sense - like putting the cart before the horse," McRae said.

As many as 100 people are expected to turn out to express their opinions to Town Council at the Tuesday meeting slated for 7:30 p.m. For details go to and for opinions on the matter, see radio broadcasters "The Motts" site at (go to Sound Off tab).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Farming with Animals the Right Way

Image credit: Punkle's Farm

by Sami Grover, Carrboro, NC, USA

From the sustainability benefits of goat meat to what veganic farming actually looks like, there's been much discussion here lately about the proper role of domesticated animals on the farm. (If indeed there is one.) Here's one farmer's beautifully shot, and powerfully argued, take on why humanely-reared animals play a crucial role in maintaining the nutrient cycle on a working farm.

NASTY FREE - PUNKLE'S FARM from Punkle's Farm on Vimeo.

Farms as Ecosystems

Filmed at Punkle's Farm in Ontario, the video above makes a powerful case for careful, integrated and holistic management of farmland for truly sustainable agriculture. "We don't grow veggies, we grow soil." says farmer Matt (Punkle?). Covering everything from careful soil management to potato towers as a means to grow food vertically in less space, this video checks a lot of the boxes for sustainable agriculture even before we get to the topic of animals.

Animal Husbandry in Sustainable Farming

Nevertheless, from chicken tractors to pigs turning the compost (and of course providing heaps and heaps of manure), this is about as good a case as I have seen for why animals can, and maybe should, be part of a truly sustainable farm. True, as the great video from Huguenot Street Farm showed, compost can be made without animals, and a solar powered tractor is a great fossil-fuel free alternative to oil. Nevertheless, well managed animal husbandry can be a great replacement for both human and mechanical labor, not to mention imported nutrient inputs.

Whatever your views on farming and animals, I hope we can all agree that this is streets ahead of the industrial agricultural competition. I can't see Mr Punkle having a problem with anyone photographing his farm.

More on Sustainable Agriculture and Holistic Farming

Growing Rice in Vermont and Designing for Peak Oil
Goat Meat as an Ethical Alternative to Beef
What Vegan or Veganic Farming Actually Looks Like
Eating Your Friends: Homesteading with Animals

Will Robot Farmers Feed A Growing Population?

Guelph Farmers Market - Image Credit Lloyd Alter

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto

Just when we are all getting excited about local food and hipster farmers, Emily Sohn of Discovery News tells us that in fact, robots might be taking over. The latest robots can handle the difficult stuff that requires careful, labour intensive picking, like grapes and strawberries. They are also immune to pesticides and chemicals and can replace itinerant workers.

Sohn quotes one researcher from a country where the itinerant workers are now in short supply:

"The technology is ready, and now we can start seeing this penetrating into the market," said Yael Edan, an engineer and robotics researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. "I would say there will definitely be robots out there in five years -- maybe not be on every farm, and maybe not for every farmer. I think now the time is there."

It appears to be a difficult task, needing complex algorithms, multi-spectral cameras, intelligent sensing systems and complicated grasping tools. But it solves a real problem:

In many cases, there are challenges finding labor to do some of the harvesting of strawberries and other fruits and vegetables," [agricultural engineer Bernie] Engel said. "It's hard work. There's a timeliness factor, where you can't wait a week. You need lots of labor for fairly short periods of time, which creates real challenges for keeping people employed in a sustainable manner."

One has to wonder about the future of our food. Yesterday Jaymi pitched Sunless Farming Touted as Answer to World Food Problems; today it's farms may soon be staffed by autonomous robots.

Ruben Anderson pointed out in response to Jaymi's post that " A century ago a farmer could spend one calorie of energy and grow 100 calories of food." How much energy does it take to build a robot? How much chemical fertilizer and pesticide do we have to use? Instead, How many different crops can we grow so that work loads can be spread out, and why not pay a farm worker a decent wage and pay the farmer a decent price for his produce?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter Weekend at the Canada Agriculture Museum

OTTAWA, Ontario April 13, 2011 Canada NewsWire

Spring is in the air at the Canada Agriculture Museum this Easter weekend! After a long winter, the barns have come alive with the arrival of newborn animals. Welcome the soft lambs, meet a rabbit, and watch the newly hatched chicks from up close. In the demonstration kitchen, help Museum staff to make a variety of Easter breads and even taste a sample. Don’t miss the annual egg hunt, and the “signs of spring” trivia found in the barns. The Museum is located at the Central Experimental Farm, Prince of Wales Drive, between the traffic circle and Baseline Road.

When: April 22 to 25, 2011
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Canada Agriculture Museum
Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa


Meet the Chicks: Can a chick hatch from one of the eggs in your fridge? How long does it take for a chick to gestate within the egg? Get the answers to your questions about chickens and meet the newborn chicks.

Extraordinary Eggs! : Eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore…they can be fun and fascinating too! Discover all kinds of interesting facts about eggs, compare types, and examine uniquely decorated examples. See an antique egg grading machine in action with these interesting eggs-periments!

Easter Egg Hunt for Tots: Children six and under can take on the challenge of finding eggs hidden throughout the Museum grounds and will be rewarded with a sweet treat.

Making Bread for Easter: Did you know that Hot Cross Buns aren’t the only type of bread eaten at Easter? Learn about the many different types of traditional breads made to celebrate the season.

Meet the Rabbits: Find out interesting details about the rabbit’s life cycle as well as the reasons for the rabbit’s close association with Easter.

General information: Visit or call 613-991-3053. Parking is free.

Be a Force For Nature - Become a Conservation Volunteer! during National Volunteer Week

TORONTO, April 13, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Become a Force for Nature this (April 10-16) as the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) invites you sign up for one of over 50 Conservation Volunteers events and have an adventure in conservation.

Across Canada, NCC's Conservation Volunteers program is working to protect Canada's natural areas. This unique program takes Canadians outdoors to experience the beauty of nature while working to protect and care for some of our most precious wildlife and natural areas.

"It may be a simple gift of their time, but by joining an event, volunteers are part of something bigger - they're helping to protect the habitats and wildlife around them," explains Lisa McLaughlin, Conservation Volunteers program manager at NCC. "Volunteers work alongside professional conservationists and get to see the impact of their work first-hand!"

The program gives people of all ages the opportunity to volunteer while learning new skills, exploring unique places, and observing rare species in the wild. With events planned right across the country, there will be something for everyone.

Whether helping to provide a safe haven for endangered species, removing invasive species that choke out native plants in many regions , or planting trees, shrubs and bulbs, Conservation Volunteers play a vital role in NCC's mission to protect the pristine natural areas. Without volunteers, NCC could not achieve its conservation goals.

"The events that are my favourites are ones that have a learning or teaching element connected to them," said Tony Irwin, a Conservation Volunteer in British Columbia. "The work is striving to restore the areas to what they were like before, which sometimes involves removing invasive species and planting native ones. One of the reasons I joined the NCC was to learn how they were doing the restoration and find out what I should be doing on my own property."

Register now for this year's Conservation Volunteers events during National Volunteer Week and become a Force for Nature! Visit NCC's website to find an event near you!


...Almost 1,200 volunteers, contributed approximately 7,300 hours of volunteer work through the Conservation Volunteers program last year.

...Events in 2011 include planting prairie grass in Ontario, cleaning beach habitat for endangered Piping Plovers in Nova Scotia, clearing out nesting sites for endangered Spiny Softshell turtles in Quebec and planting marsh plants for Chinook Salmon smolt.

...Events start in mid-April and will run until late November throughout the country.

...These events are for all ages, including children, retirees, families, teens and groups of friends looking for a fun way to get outdoors and help.

...Since the program's national launch in 2008, thousands of people have nurtured nature at Conservation Volunteers events coast to coast.

...In 2010, volunteers worked to protect 7,000 acres (2,830 hectares) of land; while planting over 15,000 native plants and trees, collecting over 100 bags of garbage, removing invasive plants and recording endangered and common species on the properties.

...The Conservation Volunteers program provides a unique and fun way to experience nature while learning about the world around us.

As a proud supporter of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Toshiba Canada is providing digital camcorders to support the Conservation Volunteers Roving Reporters across the country. The Roving Reporters will capture short and fun video clips of Conservation Volunteers at work.

Learn More

...Sign up for an event at

...Follow us on Twitter:

...Become a fan on Facebook

...See volunteers at work on NCC's Flickr Page

...Check out what volunteers are saying about the program

To register for events taking place in your area visit

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2 million acres (800,000 hectares), coast to coast. To learn more visit:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Egg Farmers of Ontario Announce New Entrant Program

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, April 8, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Last week, at Egg Farmers of Ontario's (EFO) 46th Annual Meeting held at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel, a New Entrant Quota Loan Pool was introduced to attendees. The aim of the Policy is to help individuals enter the Ontario egg industry.

EFO's Board of Directors began exploring the possibility of such a program in late 2009 and throughout 2010 they looked to other province's programs for insight and encouraged input from EFO egg & pullet farmers.

"We are pleased to provide this opportunity for individuals to join Ontario's egg industry," said EFO Chair Carolynne Griffith. "It is something we've been working towards and are excited it's now come to fruition."

In order to be eligible for EFO's New Entrant Quota Loan Pool, an applicant must:

...Be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant;

...Be a permanent resident of Ontario;

...Not have held quota, currently or in the past, of any type in the supply-managed sector (egg, pullet, chicken, turkey, dairy or hatching eggs);

...Successful applicants will be required to purchase quota based on a 1:2 ratio;
Priority will be given to persons between the ages of 18 and 45.

"This is a permanent, long term program designed to add new farmers to our ranks," Griffith explains (see the New Entrant Policy Fact Sheet under "How does it work?" section). "It's a great way to ensure constant renewal of our industry."

Applicants who meet the above criteria will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of well-respected and knowledgeable industry representatives. EFO will act as a resource for the committee. The committee members are:

Laurent Souligny, Past Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada
Darryl Ball, OMAFRA
Craig Bremner, TD Canada Trust
Robert Loree, Ward & Uptigrove
Junior Farmers' Association of Ontario

To apply, interested individuals must complete and submit an application form (available through EFO) along with a $100.00 non-refundable fee. Applicants are also encouraged to submit a Business Plan with their application. Successful applicants will be required to purchase quota based on a 1:2 ratio (1 unit purchased, 2 loaned). Applications will be accepted immediately up to and including May 31, 2011.

Monday, April 4, 2011 Now Open for Registration

- New website grows the Business of Local Food -

TORONTO, April 4, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Great news! Starting today, a groundbreaking online marketplace will be available for registration to help everyone involved in local food grow their business. Whether a farmer, producer, chef, caterer, buyer or foodservice distributor, will provide new opportunities to source local food quickly and easily.

The site will provide buyers with the opportunity to find new local food sources that are right for their business. While, farmers will be able to make new business connections with buyers who are interested in the products they raise and/or grow.

" will provide new economic opportunities and benefits for our agribusiness community," commented Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. "Now is the time to make changes to help more Ontario food reach our public institutions and beyond."

Information collected on the site will help to populate it with four profile types: farmers, buyers, distributors and friends/supporters. Via a short survey profiles will be built that address questions such as, location, availability, seasonality, traceability and more. The business focus of the site will make connections between buyers and producers, building a community that celebrates Ontario food.

Throughout the spring and summer, information will be collected and profiles built to prepare for the full launch in September. Pre-registration opens today online at or by calling 1-888-249-9399 or 647-426-8420.

Don't wait, join today!

Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation:

Ontario's Greenbelt is over 1.8 million acres of green space, farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands, and watersheds - all permanently protected by world-leading legislation. In return, the Greenbelt gives back much to Ontario, providing $5.4 billion to Ontario's economy through farming and food production, and $2.6 billion in ecosystem services annually.

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is working to help farmers in the Greenbelt be more successful; to protect and enhance natural features; and to strengthen local economies. To learn more about the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, please visit

Be a part of Milk Calendar history

Dairy Farmers of Canada invites Milk Calendar fans to vote on all-time favourite recipes for 35th anniversary edition

TORONTO, April 4, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - It has been the centrepiece of kitchen walls across the country for 35 years; it has inspired millions of meals; and its recipes are passed down through generations. The Milk Calendar is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2012, and Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is inviting Canadians to become a part of its history. For the first time ever, DFC is compiling the Milk Calendar's greatest hits into a special collector's edition.

From now until April 27th, Canadians are invited to vote for their favourite Milk Calendar recipes at or by phoning 1-866-514-5773 and to take part in creating what is sure to be the ultimate Milk Calendar.

"The Milk calendar holds a special place in the hearts of Canadians," said Jennifer MacKenzie, Milk Calendar recipe developer. "It is so wonderful that Milk Calendar enthusiasts are being given the chance to be a part of this long standing tradition - who better than loyal fans to choose which recipes will make the final cut."

DFC has reviewed hundreds of Milk Calendar recipes and chosen the top 10 in six different categories - soups and salads, side dishes, main meals with meat, meatless main meals, desserts and baked goods.

Once the voting has been tallied, the recipes which received the most votes will be featured on the monthly pages of the special 35th anniversary edition. DFC will work with recipe developer Jennifer MacKenzie to update each of the winning recipes to reflect 2012 nutrition considerations. For those food aficionados who eat with their eyes, stunning new recipe photos will be part of this special edition, and new recipe demonstration videos will also be posted on

Canadians can find out the results of the Milk Calendar recipes voting on Saturday, November 19, 2011 when the special 35th anniversary edition appears in local daily newspapers and online at

About Dairy Farmers of Canada

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. DFC works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy producers and to promote quality Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Extreme Sheephearding

What sheep herders do when they're bored; Extreme Sheephearding

This video will put a smile on your face. Can't imagine anyone going to all this work.

Best Online Videos | - A collection of the best online videos

Friday, April 1, 2011

Canadians Asked How Health Care can be Improved with Information Technology

Imagine an innovative approach to make our health and health care better using information or communications technologies - what's your idea?

TORONTO, March 31, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) today launched its ImagineNation Ideas Challenge, asking Canadians how they would improve health and health care through innovation in information and communications technologies (ICT).

Infoway is looking for bold, new ideas — or creative combinations of existing ideas — and will award more than $35,000 to recognize the leading ideas. All Canadians - whether they work in the health system, receive health services, or care about the future of health care in Canada for other reasons - are invited to participate. Individuals or teams of up to five people may enter at

"How many times have you thought 'if only there were a digital solution that would do this faster or make it easier to provide great care' but didn't know how to share your idea?," said Dr. Jennifer Zelmer, Senior Vice President, Clinical Adoption and Innovation, Canada Health Infoway. "Now is your chance to share your inspiration and perhaps be recognized for your creativity in the process."

Submissions will be accepted until May 15, 2011. Ideas will be evaluated against four criteria by an esteemed panel of experts. The top ideas will be announced in early July. A special "Canada's Choice Award" selected by the public through online voting will also be announced at that time. Canadians are encouraged to participate by both submitting and voting on ideas. Further information about the ImagineNation Ideas Challenge, including the submission process and evaluation criteria can be found at

Why a Challenge? Why now?

Challenges are a good way of eliciting and spreading innovation: In an Ipsos survey conducted in the fall of 2010 gathering information about Canadians' priorities for consumer health solutions, 85 per cent of respondents agreed that running challenges like this one was a good way to get and test new ideas about how to provide health information products and services. Almost eight in ten also said that they would be proud if someone in their community took part in a challenge. Infoway has committed to engage in open challenges to encourage broader innovation in a cost-effective and timely way, while fostering a community of innovators across the country. The ImagineNation Ideas Challenge is part of Infoway's ongoing innovation program.

About Canada Health Infoway:

Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of information and communications technology projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.