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August 2021

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Health… welfare… planet

Mike McMorris, CEO of the Ontario-based Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, spoke to Gentec about consumers’ perceptions of agriculture, the “big things” that drive their purchasing decisions and how producers should be paying attention to avoid the tipping point beyond which livestock = bad. Read more here.

REPORT: Trust in agri-food innovation in the face of decreasing public confidence

Most consumers are too far removed from agriculture or unaware of how food gets from the farm to the table, creating a climate of uncertainty and allowing for the spread of disinformation. Nonetheless, public trust is essential for ensuring the continued success and growth of the agri-food sector. The Agri-food Innovation Council hosted a webinar with guests Dr. Jill E. Hobbs from USask, Mr. John Jamieson from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity and Dr. Jeff Kinder from the Institute on Governance. Check out the key points here or the full video above.

Gentec at AgSmart: Summary and insight

It was with eager anticipation and much preparation that Gentec emerged from pandemic-imposed virtual events to participate in person in the 2nd annual AgSmart agricultural education event hosted by Olds College on August 10-11, 2021. See our summary of the event and connections made here.

"Made in Alberta by Albertans"

Alberta's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced in July that local produce could soon carry a little sticker with these very words.

Gentec-associated researcher Ellen Goddard provided the background context for the CBC in this article., and provides some more thoughts here.

PODCAST: Cows on the Planet

Join Gentec-associated researcher Tim Mcallister as well as former Gentec Director of Industry Liaison Tom Lynch-Staunton, and Kim Stanford and Kim Ominski for new episodes of Cows on the Planet every other week. This podcast provides a balanced perspective on issues important to the beef industry with a focus on sharing science-based information to increase public confidence in Canadian beef production practices and consumption of Canadian beef. Click here to check out the series. Also available on Amazon Music and Apple Podcasts.

Food in the fridge is the result of complex interactions, says winner of the Alberta Young Speakers for Agriculture competition

So many Canadians are generations away from the farm and struggle to understand what agriculture involves. Instagram "farm stars" who sanitize the truth don't help. One young man, whose family are still farmers, does a fine job of connecting the dots between food waste, food security and food policy. He even won a prize for writing about it. Read more here.

What consumers want

Actually, it depends on where they live, as demonstrated by results from the Spring 2021 Canada Beef Global Consumer Survey, although common themes emerged among the consumers polled in the US, Canada, Great Britain, China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Mexico and Vietnam. The results will inform long-term strategic market development in each country. Read more here.

Beef cattle and the carbon cycle

The Beef Cattle Research Council has just launched a fantastic new webpage on Canada's ability to store carbon in prairie grasslands and other carbon sinks--and how those link to beef production. The webpage is informative, easy to read, and cuts through a lot of the confusion about carbon storage and disinformation on the role of cattle in managing the prairies. Read more here.

VIDEO. Eating less meat won't save the planet

Check out this video discussion featuring Dr. Frank Mitloehner. Among the disinformation he debunks is the fact that cows aren't the only ones producing methane. Food waste in landfills is another enormous contributor--but largely ignored so far. Get all the details and fascinating stats from the video.

Carbon-negative farming?

AgMission (a partnership between the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research and the US Farmers and Ranchers in Action) believes it is possible to bring ag-related GHGs down to a negative 4%. This might be an eyebrow raiser but there's precedent, as demonstrated in this study led by The Nature Conservancy to find natural climate solutions for the US. Find out more here.

Golden rice approved in the Philippines

Golden rice is a GMO with a higher content of Vitamin A, which combats Vitamin A deficiency and related blindness in 500,000 children/year. In the 20-odd years since it was developed, it has been approved as safe for consumption by Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US. However, the Philippines--where rice is a staple--is the first Asian country to approve it for direct use in food and feed. Read more here.

Long hot dry summer

Hot on the heels of 2020's COVID-related hardships in the cattle industry, this year, the long drought in the Prairies is causing ranchers to reduce their herds. However, selling breeding stock will slow down their eventual economic recovery. Read more here.

Events

September 7. Ag in Motion: Livestock Day
September 14-16. Canada's Outdoor Farm Show. Woodstock, ON
September 18-21. Leman Swine Conference. Minneapolis, US
September 21. ABIC Speaker Series. Dr Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of CRISPR
September 23-26. Annual World Beef Expo. Milwaukee, US
September 28. GIS and Smart Farming
September 28-October 2, 2021. World Dairy Expo. Madison, US
 
October 6-7. Alberta Livestock Expo. Lethbridge, AB
October 12-14. 4th Animal Gut Health & Nutrition Summit 2021. Durham, US
October 20-22. Leman China Swine Conferencea and World Swine Industry Expo, China
October 25-26. AIC 2021 – Agri-food research and innovation in service of a net-zero carbon economy. Toronto, ON
October 26. Supply Chain Logistics and Sustainability
October 27-28. International Conference on Survivability in Swine. Omaha, US

The lighter side: RFID jewellery?

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