Ontario Agriculture

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February 2017 Blog Posts (15)

We're home!

After 7 flights, 2 countries, 5 hotels, 4 different buses and a dozen or more farm visits, we are home again! What an adventure we all shared over the last 12 days. We experienced so much as a class, whether it was learning new leadership skills, to eating crickets, to meeting with fellow Canadians working in Vietnam. We also have a new appreciation for how certain foods are grown – like bananas, coffee, tea, coconuts, rice and pepper (to name a few); foods that many of us enjoy…

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Added by AALP on February 28, 2017 at 5:00am — No Comments

Thai Agri-Tourism

Today we left the big city lights of Bangkok for the countryside. How refreshing to step out of the bus onto Baan Susan Chamchoen Farm and meet the owner Mr Somsak and his wife. With great passion and enthusiasm he toured us through his mixed fruit farm, combining agro tourism with fruit production and 20 value-added products. The King, a great supporter of agriculture, had advised all farmers to diversify. As such, Mr Somsak has a unique intercropping system combining  banana, coconut and…

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Added by AALP on February 26, 2017 at 3:30am — No Comments

Temples and Snakes and Boats...Oh My!

Battling through the chaos and heat of Bangkok, Class 16 spent a full day experiencing some of the interesting sites in the city.

Our first stop of the morning was at the Red Cross Snake Farm, nestled on a 'quieter' side street right in Bangkok. The Snake Farm is a part of the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute and the Thai Red Cross Society. In the early 1900s, one of the King’s daughters died of rabies. At that time, there were facilities around the world that had made…

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Added by AALP on February 25, 2017 at 3:30am — No Comments

Goodbye Vietnam, Hello Bangkok; The Land of Freedom, Buddha, and Heat!

AALP Class 16 had our earliest start so far this trip, heading out of the heart of Hanoi at 6:20 am to the airport to catch our flight to Bangkok, Thailand! Upon arrival, we maneuvered through the chaos of the busy Bangkok airport, reminding us of home and the hustle and bustle of the Toronto airport. We were greeted by our tour guide, North, and headed out on a tour of the city!

North treated us to a bunch of great trivia and facts about the city during our slow slog through…

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Added by AALP on February 24, 2017 at 7:13am — No Comments

Exploring Thien Canh Son Caves

After a great night’s sleep at sea, we got energized for the day ahead with a group Tai Chi lesson on the top deck of the Victory cruise ship. We enjoyed coffee and tea and a light breakfast while we made our way to Thien Canh Son cave, which means mountain landscape in the heavens.

The cave is located on Bai Tu Long Bay and set below a stone cliff. It was…

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Added by AALP on February 23, 2017 at 8:35am — No Comments

A tour through Ha Long Bay

The day started early on the bus on route to Ha Long Bay. In between class discussion on graduation and learning about the skills and attributes of leaders that inspire us, we stopped at a rice paddy and vegetable farm (onions, lettuce, cabbage, Chinese stem mustard, Poi spinach, basil). We were all surprised to learn that the majority of small scale rice farmers are not supporting their families through farming, but have a day to day job, and the rice they produce serves merely to put food…

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Added by AALP on February 22, 2017 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Northern Vietnam - Historic Hanoi

Our first day in Hanoi started early with a tour out of the city and then off to a village to visit a local market and see the gardens where fresh vegetables and fruit are produced for Hanoi. The class excitement  could be felt as the experience was an authentic stop where tourists do not frequent.

After walking through the market looking at fresh meat, vegetables and fruit, we walked along the gardens and took in a breath of agriculture. The gardens were hand tended and well…

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Added by AALP on February 21, 2017 at 5:11am — No Comments

Da Lat offers a wealth of new experiences

On our last day in Da Lat, an early hotel departure involved some classmates taking in the sights and sounds of the open-air market we had lived beside for the last few days, while others followed the health and wellness team with stretches and dancing in the hotel lobby.

Before heading to the airport, we began with a tour of a local supermarket newly built underground. Owned by a Thailand company, this supermarket was very similar to the supermarkets we have in Canada. This…

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Added by AALP on February 20, 2017 at 4:30am — No Comments

Crickets and weasel dung coffee...

What an amazing day we had experiencing the agriculturally rich area of Da Lat.

Our first stop was a family-owned fresh-cut flower farm located just outside of Da Lat. The flowers would be cut early in the morning and would be shipped up to Ho Chi Minh City. The main flowers grown on the farm were roses, lillies, and gerberas.

We then ventured to a cricket farm. They harvest the male crickets when they three months, and leave the females to produce offspring. Crickets…

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Added by AALP on February 19, 2017 at 4:00am — No Comments

Heading to Da Lat

As with all good travel plans, there must be some last-minute changes and February 18th was one of those days with our flight to Da Lat delayed by a few hours. All the better though, as our ever-thoughtful guide for the Ho Chi Minh City component of our trip, Jessica, had several adventures lined up to make use of the extra time. The people who missed out on the cyclo journey through the city the previous day had the chance to take an hour cyclo ride; others took the chance to hang out,…

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Added by AALP on February 18, 2017 at 3:30am — No Comments

Time to explore rural Vietnam

Today was an exciting day! We headed north out of the bustling, vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh and headed towards the Cu Chi region. We were all looking forward to seeing a more rural part of Vietnam. Our travels today took us to a rubber plantation, a hi-tech research park, a worm and cow farm (we'll explain that connection in a bit) and then finished off our day with a history lesson about the Vietnam war while exploring the Cu Chi tunnels.

Our first stop was a 400 ha rubber…

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Added by AALP on February 17, 2017 at 6:15am — No Comments

AALP Class 16 celebrates Canada’s Agriculture Day in Vietnam

Our AALP class woke this morning in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 12 hours ahead of our families and friends at home in Ontario and the inaugural Canada's Agriculture Day.

We are celebrating and sharing our passion and knowledge of Canadian agriculture today with two other Ag…

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Added by AALP on February 16, 2017 at 7:30am — No Comments

"GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!!!!!"

The AALP class 16 arrived at 12pm local time today February 15th, which is 12 hours ahead of our friends, family, and blog followers in Ontario. The enthusiastic travellers spent 20 hours on the airplane and flew over 14,000 kilometres over Sudbury, the arctic circle, Russia, Japan, Taiwan and finally Vietnam.

Our journey to Asia included a planned layover stop in the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The Airport had several amenities for all to enjoy, including a yoga lounge, a…

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Added by AALP on February 15, 2017 at 3:00am — No Comments

The trip begins

The members of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) Class 16 began to arrive at Toronto’s Pearson Airport starting around 8 pm on Monday, February 13th. By 10 pm those who hadn’t travelled ahead were catching up with each other – sharing laughs and letting the anticipation for our international adventure to begin.

Looking at the class, it is incredible to think that just over 18 months ago we were all strangers and now we are close friends looking forward to…

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Added by AALP on February 14, 2017 at 3:00am — 1 Comment

AALP Class 16 Plunges into Conflict Resolution at Seminar 7

The seventh seminar stop on the AALP Class 16 leadership journey took place from January 15 to 17th 2017 at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Niagara Falls. Located on the bustling Fallsview Avenue, the hotel overlooked the breathtaking Canadian and American Falls, and provided a great setting for the full seminar agenda.



Julie Westeinde, from Breakthrough Learning Associates in Ottawa, led the group of twenty-six participants through an all-day workshop on conflict resolution that…

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Added by AALP on February 3, 2017 at 3:24am — No Comments

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Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Cattle Numbers Lowest In Decades

According to a Statistic Canada report, there were 11.1 million cattle and calves on farms, down more than 2 percent from the previous year and the lowest number since 1989. In Alberta, there were 4.7 million head on all beef cattle operations as of January 1st. That's down 85 thousand from a year ago. Cow/calf operations were up 18 thousand head year over year to around 2.6 million, while the drop came in feeder and stocker operations which were down over 157 thousand head to 956 thousand. Drought conditions and tight feed supplies, coupled with good prices, resulted in more breeding stock heading to market. Producers held 0.7 percent fewer feeder heifers and three percent fewer calves compared to a year ago. Average warm carcass weight increased 18 percent over the past 25 years, which helped offset the decline in beef production. The Stats-Can report also took a glance at other livestock on-farm. Canadian hog producers reported 13.8 million hogs on their farms on January 1st., dow

WHEN DO I TURN OUT MY COWS? MANAGING SPRING PASTURES DURING AND AFTER DROUGHT

Beef producers will soon be making grazing plans for turning their herds out to spring pastures. While drought planning should be a routine part of the development of short- and long-term grazing plans, many beef cattle herds have withstood successive years of drought. This has prompted producers to hone in on their management skills to make the best use of their pasture forage and carefully maintain carryover to prevent prolonged damage. The question of ‘when can I turn my cows out?’ is an important one, especially for those with dwindling hays stacks or for producers purchasing feed.   Dr. Edward Bork is a Professor of Rangeland Management in the faculty of Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta. He says that, aside from spring rainfall, how your pastures looked when you brought cattle in last fall may be the best indicator of how they will perform in spring. “The better condition the pasture was in October, the faster it will recover,” Bork expl

JPD Angus Wins 2024 Mapleseed Pasture Award

The Beef Farmers of Ontario, Mapleseed and the Ontario Forage Council, sponsors of the Ontario Mapleseed Pasture Award, have announced that the Chalmers family of JPD Angus of Oro-Medonte in Simcoe County are the recipients of the 2024 Mapleseed Pasture Award

Minister MacAulay promotes Canada’s world-class products in Malaysia and the Philippines

This week, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, visited Malaysia and the Philippines to strengthen regional partnerships and create new opportunities for our hardworking Canadian producers.

Expansion of the emerald ash borer regulated area in Québec

As part of its commitment to protect Canada’s plant resource base from pests, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has put in place measures intended to protect Canada's economy by preventing the spread of emerald ash borer (EAB) to non-infested areas of Canada. The CFIA has updated its regulated areas for EAB to include additional Regional County Municipalities (RCM) in Québec. This expansion is due to detections of EAB in 2022 and 2023 in Québec.

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