Latest articles


Farming for the insects and birds

Government programs provide funds for Swiss farmers who follow new mowing rules

Schleitheim, Switzerland: All around me farmers are mowing. From June 15th onwards farmers are allowed to cut meadows and hayfields qualifying for Q2 government subsidies. The Q2 (qualitätsstufe 2) program aims to provide and protect healthy habitat for birds and insects. Non-qualifying fields are already being cut the second or even the third time. Obviously […] Read more


Meet your farming neighbours: Karl and Julie Gabriel

This is the story of Karl and Julie Gabriel, farming near Wroxton, Sask.

Every farm has its own story. No two farms (or farmers) are exactly alike. Everyone got started in a different way, and every farm has a different combination of family and hired staff who make the decisions and keep things running. But, in general, even after you consider all of the details, farmers are more […] Read more



Meet your farming neighbours: Duane and Bonnie Friesen

This is the story of Duane and Bonnie Friesen, near Cecil Lake, B.C.

Every farm has its own story. No two farms (or farmers) are exactly alike. Everyone got started in a different way, and every farm has a different combination of family and hired staff who make the decisions and keep things running. But, in general, even after you consider all of the details, farmers are more alike than different. This is the story of Duane Freisen, who farms […] Read more


The reality of Alzheimer’s disease

When a loved one is diagnosed it’s devastating but there may be some ways to help reduce the risk of developing it

Walter* has Alzheimer’s disease — but only his family and close friends know how deeply it affects his life. Walter meets us at the door, greeting us by name. “Good to see you!” He takes our coats and leads us into the living room; we make small talk about the weather; a perfectly normal conversation. […] Read more



Meet your farming neighbours: Chris and Michelle

This is the story of Chris and Michelle Rottier, Southside Rottier Farm, Dapp, Alta.

Every farm has its own story. No two farms (or farmers) are exactly alike. Everyone got started in a different way, and every farm has a different combination of family and hired staff who make the decisions and keep things running. But, in general, even after you consider all of the details, Prairie farmers are […] Read more


Laughing in spite of it all

Five farm women share how they remain positive even in dire circumstances

When snow sets in on October 1, and half a bumper crop lies in the field; when the news is full of refugees and the days seem long and grey — it’s easy to succumb to the blues. Five farm women from Africa, Switzerland and Canada tell us how they laugh despite dire circumstances and […] Read more



Romania: One extreme to another

Marianne Stamm took an opportunity to learn about EU agriculture in Romania

I had the opportunity to join a group of 45 European agriculture journalists on a one-week press tour of the eastern part of Romania. It was one surprise after another. What I knew of Romania consisted of stories of those who took clothing to children’s orphanages, or of the report of corruption and hardship from […] Read more


At least say hi to me!

Here’s some things that people found helpful and not so helpful after being diagnosed with cancer

When David* was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of brain cancer and told he had a year at most to live, he and his wife Angie* went through a very difficult time of adjustment. Knowing that their wide circle of friends and large family were there for them meant a lot. Urs Eschbach, a […] Read more



Research, development and discussion

Researchers develop crop protection products, regulators limit use and consumers worry

Syngenta is a household name for farmers so I was quite excited at the opportunity to visit its Crop Protection plant in Stein, AG, Switzerland, this January with the Swiss Farm Writers Association. The Stein plant is the third largest globally and concentrates on research and development of fungicide and insecticide products. Less than three […] Read more


Grasshopper burgers are on the menu

Insect burgers will soon be on sale in Switzerland. But they may not be for everyone

In Sunday school we kids were taught that John the Baptist ate grasshoppers and honey. “How gross,” we thought. We didn’t know that John the Baptist was way ahead of his time. Folks find it repelling when I tell them of the piles of dried caterpillars and grasshoppers for sale at Zambian food markets. Well, […] Read more