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Reporter’s Notebook: So long, but not goodbye

Lisa Guenther writes her last Grainews column, and moves on to another pasture

This column is a goodbye of sorts. I’m moving over to Canadian Cattlemen magazine, which is also owned by Glacier FarmMedia. Right now I’m working with Gren Winslow, the long-time Cattlemen editor, to learn the ropes of editing. Cattlemen is a solid magazine, which I appreciate as an apprentice editor. I’m looking forward to learning […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: Seek out the services you need

This has been a long harvest. Know how to find support, and don’t hesitate to use it

It’s been a rough harvest. If you didn’t have a miserable harvest, you may have been stricken by drought. If you weren’t worried about the weather, there were the NAFTA renegotiations to keep you up at night. The House of Commons Ag Committee has been studying mental health issues among farmers and livestock producers. The […] Read more



Reporter’s Notebook: Leaving a legacy in Manitoba

From Freemasons to farm families. There have been several legacies built in Manitoba

Recently I was in Winnipeg for the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation annual conference. Winnipeg is probably not on too many bucket lists, but the downtown core has some interesting old buildings and attractions around the Forks. One of the most interesting buildings is the Manitoba legislature. Years ago, Frank Albo was driving by the leg […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: Fear and anger on the internet

Social media is great for sharing information, but there is a downside

In my last column, I wrote about how rapid change in how we communicate is changing society and encouraging fear. Fear easily morphs into anger and hatred and there’s no shortage of either on the internet. I’d love to write that the online ag community is free from such nastiness. But the ag community is […] Read more



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Reporter’s Notebook: Times are changing everywhere

Corn, soybeans and a changing society on the other side of the border

In late July, I flew to Nebraska to get an idea of what the ag industry looks like in that state. Before I even left my hotel in Omaha, I had my first clue. The Omaha World-Herald ran a front-page story on the $12 billion ag aid package with a rhyming headline. “Farmers: Thanks for […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: Keeping community volunteers engaged

Many rural activities facilities and activities are run by volunteers. Keep yours happy

Volunteers power many facilities and services in our communities. What motivates people to volunteer and how can non-profit boards engage their volunteer corps? I spoke to two women, from different rural communities in different provinces. Both have experience as board members and in the volunteer corps. Because I wanted them to speak openly without creating […] Read more



Reporter’s Notebook: How will we be farming in 20 years?

Lisa Guenther points to two agronomic problems shaping our future cropping plans

Agriculture has undergone big changes in the last century. Yesterday’s farmers would be amazed by the technology contained in a tractor and seeder these days, or by the vaccines that protect livestock from disease. Or even by the phones we tuck into our back pockets, and occasionally drop in the muck. It’s an interesting exercise […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: A Grainews reporter’s spring travels

From Griffin to Gimli, Lisa Guenther hit the highway to gather new information

In mid-April, I packed my car and headed south. At home, there was still enough snow to Ski-doo. For several hours I drove through intermittent garbage weather (snow in the north and sleet or rain in the south). For two days, I stayed with Leeann Minogue’s family near Griffin, Sask. While there I visited the […] Read more



Reporter’s Notebook: Idealizing a particular view of a culture

When you romanticize what you don’t understand, disappointment is inevitable

I learned a new word this week. “Indianthusiasm,” a term coined by author and professor Hartmut Lutz, describes people (often German) who have an exaggerated, ahistorical, romantic infatuation with North America’s First Nations people. This was just one gem among many in Canadian author Drew Hayden Taylor’s short documentary, Searching for Winnetou. Winnetou is a […] Read more


Reporter’s Notebook: Where’s our federal ag minister?

From taxation to transportation, there’s a lack of understanding of agriculture showing

Some days, you really have to wonder where our federal ag minister is at. Last year, the federal Liberals attempted to roll out tax reforms that raised the hackles of many in the ag sector. The proposed changes to capital gains exemptions seemed likely to threaten many producers’ abilities to pass the operation to their […] Read more