Who Will Grow Your Children’s Food? Why Small Business Tax Reform Will Change Who Feeds Your Children. 


Since the moment our children were born, we have been planning and strategizing on how to set our farm up in a way that will allow them to one day farm themselves. This is an incredibly complicated long-term plan, one that is constantly shifting and changing with economic changes, the growth of our farm, and small incremental tax changes. 

The small business tax changes that the Federal Government is proposing do not only affect if and how we will thrive as a farm. They do not just affect myself and my husband. These changes could very well mean the end of our family generational farm. These changes mean that it could cost millions of dollars for my children to take over the land and soil we have long cared for. Can you imagine, as a 20 something, having an extra million dollars (or two) on hand to start out your career? Not to invest and grow, but to hand over in taxes. The idea is ludicrous. 

After the last Agriculture Census I had the pleasure of being interviewed on the CBC National. We discussed the lack of young farmers, and how it is almost impossible for young people to build a farm without a family farm to start from. With these changes, people new to agriculture will still struggle to farm, and passing a farm onto a new generation will also be extremely difficult. 

This concerns all Canadians. I cannot stress enough how it concerns each and every one of you reading this. 

Who will grow your children’s food?

With grocery store shelves always full, it is difficult to imagine such a question. I have no doubt that those shelves will always be full. But from where? Will we import everything we eat from China? Should we leave our food security, as a nation, in the hands of other countries? 
A farmer is used to sleepless nights. Waiting on a cow to calf, or a rain to come. Worry over paying bills, keeping the family and workers safe, or how to get everything done that needs doing in a day: these are the things that keep sleep elusive. But these days, it isn’t Mother Nature keeping me up at night, it’s our very own government.

Have a peek at my friend and fellow rancher, Tara Davidson’s, blog post here, where she has compiled a list of links to more information, as well as a petition against these changes. 

I ask, no, I beg of you to take a moment, have a read, and sign the petition. Tax is something we all have in common, something no one loves, but is necessary for a functioning society. But you know what else is necessary for a functioning society? Healthy, nutritious food. The kind grown on family farms across Canada. 

An Open Letter to Brad Wall from a Young Saskatchewan Rancher

Dear Premier Wall,

Today you announced your impending retirement from politics, from the position of Premier of Saskatchewan, and my heart broke a little. 

Born and raised here in Saskatchewan, I never dreamed of a leader like yourself. I never dreamed of what Saskatchewan, as a province, was capable of. For myself, your time as Premier was a little like the blind being blessed with sight, as I never had the smallest vision of what was possible. A vision that, thankfully, you did have. 

You see, I grew up in a very different Saskatchewan than the one that my children know. In my formative years, Saskatchewan was quite literally the joke of Western Canada. The gap, as Canada knew us as then. 

It was not until you took our amazing province’s reins that I dreamed that we could ever become anything but a have-not province. A sentiment I can only imagine was shared by the majority of my classmates, by the way they fled Saskatchewan in droves after completing their education. Your leadership changed that. 

With the last decade, I have developed the type of puffed chest pride of our province that can only be likened to that of my pride in my children. I have shouted to the world that right here, right now, Saskatchewan is THE best place in the world to live. THE best place in the world to raise my children. THE best place in the world to farm, ranch, and feed the people of this world. For that I thank you. 

Thank you for bringing the people of Saskatchewan together. Thank you for ensuring my children’s prosperity here. Thank you for making the difficult, unpopular decisions that are best for our province in the long run. Before you, I never knew that politicians could make decisions based on what is right, rather than what gains votes. For that I thank you. Thank you for making the RoughRiders win (ok, I may be getting a little carried away…). Thank you for teaching me the word “Jackwagon”. 

Thank you Premier Wall for pouring your heart and soul into Saskatchewan, because as you have proved, we are worth it.  

Sign with gratitude,

Adrienne Ivey

Canadian Cattle Being Moved By A…… Beaver?!?

Here on the ranch, we are on the verge of calving season. We calve the heifers first, because they have no practice at being mothers yet, and often need more help than an experienced cow. 

On Good Friday, when Aaron and I headed out for a mid-afternoon check, we came over a hill on our ATVs and were surprised to see all 150 heifers crowded around in one tight group. 

We expected maybe a new calf, but what we actually found was possibly the most Canadian thing we have ever witnessed on our ranch. 

You see, the heifers were following none other than a beaver happily leading the herd around the pasture. 

It is not unusual to see wildlife on our ranch. We are proud of the fact that our cattle share the land with all sorts of wildlife and waterfowl. White tail and mule deer, moose, coyotes, wolf, badgers, skunks, geese, ducks and eagles are all usual pasture-mates. But this level of herd/wildlife interaction is not something we see everyday. 

Because heifers are young, they are very curious creatures. They were absolutely enthralled by this wayward beaver travelling across their stomping grounds. Enthralled, but wary enough to keep their distance. 

As for the beaver, we have many sloughs and wetlands on the ranch, so beavers are common place. This is the time of year that beavers may find themselves looking for a new wetland to build their home (beaver hut) in. This particular beaver was quietly minding his own business when he caught the attention of the herd. 

Have a peek at the most Canadian of all moments on our ranch. The time that a beaver took control of the herd for a day…


I’m sure this will make you smile as much as it did when we first witnessed it. Happy Easter from this Canadian Beef Ranch!! 

Being Shut Out of Prime Minister Trudeau’s Town Hall Meeting 

I have often dreamed of having the chance to ask PM Trudeau a question. I have many questions, but the idea of him having to answer any one of them honestly makes my spine tingle. So when I heard that he was finally coming to Saskatchewan as part of his cross-country town hall meeting tour, you can bet I jumped at the chance to secure myself a seat. It was last minute, as there was only a 36 hr space between when the meeting was announced, and when it was to take place. But this monumental moment – a moment which PM Trudreau himself explained as the time for him to listen to the concerns of the Canadian people, was something I very much wanted to be a part of. 

I was surprised to learn that the only way to reserve a seat was through a Liberal Party website. I was required to provide them (with no privacy policy in sight) with my personal information, including my address and telephone number. I guess they needed to bulk up their data base. 

After inputting my personal info (which I can honestly say I would never have freely given to the Liberal Party without the carrot of seeing PM Trudeau and possibly asking him a question), I received a confirmation email. 

Having received the above confirmation, I quickly went about making the necessary arrangements needed for a last minute 600km trip. Child care was arranged, as well as chore duty. Even with a possibility of meeting the PM, our animals needs must come first. On top of the regular chaos of the ranch and children, the day of Trudeau’s town hall also happened to fall on my birthday. So party plans were called off, and I broke the news to my kids that they would have to save the celebrations for the following day. 

I spent a large part of my day brainstorming ideas of possible questions to ask. I threw it out on social media, asking what respectful questions my peers would ask. There were many concerns, and thoughtful questions to go with them. 

I was very surprised to see, almost 12 hours later, another email directly from the sole Saskatchewan Liberal MP’s office in my inbox. 


I was shocked. How was this possible? There was only one way to register. They knew the exact size of the location. How could it be possible that they had over-booked the venue? The registration itself was only open for a few hours. 

Something is not adding up.

I was not surprised to see that of all the people I knew that also had an RSVP’d confirmation, each had also received the same second email. The western rural voice I had so hoped to see represented well, is apparently not going to be there. 

I am incredibly disappointed in this. Not in the idea of partisanship meetings. Not the favouritism to the Liberal supporters, but the dishonesty around it all. 

If PM Trudeau wants to (only) speak with the people that voted for him, that’s fine. But don’t call it an open town hall. And don’t make the taxpayers foot the bill. Being shut out of this meeting makes me furious. 

For a man so concerned with climate change that he is willing to force an unwanted, ineffective, carbon tax down our throats, it is shocking to me that he would expect a working mother to drive 600kms for the small chance of even getting in the door. For a man that wants to “listen” to the Canadian people, he has silenced my voice. I was ready to engage in a respectful conversation. I, like many people in the West, are not happy with the direction our country is going in. I have long suspected that PM Trudeau cares little for our western voice. This only confirms my suspicions. 

Dear PM Justin Trudeau: Shame on you. I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. I wanted you to be open to our concerns. I wanted you to care. How disappointing. 

Adrienne Ivey

Environment Canada’s Devisive Take On Farming

Environment Canada recently tweeted a link in honour of World Food Day. It seemed like a nice thing to do, they even said “Thanks Farmers” which seemed sweet. Sweet enough that I was shocked and dismayed when I followed the link to read the tips suggested on how to keep our planet healthy and productive. Two of their suggestions specifically were a slap in the face to the many farmers who not only work extremely hard to raise food for Canadians to eat, but also fund Environment Canada through their taxes. 

I was upset enough to not only tweet them, but also wrote them the email below. If this upsets you too, feel free to do the same. Their contact info is here

Dear Environment Canada,
I recently followed a link you recommended on Twitter regarding how we can each do our part to “keep the planet healthy and productive”. 

 
As a hardworking farmer, as well as a tax payer who funds your department, I was shocked at the misinformation that your link propagates. Specifically there are two points that I must dispute. 

1) Buy Organic 
There are many types of farming in Canada. While organic has often been portrayed and marketed as the more environmental way, this is absolutely not always the case. Farmers are dependant on the health of their soil and water to continue to not only make a living, but also to keep their farms sustainable to ensure they are able to pass their farm onto the next generation. Environment Canada does absolutely no good in pitting farming methods, as well as farmers themselves, against each other. To feed a growing population, we must have many ways of farming, as well as new technology to improve not only what we grow, but how we grow it. 

2) Diversify Your Diet

“Try to eat an all-veggie meal… instead of one meat meal a week. Millions of acres of rainforest are slashed and burned in order to turn land into grass pastures for livestock including cows.”

The very idea that Environment Canada is endorsing this statement is not only wrong, it is downright slanderous to the thousands of Canadian cattle producers that raise some of the best beef available in the world. We do not cut down our trees here in Canada to raise our beef, in fact treed land is highly sought after to provide shelter from the wind and cold in the winter, as well as provide shade in the summer. Beef production in Canada is some of the most sustainable in the entire world. To endorse the idea that you should refrain from eating meat is in direct conflict with the vast acres of grassland here in Canada that not only provide habitat for countless wildlife and bird populations, but also sequester significant amounts of carbon. These grasslands are also not suitable to grow the options suggested, such as lentils or chickpeas, but provide an excellent capability of turning inedible forage into high quality protein. 
I hope that this tweet was sent before the link was fully vetted and examined. I hope that you did not intend to offend and even belittle the thousands of farmers that will see it. 
I look forward to your response in this matter, and would enjoy any opportunity to further this discussion. 
Sincerely,

Adrienne Ivey 

Evergreen Cattle Co. http://www.viewfromtheranchporch.com

I understand that the Internet is a vast black hole full of misinformation, but the idea that our very own government is spreading and promoting it is reprehensible to me. They must do better.