Latest articles


Town hall in Avignon, France

Do we need a French Revolution?

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

The question of who land belongs to continues to haunt discussions around the world. In my international travels it most certainly was common to discuss not only land ownership but land access. For Canadians, ownership appears to be a given but the reality of land accessibility and ownership is a conversation we need to have. […] Read more


Closeup of the flags of the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA members on textile texture. NAFTA is the world's largest trade bloc and the member countries are Canada, United States and Mexico. 3D rendering with detailed textured grunge effect on closeup.

NAFTA notes and a warning

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

[UPDATED: Jan. 23, 2018 with ‘COMMENT’ at bottom] January 2018. The global economy is improving. The U.S. economy, drawing on Trump optimism, anticipated tax reform and more competitive American businesses seeing some profits, which should benefit Canadian businesses. U.S. beef demand is holding up decently in the face of increased supply. The 800-pound gorilla in […] Read more




NAFTA anxiety continues to build

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

The intent of everyone going into the renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was to get it over quickly, at least quickly by international trade negotiation standards. Canada didn’t think there was a lot to fix, Mexico had presidential elections set for next July and the U.S. general opinion, except for President […] Read more



Manuel Antonio, National Park in Costa Rica - beautiful tropical beach at pacific coast

A different kind of man

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

It was a unique classroom setting, sitting upon a log at the seaside. In the distance the mountain peaks were blue shadows and the ocean was this day like glass; gentle and caressing her shores with the hand of a guiding mother. The topic between this day’s teacher and I was the relationship between gross […] Read more


There is room for us all

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

I am excited. The passion and commitment of our young cattlemen and cattlewomen is catching, encouraging, and fills me with great pride. An active follower of social media, I watch with delight the posts that range from personal to professional. The topics and stories are amazing and the beef industry most certainly has been fortified […] Read more



NAFTA talks take a sinister turn

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

The NAFTA negotiators have completed Rounds 3 and 4 and the progress has been glacial. What we don’t know is whether that is just as well, seeing we can’t be sure what will satisfy President Trump. Round 3, held in Canada, was devoted to getting on paper the items the three countries could agree on. […] Read more


Rooting the dietary guidelines in sound science

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

“There’s a lot of stuff in the Guidelines that was right 40 years ago but that science has disproved. Unfortunately, sometimes, the scientific community doesn’t like to backtrack.” That was David McCarron, nutrition researcher at the University of California-Davis nearly two years ago, commenting on the U.S. Congress ordering a comprehensive review of the way […] Read more



Thank you k.d. lang

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

When k.d. lang entered the world of the beef industry, she did so full on. A talented young girl from the little town of Consort, Alta., lang had grown up with cowboys, dust and the soothing voice of Patsy Cline. She originally played small gigs around Alberta and especially in Edmonton at the Sidetrack Café. […] Read more


Closeup of the flags of the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA members on textile texture. NAFTA is the world's largest trade bloc and the member countries are Canada, United States and Mexico. 3D rendering with detailed textured grunge effect on closeup.

After two rounds

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

Two rounds of NAFTA renegotiation have been held and the three participants have been sizing each other up. While the three nations laid out their objectives in the first round, the second round was more about consolidating the things all three can agree on and cutting out the things that will be more difficult or […] Read more