Latest articles

Beef economy 4.0

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

As we enter the fourth industrialized economy, known as 4.0, we must consider the role of the beef industry in the big picture. This includes asking the question of where beef sits with regard to the elements of 4.0, which are robotics, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, genomics, bioscience and the complexity of full digitalization and cyber […] Read more

Ditching the red meat diet

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

Changing social dynamics are pressuring food, retail and research companies to offer plant- or cellular-based non-meats. Driving the consumption is a host of beliefs: Cows are bad for the environment, red meat is unhealthy, big food companies cannot be trusted (based on the concerns of animal welfare) and finally, folks are simply curious as to […] Read more

Young woman is standing by a fence on a ranch with cattle in the distance


Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

The recycling of board members in leadership roles has long been an issue for Canadian agriculture. The common complaint from those on the board or in the position of power is that there is no desire on the part of others to serve. We have all heard the conversation: “the young people won’t step up,” […] Read more

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