Food Farm Talk, CFRU 93.3, Guelph. A radio show /podcast exploring hot topics in food and farming in Ontario, Canada, and beyond, engaging both the farm community and consumers. Hosted by Paul Smith. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podbean and other platforms including www.anchor.fm/foodfarmtalk. Follow the podcast on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A Climate-smart Agriculture Plan with Mo Yaghi of RBC, December 2023. Listen or watch my conversation with Mo Yaghi of the RBC Climate Action Institute on their “A New Ag Deal: A 9-Point Plan For Climate-Smart Agriculture”.

Guelph Centre For Urban Organic Farming with Mike Smith, June 2023
The Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming at the University of Guelph is a fascinating project combining the university’s strength in food and agriculture, local food supply chains, student learning and research, student activism, and community engagement. Listen as Mike Smith, the centre’s farm coordinator, talks with us about the activities of the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming.

Or watch on YouTube:

First Nations Build Modern Agricultural Businesses, with Cadmus Delorme – Oct 2022
First Nations are building modern agricultural businesses in many parts of Canada. Historically, agriculture played an important role in colonialism and the dispossession of Indigenous peoples. Today it could help build prosperity and reconciliation.

Soil Conservation Council of Canada with Jim Totarchuk – Feb 2022.
Soil health and conservation is a hot topic in Canadian agriculture. The Soil Conservation Council of Canada is the only national organization working on soil conservation and Jim Totarchuk, Executive Director of the council, tells us about the council and its work.

Or Watch on YouTube:


First Nations, Agriculture and Colonialism with Cadmus Delorme, Jan 2022. Agriculture played an important role in colonialism and the dispossession of Indigenous peoples. Chief Cadmus Delorme recounts the history of agriculture and colonialism on Cowessess First Nation, Treaty 4 in Saskatchewan. Chief Delorme traces the history from European contact, signing of Treaty 4, Treaty obligations,  the Indian Agents’ power to control First Nations people, the pass system requiring the Indian Agents’ approval of sales of grain and cattle, and arbitrary reductions in the size of the Cowessess reserve land area. This was part of a conference held by FHQ Developments and is used with permission.

Indigenous Agricultural Innovation with Thomas Benjoe – Agriculture played an important role in colonialism and today it can hopefully help build reconciliation. We explore how First Nations can pursue prosperity through business development in agriculture and agri-business with Thomas Benjoe, President/CEO of FHQ Developments in Saskatchewan, chair of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, and 2021 Globe Report on Business Changemaker. Thomas and FHQ held a virtual conference in September 2021 on Indigenous Agricultural Innovation.


Or Watch on YouTube:

New Climate Programs for Canadian Farmers, October 2021. Canada now has new programs aimed at helping farmers adopt practices to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The new federal climate plan released in December 2020 and Budget 2021 made major commitments for funding agriculture climate programs. But are these programs well designed and will they actually help farmers change practices? We explore this topic with Brent Preston of Farmers for Climate Solutions.


Or watch on YouTube:

Agriculture Carbon Alliance and Canada’s Climate Plan
The Agriculture Carbon Alliance was recently launched and Keith Currie talks with Paul about the Alliance and the federal climate plan. Keith is Vice-President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, a Simcoe county farmer and past president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.


Or watch on YouTube:

Farmers for Climate Solutions – Karen Ross – Pandemic Recovery and Climate Change
Farmers for Climate Solutions’ Director Karen Ross talks about their report “A better future starts on the farm: Recommendations for recovery from COVID-19 in Canadian agriculture” and its five recommendations to support farmers recovering from the pandemic while helping them deal with the long-term effects of the climate crisis.


Or watch on on Youtube:

Sustainable Fertilizer Use in Agriculture – the Environment
Fertilizer is fundamental to agriculture and key to feeding all us, but excess nitrogen and phosphorus have unintended effects on soil ecosystems, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. This episode explores how the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program brings together research, agronomy, environmental science, and education to help farmers plan fertilizer use to conserve the environment while growing their crops. 4Rs practices can reduce phosphorus contributing to excessive algal growth and eutrophication, as well as reduce conversion of nitrogen to the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. This second part of a two-part exploration of the 4Rs delves into the science, environmental aspects and related research on the 4Rs system.

Sustainable Fertilizer Use in Agriculture – the 4Rs – What is it?
Fertilizer is fundamental to agriculture and key to feeding the world population. Yet fertilizer use can have unintended effects on soil ecosystems, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions.  The 4R Nutrient Stewardship program brings together agronomy, environmental science, crop planning and education to help farmers plan fertilizer use to grow their crops, save money and conserve the environment. The 4Rs stand for the Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place for fertilizer application.

COVID19 and Local Food and Farming in Guelph-Wellington
The #Coronavirus pandemic affects local food and farm businesses in Guelph and Wellington County in so many ways. Christina Mann of Taste Real (County of Wellington) tells us about how local farm and food businesses are coping with and adapting to the challenges of #COVID19. Increased demand for local food sources have created opportunities for some businesses, while the challenges of offering food in ways that protect producers and customers require much extra work. Consumers can support our local farm and food businesses.

Farmers for Climate Solutions – What, Why and How
The Farmers for Climate Solutions campaign is an effort to build a movement and change policies to help farmers fight climate change and adapt to the changes. Farmers are experiencing weather extremes brought by climate change, 2019 being a glaring example. Katie Ward, the national President of the National Farmers Union and Brent Preston, President of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario tell Paul Smith more about the campaign.

Taste Real: Local Food and Farming in Guelph-Wellington
Taste Real is an innovative local food and farming initiative of the County of Wellington and many other partners. In this episode, Christina Mann, the Taste Real coordinator for the County, talks with Paul Smith.  Taste Real supports “local small businesses and farms to build stronger rural communities and grow one of the most vibrant, local food economies and food tourism destinations in Ontario”. The local food map is well known to residents and tourists as a go-to way to find local food. The local food fest held each year at Ignatius Centre on June 21 is a celebration of local food and community for the whole family. The spring and fall Rural Romp events get people to visit local farms and businesses to gain authentic experiences of agriculture and food.

Food Security: From Excess to Enough – A Chat with author Ralph Martin
Ralph Martin’s new book is an evocative mix of science, philosophy, memoir, reflection and manifesto for change. And food and farming tie it all together. Food security is certainly a focus, but the book ranges far beyond a narrow view of that phrase. Ralph is a retired professor of plant agriculture at Guelph with an emphasis on organic agriculture and forage crops. The book promo says the following. “Canadians are failing to balance reasonable food consumption with sufficient and sustainable production. The modern agricultural system is producing more and more food. Too much food. The cost is enormous…. And then there is the waste — householders, food processors, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers collectively waste 40 percent of the food produced. A radical rethink is required. We need to move from excess to enough.”


Or watch Ralph read a funny story from the book on YouTube:

New Soil and Crop Prez – Stuart Wright, talks soil health and sustainability
Sustainable farming is about the people and organizations working daily to that end. Stuart Wright, a dairy and cash crop farmer from Kenilworth, Wellington County, is the new President of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. Stuart describes his and his family’s work building soil health and sustainability using crop rotation, no till, strip till, cover crops, and the 4Rs of nutrient management. Stuart’s discussion with Paul Smith illustrates the complexity of juggling crops, livestock and changing practices. He also reflects about how farmers learn from other farmers, advisors and researchers, and then try new things on their farms.

The Future of Conservation Authorities: Keeping Above Water?Conservation Authorities work with Ontario farmers and other landowners to assist in conservation work like tree planting, erosion control, water quality improvement and soil health. The Ontario government’s Bill 108 amended the Conservation Authorities Act as well as many other statutes for the stated purpose of “increasing housing supply”. Then in August 2019 the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks sent a letter to all conservation authorities telling them to “wind down” programs not within the “core mandate” of conservation authorities. Paul Smith discusses these issues with Kim Gavine  and Joanne Rzadki of Conservation Ontario.

Environmental Farm Plan: Ag’s best Kept Secret?
The Environmental Farm Plan or EFP builds sustainability on Ontario and Canadian farms by farmers assessing their farms’ environmental risks and changing practices to reduce or eliminate those risks.  Listen to Paul Smith’s conversation with Andy Graham, Executive Director of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, and others reflecting on the history, evolution and future of the Environmental Farm Plan.

Measuring Farm Sustainability, Mission Possible?
How can we measure Farm Sustainability? Sustainable sourcing for the agri-food marketplace requires measurement and certification. What does this mean for Ontario farmers and consumers? Nick Betts of Sustainable Agriculture Initiative or SAI Platform and Andy Graham of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association help us explore this topic. This show forms part of a new series on farm sustainability hosted by Paul Smith.

What is Farm Sustainability? Cutting Through the “Sustainababble.”
What is Farm Sustainability? Cutting through the “sustainababble”. We explore farm #sustainability and #sustainable sourcing with Nick Betts of Sustainable Agriculture Initative or SAI Platform. Perspectives of the Food and Agriculture Organization, Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef and Syngenta are also presented. This show forms part of a new series on farm sustainability hosted by Paul Smith.

Farm Sustainability: what, why, how – a new series on Food Farm Talk
Farm sustainability will be the focus of a number of episodes this year. But what is farm sustainability? And what does it mean for farmers and consumers. Host Abdul discusses this with Paul Smith, who will be the guest host on farm sustainability issues. Paul worked in environment management for three decades including half of that on environmental sustainability for Ontario farms. Sustainability includes environmental, economic and social elements and so in complex to assess.

The State of Indigenous Affairs in Canada 2018, on GUELPH POLITICAST #152 podcast – Paul Smith, Métis Writer and Activist