In this edition - April 7, 2017

Ottawa hosting Global 4-H Network Summit in July 

Richard Kamchen

Canada’s largest global 4-H event ever will be held in Ottawa this summer from July 11 to 14.

The Global 4-H Network Summit will coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations, and is expected to draw over 500 4-H youth, volunteer leaders and professionals from around the world, says event chairwoman Jennifer Christie.

4-H boasts over seven million members in more than 70 countries, she adds.

Opening day keynote

For the opening Community Engagement & Communication Day, July 11, Krista Scaldwell, vice president of Great West Life, will provide her keynote speech. Her Beyond the Seams and Seasoning will focus on the intrinsic value of 4-H.

“While it was about sewing, cooking, etc., there were deeper skills developed,” she says. “4-H builds leaders beyond the community.”

Scaldwell explains the valuable lessons 4-H provides, like how to run a meeting, working in teams, dealing with deadlines, presentations and the value of volunteers.

She will also address how 4-H impacted her life.

“When it came time to go to university, I was thrilled to get a Rotary Leadership Award, which I know was in part to getting my provincial honours in 4-H,” says Scaldwell. “I am forever grateful to the leaders and to the Women’s Institute who provided funding.”

More keynote speakers

“Our keynote speakers represent the millions of global 4-H alumni impacting change every day, the same way 4-H members are making a difference in their local communities,” says Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada CEO and chairwoman of the Global 4-H Network board of directors.

Other keynote speakers include:

  • Ann Makosinski, inventor and founder, Makotronic
  • Chris Koch, farmer, athlete, quadruple amputee
  • Krysta Harden, VP of public policy & chief sustainability officer, DuPont
  • Cristy Nurse, Olympic rower

Opportunities Expo

The Ottawa summit marks only the second time the network has met. The first took place in Korea in 2014.

A Global 4-H Opportunities Expo will be held on the final two days, showcasing career, volunteering, education opportunities and resources for 4-H members and clubs.

4-H members and alumni wishing to volunteer can sign-up on the Global 4-H Network Summit Volunteer page . Follow the Summit on Twitter @Global4HSummit, or get the latest updates on the Global 4H Network Summit website.

New loan program for young ag entrepreneurs 

Trudy Kelly Forsythe

Evan Hegedys, 31, operates a cow-calf operation with his wife Tonay, 27, an hour north of Calgary, Alta. He will calve over 1,000 head this spring and breed 1,350 heifers this summer, so he is familiar with the expense of growing a farm business.

“We have purchased and rented enough land to locally grow the feed for our herd, as well as some grain that we harvest,” he says, adding that for the last couple years they have been custom feeding their calves. “Initially, we started custom haying to maximize our equipment, now we do hay/straw brokerage and deliveries as well.”

Hegedys is optimistic about the future of agriculture.

“There’s a positive outlook,” he says. “There is a lot of room to see land values increase and I see profitability in the next 10 years as long as interest does not go crazy.”

Loans help

Chad DeBot, 34, operates DeBot & Sons Ltd., a third-generation cash crop, vegetable and seed corn farm in Wallaceburg, Ontario, with his father Dennis. He knows loans can help since one helped him purchase his first parcel of land in 2013.

“We had previously rented this parcel and the owners at the time were aware of our good stewardship practise which made them more than happy and I was able to receive financial assistance from FCC,” says De Bot. “I am grateful for the opportunity to grow my business through the Young Entrepreneur program and would definitely recommend this to young farmers.”

Young Entrepreneur Loan

Recently young entrepreneurs in the agriculture retail, manufacturing and food processing sectors have had access to a new loan program. Farm Credit Canada announced the Young Entrepreneur Loan last month to provide financing up to $1 million per qualified applicant, under age 40.

“It’s a positive program for sure,” Hegedys says. “A lot of young farmers aren’t going to be new to the business. They likely grew up in it, but if not, this is going to be a valuable tool.”

FCC agrees access to capital allows businesses to take advantage of new opportunities and grow the economy.

“By providing specialized loans for young farmers and entrepreneurs, we are helping the next generation get established and contribute to Canada achieving its full potential as a leading food supplier worldwide,” says Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO.

Funds from the Young Entrepreneur Loan may be used to purchase or improve agriculture-related assets or to purchase shares in an agriculture-related business, including those in the agri-food sector.

The 2017 Dairy Outlook: What’s in store for the sector?

The 2017 Dairy Outlook: What’s in store for the sector?

The 2017 outlook for dairy producers is promising due to production growth and improved milk pricing.

Ag Economics

U.S. acreage and stock reports set table for spring markets

U.S. acreage and stock reports set table for spring markets

USDA released its Prospective Plantings and U.S. Quarterly Grain Stock reports on March 31. Here are the highlights.

Market Focus

From milk to yogurt…and beyond

From milk to yogurt…and beyond

And with this demand comes a need to increase production.


Farmers to plant record low wheat acres, most soybeans ever 

The amber waves of grain are about to turn into bean pods as farmers report they'll plant millions of acres in soybeans instead of wheat this year as a global glut of the grain has made it unprofitable to grow.

Canadian Press

Growing craft beer sector thirsty for local malt 

Craft breweries are a growing subsector of the Canadian beer industry, but the increased variety of local drink options are not necessarily 100 per cent homegrown, as a lack of domestically produced specialty malts forces brewers to look far afield to meet their needs.


Sask. Water Security Agency warns of possible ice jams, flooding 

The Water Security Agency (WSA) is advising the public of the potential for ice jams and flooding in a couple areas of the province as spring runoff progresses.

The Western Producer


Allison Finnamore

Allison Finnamore