Heather Jones to the helm Spring 2016

Heather Jones to the helm
    The words “needs no introduction,” come to mind as we introduce our new Atlantic Beef & Sheep editor, Heather Jones, farm journalist and editor for many years of the Farm Focus newspaper. Please welcome Heather aboard. At the same time, our thanks to columnist and freelance writer Rachel Brighton who served as editor of ABS last year and who continues as a special assignment contributor to DvL Publishing Inc.   
    Heather comes to the job with broad knowledge of agriculture in the region, a wealth of contacts, creative writing skills, and a warm, personal touch, all of which are reflected in this issue’s “Breed Notes;” the profile of Sam White, young farmer from Yarmouth County (page 14); and the comments that follow. DvL
Remembering Cathleen Kneen
    Sad to hear the news that Cathleen (Cathy) Kneen died at home in Ottawa on Feb. 21, 2016, after a struggle with pancreatic cancer. She was 72. Family, friends, and colleagues celebrated Cathleen’s life on Feb. 26, paying tribute to the woman who committed herself to building  paths that brought about positive change in the lives of numerous people.
    She and her husband, Brewster, spent 15 years in Nova Scotia operating a commercial sheep farm in Pictou County. Over those years she organized the Sheep Producers Association’s annual sheep fair, the Northumberlamb Lamb Marketing Co-operative,was a founding member of the Pictou County Women’s Centre, and contributed a weekly Farm Diary to CBC’s “Radio Noon.” She also worked with Brewster on The Ram’s Horn, a food system analysis newsletter, and edited his books.
    A long-standing social justice activist and feminist, Cathleen helped found groups from day-care centres to battered women’s shelters to food systems networks, including Food Secure Canada. Recognitions include The Marion Dewar Defender of the Public Good Award from the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Organic Council of Ontario, and  Female Food Hero  from Oxfam Canada.
    To read and/or participate in Food Secure Canada’s on-line tribute to Cathleen Kneen follow the Kneen link at RuralLife.ca
On a lighter note
    With penalties mounting, the American team reluctantly skated off the ice in December and the United States repealed the mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation for Canadian cattle and beef.
    Gloves were dropped on numerous occasions during the seven-year, chippy, one-sided game. Although they’d made a few scintillating saves, Canadian cattlemen paid out close to $4 million and pork producers almost $1 million in legal fees. And low prices and lost marketing opportunities cost them billions.
    Overtime weakened the Canadian farm team. Both the domestic cattle and sow herds have been slashed by 25 percent.
World Trade Organization referees repeatedly blew whistles and pointed to the box throughout the dispute. But the Americans ignored the crosschecking and spearing calls and appealed.
    There was some celebration in the Canadian dressing room after the horn sounded but players knew the season wasn’t over. COOL legislation remained in place on exports of fruit, vegetables, meat, and some animals including sheep and lambs.
    Down the street the U.S. team confidently boarded their bus and headed for another rink where a “countervail on Canadian supercalendered paper” game was underway.  HJ

Correction: With apology, there were a couple of errors in our report, “From the sheep’s back,” in the last issue. Nova Scotia does indeed have a woolen mill, north of Truro. Harmeny Woolen Mill, owned and operated by Ruth Mathewson on Upperbrook Farm, processes the farm’s own and purchased wool, while Ruth’s mother, Greta, turns wool batts into everything from mittens to comforters, mattress pads, and more, sold under the Woolies of Upperbrook Farm name.  It also was stated that Legacy Lane in New Brunswick has a dozen Mini Mills. Like Harmeny, the company has a single Mini Mill (manufactured in Belfast, P.E.I.). Legacy does have numerous components that enable a range of options when it comes to processing sheep’s wool as well as other types of fleece, and this may have led to the misunderstanding. DvL