Inflation drives a stake through the backbone of the country

Visiting rural Canada, seeing the impacts of high gas prices, is gut-wrenching

Inflation drives a stake through the backbone of the countryI recently visited my mom in Saskatchewan, in a little town up in what’s called the province’s northeast but really isn’t. It’s the parkland border between farms and forests, no further north than Edmonton. The region is sparsely populated; if you drew a circle around Momstown with a 65-km radius, that circle would include maybe…

Perennial rye crop shows potential for greener agriculture

Experimental crop absorbed CO2 equivalent to a vehicle burning 35,000 litres of gasoline

Perennial rye crop shows potential for greener agricultureAnnual crops are the farmer’s bread and butter, the crops they rely on most, but at least one type of perennial grain is proving much more beneficial to the environment. A crop of perennial rye absorbed a substantial amount of carbon dioxide, or CO2, a University of Alberta study showed, while an annual crop had no…

Rural physicians get to participate in cradle-to-grave medicine

Rural learning programs help medical students to become rural family physicians

Rural physicians get to participate in cradle-to-grave medicinePonoka family doctor Greg Sawisky grew up in Kelowna, B.C., before heading to the University of Alberta for medical school. After a couple of shadowing opportunities in Fort McKay and Stettler, he threw himself into the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry’s Rural Integrated Community Clerkship program and hasn’t looked back. “There is something so wonderfully…

Rural health-care services get boost from pharmacy students

Community connections and a wide scope of practice make an appealing mix for career opportunities

Rural health-care services get boost from pharmacy studentsFor rural communities, health care can be difficult to access. Throw in part-time clinic hours, winter weather or a global pandemic, and those accessibility challenges only become more apparent. But, in Alberta, many services that once required an appointment with a family doctor can now be provided by a pharmacist – including some prescriptions, referrals,…

Why an old idea could breathe new life into rural economies

Reinvesting in local co-operatives could help attract people to rural communities and keep them there

Why an old idea could breathe new life into rural economiesShould we be looking to the past to help boost the future of the province’s rural economy? A hundred years ago, local co-operatives were a fairly common way of doing business in rural areas. Now the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities is researching ways to make this old model work in a modern economy. “It’s a…

Grazing mirroring natural patterns protects grasslands from drought

Research could help ranchers adapt to climate change and preserve vital ecosystems

Grazing mirroring natural patterns protects grasslands from droughtRanchers who frequently rotate cattle between fields – resembling how bison once moved across Canada’s prairie – build drought resistance into Western Canada’s grasslands, according to a series of University of Alberta studies designed to find ways to improve the net carbon balance of grazed grasslands and nurture more resilient landscapes. “The way we manage…

Our most popular reads in 2021

Scientific and health breakthroughs, Indigenous rights and, perhaps surprisingly, the sexual orientation of an historic king

Our most popular reads in 2021Readers will remember 2021 as the year the COVID-19 pandemic just wouldn't quit, but their reading choices show they were looking for variety in their news. Our Top Reads for the year show interest in scientific and health breakthroughs, Indigenous rights and, perhaps surprisingly, the sexual orientation of an historic king. Here are the stories…

Plant protein revolution is shaking up agriculture

The global plant protein market could double by 2026, reducing the need for meat

Plant protein revolution is shaking up agricultureWhile there are those who demand greater access to agricultural land for city dwellers, especially since COVID-19 has pushed many to seek space far from major cities, others want to protect our land from real estate speculators. It’s a real point of tension and an important debate. But beyond this, our approach to protecting farmland…

‘Armchair rancher’ app helps beef producers get ahead of trends

Mixes agriculture with AI to help ranchers make better business decisions

‘Armchair rancher’ app helps beef producers get ahead of trendsNew University of Alberta research is mixing artificial intelligence with agriculture to help cattle ranchers. An analytic “armchair rancher” mobile app is being developed to help beef producers better manage various aspects of their herds. The smart device application will aid them – by leveraging the masses of data they already collect daily on factors…

Why the cultured meat industry needs its own Elon Musk

Cultured meat could succeed but it won’t be easy

Why the cultured meat industry needs its own Elon MuskLeonardo DiCaprio has just used his A-list magic powers again by investing in two American cultured-meat startups, Aleph Farms and Mosa Meat. This is the same actor who invested in a vegetable protein company before the plant-based phenomenon was a thing. Beyond Meat is now worth more than US$8 billion. DiCaprio saw it coming before…
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