Transcript: Modern Farms, Modern Choices | Nov 02, 2015

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped lilac tie. Behind him, a wall screen reads “The Agenda, with Steve Paikin.”

Steve says MARKET FORCES AND
FRAGMENTING CONSUMER TASTES PUT
PRESSURE NOT JUST ON THE STORES
WE SHOP AT BUT ALSO AGRICULTURE
ITSELF.
JOINING US NOW FOR MORE ON THAT
PRESSURE:
ANDREW CAMPBELL, A DAIRY FARMER
AT BELLSON FARMS, ALSO KNOWN IN
SOCIAL MEDIA CIRCLES AS
@FreshAirFarmer;

Andrew is in his twenties, clean-shaven, with short gelled brown hair. He’s wearing a striped orange shirt and a gray suit.

Steve continues AND AL MUSSELL, RESEARCH LEAD AT
AGRI-FOOD ECONOMIC SYSTEMS.

Al is in his fifties, clean-shaven and shaven-headed. He’s wearing a black suit, blue shirt, and checkered silver tie.

Steve continues WE'RE HAPPY TO HAVE BOTH OF YOU
GENTLEMEN HERE AT TVO TONIGHT.
OKAY, MR. 17,000 FOLLOWERS ON
TWITTER.
I WANT TO START WITH YOU HERE.
SHALL WE DO THIS OFF THE TOP?
LET'S DO A SCREEN GRAB OF
ANDREW'S TWITTER PAGE.

A screenshot of Andrew’s Twitter page pops up.

Steve continues THERE IT IS RIGHT THERE.
YEAH, 17,000 PLUS FOLLOWERS.
YOU'RE NOT DOING BADLY AT ALL.
HOW MANY OF THOSE FOLLOWERS DO
YOU FIGURE ARE FARMERS?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Andrew Campbell. Bellson Farms. @FRESHAIRFARMER"

Andrew says PROBABLY
HALF, I WOULD SAY.
WHEN I FIRST STARTED TWITTER, IT
WAS ALWAYS ABOUT CONNECTING WITH
OTHER FARMERS, SO IT WAS 100 percent AT
ONE TIME.
BUT STARTED TAKING PICTURES AND
MORE CONSUMERS HAVE FOLLOWED
SUIT.

The caption changes to "Modern farms, modern choices. Price and pressure."

Steve says HALF FARMERS, HALF
CONSUMERS?

Andrew says GENERALLY.

Steve says WHY DO YOU DO IT?

Andrew says I ENJOY
TAKING PICTURES AROUND THE FARM.
I DECIDED AT THE FIRST OF THE
YEAR, I WONDER IF I COULD DO A
PICTURE EVERY SINGLE DAY.
PEOPLE PAID ATTENTION, SO I HAD
TO THEN AFTER THAT.
IT'S JUST WORKED REALLY WELL
SINCE.

Steve says NOW YOU HAVE AN
AUDIENCE TO SERVE.
YOU CAN'T STOP.

Andrew says THAT'S THE THING.
I HAVE TO.
IT'S ALMOST ADDICTIVE NOW.
I LOOKED AROUND AND WHAT'S
TODAY'S PICTURE GOING TO BE?

Steve says DO YOU GET FEEDBACK?

Andrew says QUITE A BIT.
YESTERDAY OR THE DAY BEFORE I
HAD ONE FROM A KINDERGARTEN
CLASS, WANTED TO KNOW HOW MUCH A
NEWBORN CALF WEIGHED, AND I
GUESS THEY WEIGHED ALL
THEMSELVES AND THEY FOUND THEY
WEIGH LESS THAN A NEWBORN CALF.
JUST NEAT STORIES LIKE THAT.

Steve says THERE'S KIND OF AN
EDUCATIONAL ANGLE TO THIS AS WELL?

Andrew says I'VE HEARD
ACTUALLY QUITE A FEW SCHOOLS
DOING THAT.
ONE I HEARD LAST WEEK A
UNIVERSITY CLASS IS INCLUDING IT
IN A CRITICAL THINKING SEGMENT.

Steve says NOT BAD AT ALL.
I PRESUME PART OF WHY YOU DO
THIS IS BECAUSE MOST OF THE
PROVINCE LIVES IN CITIES AND
MOST PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN CITIES
NOW HAVE NO FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE
WITH FARMING AT ALL; IS THAT
RIGHT?

Andrew says ABSOLUTELY.
YOU KNOW, BEING KIND OF AROUND
CONSUMERS AND EVEN JUST FRIENDS
OF MINE THAT DON'T COME FROM A
FARM, YOU KNOW, THE QUESTIONS
THAT YOU GET, YOU START TO
REALIZE THAT THERE REALLY IS A
LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT'S
GOING ON ON THE FARM.
YOU KNOW, WE READ BOOKS, WATCH
THE INTERNET, T.V. SHOWS, AND
START TO GET AN IDEA.
FROM MY EXPERIENCE AROUND OUR
FARM, THAT'S NOT USUALLY THE
CASE OF WHAT'S GOING ON.
SO KIND OF A FEW PICTURES KIND
OF HELP TO AT LEAST GIVE PEOPLE
A LITTLE BETTER IDEA OF WHAT'S
GOING ON ON THE FARM.
I HOPE SO.

Steve says WHERE IS THE FARM?

Andrew says WEST OF
LONDON, STRATHROY, ONTARIO.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU DO THERE?

Andrew says COWS AND
CORN, SOYBEANS, WHEAT, AND HAY.

Steve says HOW MANY COWS?

Andrew says FIFTY.
MILKING COWS.
AND A LITTLE BIT OF VEAL AS
WELL.
125 IS THE HERD SIZE.

Steve says ARE YOU OUT THERE
4:00 AND 5:00 IN THE MORNING?

Andrew says QUARTER TO
FIVE THIS MORNING I WAS UP AND
STARTED MILKING AND FEEDING COWS
AND CAME HERE.

Steve says WHY DO YOU ENJOY IT?

Andrew says PART OF IT
IS THE -- YOU KNOW, YOU GET TO
LOOK OUT AT THE END OF THE DAY,
I ALWAYS LIKE SUMMER TIME, SIT
OUT ON A PORCH AND REALIZE, YOU
KNOW, MY COWS ARE OUT ON THE
PASTURE, THE CORN IS GROWING ON
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DRIVEWAY.
YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THIS TODAY
AND THEN, YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT
TWO REALLY YOUNG KIDS AND WHEN I
WAS A KID, YOU KNOW, GOING TO
THE BARN, LIKE, WHAT AN AWFUL --
I HAVE TO WORK IN THE BARN?
NO OTHER KIDS HAVE TO DO THAT.
BUT THEN ONCE I GREW UP, I
REALIZED WHAT KIND OF LESSONS
THAT GAVE ME.
IT JUST BROUGHT ME BACK TO THE
FARM TO REALIZE I WANTED MY KIDS
TO EXPERIENCE THAT TOO.

Steve says AL, YOU DO GET TO
SPEAK EVENTUALLY.
I HAVE A COUPLE MORE QUESTIONS
FOR ANDREW BECAUSE WE'RE ON A
ROLL HERE.
WOULD YOU SAY IT'S A TYPICAL
DAIRY FARM?

Andrew says PROBABLY
WE'RE A LITTLE SMALLER THAN THE
AVERAGE.
THE AVERAGE IN CANADA IS GETTING
CLOSER TO 80.
AROUND US, WE WOULD BE ONE OF
THE SMALLER ONES, A HUNDRED COWS
KIND OF AROUND THE CORNER AND
200 COWS A FEW MILES DOWN THE
ROAD.
BUT CERTAINLY, YOU KNOW, ACROSS
THE COUNTRY, IT WOULD BE A
LITTLE SMALLER THAN AVERAGE.

Steve says WE HEAR THIS
EXPRESSION ALL THE TIME NOW,
ORGANIC FARMING.
WOULD YOU SAY WHAT YOU DO IS
ORGANIC FARMING?

Andrew says NO.
IT'S DEFINED, YOU HAVE TO FEED
YOUR CATTLE ORGANIC GRAIN AND
FEED.
WE DO NOT FEED THEM ORGANIC
FEED.
THEY DO HAVE ACCESS TO PASTURE,
WHICH IS ONE REQUIREMENT OF
ORGANIC AS WELL, AT LEAST
THROUGH THE SUMMER TIME, BUT
CERTAINLY ON THE FEED SIDE, WE
DON'T FEED ORGANIC FEED.

Steve says BECAUSE...

Andrew says PART OF IT
IS AROUND, ONE, YOU KNOW, MY OWN
BELIEFS.
I DON'T FEEL THAT ORGANIC OFFERS
ANY BENEFIT, CERTAINLY MY KIDS
EAT NON-ORGANIC FOOD BECAUSE I
BELIEVE IN THE SYSTEM THAT WE
GROW FOR.
THE OTHER ONE COMES DOWN TO, YOU
KNOW, THE COST OF IT.
ORGANIC FEED IS QUITE EXPENSIVE.
THE REQUIREMENT TO GROW YOUR OWN
ORGANIC FEED TAKES 4 YEARS TO
GET TO THAT POINT.
YOU KNOW, WHICH, YOU KNOW,
ECONOMICALLY, I'VE STILL GOT TO
WORRY ABOUT OUR FARM AND THE
PROGRESS AND BEING ABLE TO FEED
THE KIDS AT HOME.
IT JUST HASN'T PENCILED OUT FOR
US.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF
THE FACT THAT IT SEEMS
INCREASINGLY NOWADAYS, MORE
PEOPLE ARE MORE INTERESTED IN
MORE THAN JUST HOW MUCH THIS
COSTS AND WHETHER IT TASTES
GOOD, THEY ARE INTERESTED IN
WHETHER IT'S ORGANIC, WHETHER
IT'S LOCAL, HOW IT ALL CAME
TOGETHER, ALL OF THAT?
WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THAT?

Andrew says I THINK
PART OF IT IS, GOING BACK TO
EARLIER, WHAT WE READ ON THE
INTERNET, YOU GET AN IDEA WHAT
KIND OF FOOD DO I WANT TO EAT?
WHAT KIND OF STORY DO I WANT
BEHIND?
WE GET KIND OF A NOSTALGIC FOOD
FOR WHAT OUR FOOD IS AND COULD
BE, SO WE MAKE CHOICES BASED ON
THAT.
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, I THINK
IT'S GREAT THAT PEOPLE WANT TO
HAVE A LITTLE BETTER CONNECTION
TO THEIR FOOD.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE, THOUGH,
COMES DOWN TO, YOU KNOW, WHERE
DID THAT, YOU KNOW, NEED COME
FROM AND WHERE'S THE BELIEF
BEHIND IT?
ARE THE BELIEFS ACTUALLY WHAT'S
GOING ON ON A MAINSTREAM FARM
LIKE MINE?
OR IS IT JUST KIND OF, YOU KNOW,
WHAT WE HOPE FOR, WISHFUL
THINKING, THAT MAYBE ISN'T EVEN
POSSIBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Steve says HOLD THAT THOUGHT TO
BE CONTINUED.
AL, YOU GET TO SPEAK NOW.
HERE WE GO.
IT'S TIME TO HEAR FROM THE
ECONOMIST.
BASIC BUSINESS 101 THEORY: FIND
A NICHE.
FIND A NEED IN THE MARKETPLACE
AND THEN FILL IT.
SAME IDEA WITH AGRICULTURE?

The caption changes to "Al Mussell. Agri-food economic systems."

Al says ABSOLUTELY.
YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT A
MARKET-BASED AGRICULTURE SYSTEM,
TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF DIVERSITY
AMONG FARMS, AND THIS IS WHAT
BUSINESS PEOPLE DO.
THEY SEEK OUT THOSE NICHES.
WE'VE GOT COMMODITY-BASED
AGRICULTURE, WE'VE GOT MORE
NICHE-BASED AGRICULTURE, AND
THERE'S ENOUGH DIVERSITY OUT
THERE TO CATER TO ALL OF IT.

Steve says I DON'T WANT TO GET
INTO A DEBATE ABOUT SUPPLY
MANAGEMENT BECAUSE WE'VE DONE
IT.
WOULD YOU SAY, YES, WE WORK LIKE
ANY OTHER SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY?
NOT REALLY, RIGHT?

Al says I'M NOT SO SURE ABOUT THAT.
YOU KNOW, AT THE END OF THE DAY,
THE FARMS ARE OPERATED BY FAMILY
BUSINESSES, AND THEY COMPETE IN
DIFFERENT WAYS.
THEY CAN COMPETE IN COMMODITY
BUSINESSES, THEY CAN COMPETE IN
BUSINESSES THAT ARE
SUPPLY-MANAGED, AND THEY COMPETE
IN THE PERIPHERY OF URBAN AREAS,
LOCAL FOOD, FRUITS AND
VEGETABLES.
THERE'S ANY NUMBER OF WAYS THEY
CAN DO IT AND IT'S A VERY
DIVERSE SYSTEM.

Steve says LET'S FOLLOW UP ON
WHERE WE ENDED WITH ANDREW.
YOU ARE SEEING THIS GROWTH IN
FREE RANGE, FREE RUN,
ANTIBIOTIC, HORMONE-FREE, ALL
THIS KIND OF STUFF THAT'S
HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.
IS THIS HAVING AN ECONOMIC
IMPACT ON THE AGRICULTURAL
SECTOR?

Al says IT IS.
I DON'T KNOW HOW EASY IT IS TO
MEASURE.
I THINK THE FIRST THING IS, YOU
KNOW, THIS IS -- THE GROWTH IN
AWARENESS IS A TREMENDOUS
BENEFIT, I THINK, FROM THE
STANDPOINT OF GIVING
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE TO
MARKET FARM PRODUCTS IN A
PARTICULAR WAY, TO CATER TO SOME
OF THOSE INTERESTS.
WE DO WORRY THAT WHERE SOME OF
THEM AREN'T PARTICULARLY
WELL-THOUGHT-OUT.
ANDREW MADE REFERENCE TO SOME OF
THE COSTS.
THE OTHER ASPECT TO THAT IS WE
JUST THINK ABOUT NATURAL
RESOURCE BASE.
SO IF SUSTAINABLE IS COMING TO
BE THOUGHT OF AS BEING FREE FROM
PARTICULAR -- WHETHER IT'S
ANTIBIOTICS OR PESTICIDES OR
FERTILIZERS OR DIFFERENT
TECHNOLOGIES, GMs, WHATEVER,
WE END UP COMPENSATING FOR THE
LOSS OF THOSE TECHNOLOGIES WITH
MORE OF THE NATURAL RESOURCE
BASE IS DRAWN IN AND WE DO WORRY
ABOUT THAT.

Steve says IN WHAT RESPECT?

Al says AS YOU TAKE
TECHNOLOGIES OUT OF THE FARMER'S
TOOL BOX, THE LOGICAL RESULT OF
THAT ULTIMATELY IS TO BRING MORE
LAND INTO PRODUCTION JUST TO
MAINTAIN THE SAME SUPPLY.
OF COURSE, WE'RE NOT JUST
MAINTAINING THE SAME SUPPLY.
WE NEED TO GROW THE SUPPLY.

Steve says IF PEOPLE -- I DON'T
WANT TO STEREOTYPE ANYBODY HERE,
BUT LET'S DO IT FOR THE HELL OF IT.
IF CITY TYPES, YOU KNOW, IN
DOWNTOWN TORONTO OR DOWNTOWN
OTTAWA WANT TO PAY MORE FOR
THEIR FOOD BECAUSE THEY THINK
IT'S ORGANIC OR LOCAL OR MAKES
THEM FEEL BETTER OR WHATEVER,
GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

Al says YOU KNOW, IT'S
A DIFFICULT SUBJECT.
FIRST OF ALL, FOOD IS A VERY
PERSONAL THING FOR PEOPLE.
IT'S PART OF THEIR CULTURE, PART
OF THE WAY THEY DEFINE
THEMSELVES, PART OF WHAT THEY DO
WITH THEIR SPARE TIME, THE CARE
THEY TAKE WITH THEIR FAMILIES
AND SO ON.
WE HAVE TO RESPECT THAT.
IT CREATES A LOT OF
OPPORTUNITIES FOR FARMERS, FOOD
COMPANIES, RETAILERS, ET CETERA,
AND THAT'S TERRIFIC.
WHAT WE WORRY ABOUT, THOUGH, IS
WHERE SOME OF THESE BELIEFS ARE
MISCONCEIVED OR HAVE JUST SIMPLY
INCORRECT IDEAS ABOUT, FOR
EXAMPLE, THE SUSTAINABILITY
TRAITS OF WHAT'S BEING
CONTEMPLATED --

Steve says DO A FOR INSTANCE.

Al says ANTIBIOTICS.
PESTICIDES ARE ANOTHER.
LET'S USE PESTICIDES, FOR
EXAMPLE.

Steve says SURE.

Al says PESTICIDES ARE
SOMETHING THAT FARMERS HAVE IN
THEIR TOOL BOX TO COMBAT,
WHETHER IT'S INSECT INFESTATIONS
OR WEED INFESTATIONS.
AS THE WEED POPULATION GOES UP,
THE YIELD OF A CROP GOES DOWN.
THE ONLY WAY WE CAN REPLACE
THAT, IF WE TAKE THAT TECHNOLOGY
OUT, IS TO BRING MORE LAND INTO
PRODUCTION, AND I THINK THE
LITERATURE, THE SCIENTIFIC
LITERATURE, IS QUITE
UNAMBIGUOUS.
THAT'S THE MOST UNSUSTAINABLE
THING WE CAN DO.
WE TAKE AWAY WILDLIFE HABITAT
AND WETLANDS AND SO FORTH TO
BRING IN AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION.
WHAT WE TRY TO DO IS GET AS MUCH
YIELD AS WE CAN OUT OF A
PARTICULAR FOOTPRINT IN
AGRICULTURE.
NOW, OF COURSE WE CAN'T DESTROY
THE LAND BASE IN DOING SO.
WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE
APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIES AND
THAT THEY'RE USED APPROPRIATELY.
BUT AS WE BACK AWAY FROM THOSE,
THAT'S THE LOGICAL OUTCOME OF
THIS, AND THAT'S A VERY BAD
OUTCOME.

Steve says LET ME MAKE SURE I
GET THIS.
ANDREW, FOR EXAMPLE, IF -- IF,
IN AN EFFORT, TO BUY
PESTICIDE-FREE WHATEVER OR
HORMONE-FREE BEEF OR WHATEVER,
IF THE END RESULT OF THAT IS
HAVING MORE LAND GO INTO
PRODUCTION, THE BIGGER PICTURE
SUGGESTS THAT'S ACTUALLY
ENVIRONMENTALLY LESS
SUSTAINABLE?
IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING?

Andrew says CERTAINLY
WE LOOK AROUND OUR AREA.
YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT A FEW SPOTS
AROUND OUR FARM THAT WE DON'T --
YOU KNOW, WE DON'T HARVEST
ANYTHING OFF OF.
IT'S KIND OF WOODED AREAS AROUND
CREEKS, THINGS LIKE THAT.
IF ALL OF A SUDDEN, YOU KNOW,
WE'RE IN A POSITION THAT EITHER
THE PRICE OF THOSE PRODUCTS,
BECAUSE OF THE SUPPLY AND
DEMAND, THE SURPRISE GOES
THROUGH THE ROOF -- THE PRICE
GOES THROUGH THE ROOF, OR WE GET
INTO A POSITION WHERE WE NEED
MORE ACRES TO SUSTAIN THE FARM,
WE START LOOKING AT THOSE, WELL,
HERE'S AN ACRE THAT REALLY IS
JUST FOR THE DEER AND TREES,
DOES IT NEED TO BE PART OF THE
EQUATION?
AND I KNOW WHEN CROP PRICES LAST
HAD THEIR BIG SPIKE, WE SAW, IN
THE U.S., IN CONSERVATION
RESERVE PROGRAMS, ALL OF A
SUDDEN GO INTO PRODUCTION OF
AGRICULTURE THAT WERE REALLY
JUST KIND OF WILDLIFE HABITAT
BEFORE.

Steve says THE ALTERNATIVE TO
THAT IS WHAT?

Andrew says WELL, THE
ALTERNATIVE TO THAT IS TAKING A
LOOK AT THE TECHNOLOGIES THAT
ARE AVAILABLE TO US -- AS AL
MENTIONED, WE'VE GOT PESTICIDES
FOR THINGS LIKE, YOU KNOW, A
SOYBEAN APHID.
A LITTLE BUG, YOU HAVE TO LOOK
TO FIND, AND YOU'VE GOT TO FIND
200 OF THEM ON A PLANT BEFORE
YOU WANT TO SPRAY IT.
BUT WHEN IT GETS OVER THAT, IT
ACTUALLY COULD HAVE A SERIOUS
IMPLICATION ON THAT CROP,
DESTROYING IT.
SO THEN IT COMES DOWN TO, YOU
KNOW, FOR US, WE NEED THAT CROP
TO BE ABLE TO KEEP THE FARM
SUSTAINABLE.
SO WE HAVE TO SPRAY IT.
SO IT'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS
THAT, YOU KNOW, WE CANNOT -- AND
CERTAINLY IN THE ORGANIC, YOU
KNOW, WE TALK ABOUT, YOU KNOW,
MOST PEOPLE ASSUME IT'S
PESTICIDE-FREE.
WELL, IT'S JUST A DIFFERENT KIND
OF PESTICIDE.
IT'S A NATURAL PESTICIDE THAT
ISN'T, YOU KNOW, NECESSARILY
CREATED OUT OF A LAB OR OUT OF A
CHEMICAL PROCESS, BUT GROWN,
STILL GOES TO A PLANT AND THEN
IT'S SPRAYED.
IT DOES COME DOWN TO CONSUMER
PREFERENCE, BUT AT THE SAME
TIME, YOU KNOW, THERE HAS TO BE
THAT IDEA THAT, OKAY, JUST
BECAUSE I CAN AFFORD THE FOOD,
DOES THAT MEAN WE WANT TO MAKE
IT EXPENSIVE FOR EVERYBODY ELSE
WHO CAN'T?

Steve says I HEAR YOU.
ON THE OTHER HAND, FOR THE
FOODIES WHO WANT TO SPEND MORE
MONEY AND HAVE IT TO SPEND
BECAUSE THEY WANT TO GET
PESTICIDE-FREE, HORMONE-FREE,
ANTIBIOTIC-FREE, YOU KNOW, ALL
OF THAT BUSINESS, DO YOU HAVE AN
ISSUE WITH THAT?

Andrew says I DON'T
NECESSARILY HAVE AN ISSUE WITH
THAT.
IT COMES DOWN TO, WE'RE IN A
POSITION NOW POLITICALLY WHERE
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT I'M GOING TO
GO TO THE GROCERY STORE AND MAKE
MY OWN CHOICES, BUT I'M GOING TO
GO TO QUEEN'S PARK AND MAKE SURE
THAT IT'S LEGISLATED THAT THAT'S
CHANGED BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT I
PREFER AND THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO
DO AND THAT'S WHERE THE MUCH
BIGGER CHALLENGE COMES, INSTEAD
OF IT'S MY CHOICE, I'M GOING TO
TELL EVERYBODY ELSE HOW TO EAT
AS WELL.

Al says I THINK THERE'S
A RELATED ISSUE WITH THAT.
THERE'S THE FOODIES THAT BELIEVE
VERY STRONGLY IN THIS, AND
THAT'S GREAT, BECAUSE THAT'S
IMPORTANT FOR THEM.
THERE ARE CERTAIN FARMERS WHO
ARE IN A POSITION TO BE ABLE TO
SERVE THAT MARKET.
THE CHALLENGE COMES WHEN WE HAVE
LARGE RETAIL BANNERS THAT COME
IN AND SAY, WELL, OKAY, WE DON'T
WANT TO STOCK ANY POTTED FLOWERS
THAT ARE TREATED WITH NEONIC
INSECTICIDES.
WE DON'T WANT G.M. PRODUCTS.
THINGS THAT ARE SMALL NICHE-TYPE
RETAIL OUTLETS, THAT'S ONE
THING.
THAT'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
SOMEBODY.
WHEN THEY'RE VERY, VERY LARGE,
THEN SUDDENLY FARMERS ARE
CONFRONTED WITH RESTRICTIONS TO
MARKET ACCESS USING TECHNOLOGIES
THAT WE'VE HAD PUBLIC APPROVAL
OF.
SO WE END UP GETTING CAUGHT IN A
BIT OF A JAM HERE.

Steve says I SHOULD JUST --
SOME PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GET
CONFUSED.
YOU'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT GENERAL
MOTORS WHEN YOU TALK G.M.,
YOU'RE TALKING GENETICALLY
MODIFIED ORGANISMS.
JUST TO BE CLEAR.
NOT EVERYBODY FOLLOWS ALL THE
ACRONYMS AROUND HERE.

Al says CORRECT.
WE HAVE HEALTH CANADA, THE
CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY,
PEST MANAGEMENT AGENCY THAT
APPROVES SPECIFIC TECHNOLOGIES.
PESTICIDES --

Steve says WHY DO YOU KEEP
CALLING PESTICIDE A TECHNOLOGY.
IT'S NOT REALLY A TECHNOLOGY.

Al says IT'S A
CHEMISTRY.
THAT'S A TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY.
AND THESE ARE APPROVED PRODUCTS,
YOU KNOW?
WE WORRY ABOUT THE DAY, AND I
DON'T THINK WE HAVE TO WORRY
ABOUT THE DAY BECAUSE IT'S
HAPPENING NOW, WE'VE GOT FARMERS
THAT USE THIS ACCEPTED
TECHNOLOGY, THEY CAN DEMONSTRATE
THEY CAN USE IT PROPERLY, AND
THEY HAVE LIMITS ON MARKET
ACCESS.

Steve says LET'S TALK DAIRY
HERE.
YOU DON'T DO ORGANIC.

Andrew says NO.

Steve says WHEN YOU SEE OTHER
FARMERS WHO DO DO THE ORGANIC
MILK THING, WHAT DO YOU GUYS
TALK ABOUT?

Andrew says CERTAINLY,
YOU KNOW, IT COMES DOWN TO, FOR
A LOT OF THEM, WHAT DOES, YOU
KNOW, YOUR OWN PERSONAL BELIEF,
YOU KNOW, KIND OF FITS INTO IT A
LITTLE BIT.
ALSO, YOU KNOW, THE ECONOMIC
REALITY HAS TO BE PART OF IT.
WE CERTAINLY WANT TO PRODUCE THE
BEST FOOD WE CAN OUT THE
DRIVEWAY.

Steve says DO YOU EVER SAY TO
THESE GUYS, GOSH, YOU'RE MAKING
ME LOOK BAD HERE?

Andrew says IT'S ONE
OF THOSE THINGS THAT USUALLY,
FROM WHAT I SEE, AND I SEE A LOT
OF IT, IT'S FILLING THAT MARKET
DEMAND THAT EXISTS.
WE'VE GOT ONE THAT'S A FEW MILES
AWAY, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE NOT
PUTTING UP SIGNS TELLING ME I'M
GLAD I'M DRINKING MY MILK
INSTEAD OF THIS GUY'S INSTEAD.
IT JUST REALLY IS TWO FARMERS
DOING IT A LITTLE BIT
DIFFERENTLY, FILLING THEIR OWN
MARKETS.

Steve says SORRY, YOU WANTED TO
FOLLOW UP ON THAT?
GO AHEAD.

Al says THE ORGANIC
FARMERS THAT I'VE SPOKEN TO, AND
I'VE MET QUITE A FEW OVER THE
YEARS, A LOT OF THEM WILL SAY I
JUST WANTED TO FARM DIFFERENTLY.

Steve says BECAUSE...

Al says BECAUSE THEY
FELT THAT WAY.
THEY HAVE A PARTICULAR
PERSPECTIVE ON IT.
ON ANTIBIOTICS, IS IT POSSIBLE
TO RAISE LIVESTOCK WITHOUT
ANTIBIOTICS?
YES.
IT'S BEING DONE IN EUROPE.
ORGANIC FARMERS ARE DOING IT
HERE.
IT TAKES A VERY SPECIAL
SKILL-SET.
IT'S A DIFFERENT -- YOU KNOW,
YOU'RE GOING TO SACRIFICE SOME
OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR FARM TO BE
ABLE TO DO THAT.
AND IN SOME WAYS, I HAVE A GREAT
DEAL OF RESPECT FOR THE PEOPLE
THAT CAN DO THAT BECAUSE THAT'S
DIFFICULT TO DO.
I'M SURE THERE'S SOME SIDE
EFFECTS WITH THAT.
I MEAN, THERE ARE SOME ANIMALS
THAT DON'T GET TREATED WITH
PARTICULAR PRODUCTS THAT WOULD
HAVE OTHERWISE --

Steve says YOU SHARE THE VIEW
OF ANDREW THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO
SEE ANY LAWS MANDATING ORGANIC
FARMING?
YOU DO SHARE THAT VIEW.

Andrew says CERTAINLY
ON THE ORGANIC, ON THE DAIRY
SIDE, ANTIBIOTICS CAN BE USED,
THE WITHDRAWAL PERIOD IS
EXTENDED AND YOU CAN ONLY TREAT
THEM TWICE PER YEAR.
IT'S NOT A CASE OF THE
TECHNOLOGY IS OUT COMPLETELY, IT
JUST CHANGES HOW YOU MANAGE THAT
A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY.

Steve says LET'S TALK ABOUT
INCOME FOR A SECOND HERE.
TO THAT END, WE KNOW THAT MANY
FARMERS IN ONTARIO NOWADAYS HAVE
GOT INCOME COMING AWAY FROM
FARMING.
WHO KNOWS?
THEY HAVE A WIND TURBINE ON
THEIR PROPERTY OR WHATEVER.
THEY'RE GETTING INCOME FROM
DIFFERENT OPTIONS.
LET'S GO TO THE ECONOMIST FIRST.
IS THAT BECAUSE AGRICULTURE JUST
DOESN'T PAY AS A WAY OF LIFE
ANYMORE?

Al says WELL, THIS IS A
TREND THAT'S BEEN GROWING FOR
MANY YEARS.
IF YOU GO BACK TO THE 1930s,
30 percent OF THE CANADIAN POPULATION
WERE IN PRIMARY AGRICULTURE.
THAT HAS BEEN DECLINING EVER
SINCE.

Steve says WHAT IS IT NOW?

Al says SOMEWHERE
AROUND 2 percent.
THAT'S A PRETTY GENEROUS
DEFINITION OF WHAT A FARMER IS.

Steve says AND STILL FEEDING
EVERYBODY?

Al says ABSOLUTELY.
IT'S BEEN AN ENORMOUS SUCCESS
STORY IN TERMS OF PRODUCTIVITY.
WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO
ENJOY BEING OUTSIDE, MAYBE ENJOY
LIVESTOCK, ENJOY MACHINERY, THAT
HAVE ESSENTIALLY FULL-TIME JOBS
OR PART-TIME JOBS AND ALSO FARM.
IN FACT, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE
OVERALL STATISTICS, IF YOU LOOK
AT, FOR EXAMPLE, FARMS WITH
SALES OF UNDER 100,000 dollars, IT'S
MORE THAN HALF OF THE FARMS.
THAT'S SALES.
THAT'S NOT THE PROFIT.
SO SOMETHING ELSE, OTHER FORMS
OF INCOME ARE SUPPORTING THOSE
TYPES OF ENTERPRISES, AND --

Steve says DOES THAT SUGGEST,
THOUGH, THAT THIS REALLY IS NOT
A VIABLE WAY OF LIFE ANYMORE?

Al says I DON'T THINK SO.
I THINK IT'S -- FIRST OF ALL,
IT'S CONSISTENT WITH A
MARKET-BASED ORIENTATION OF
AGRICULTURE, IN WHICH PEOPLE
CHOOSE THEIR OWN SORT OF WAY TO
GO ABOUT HANDLING THEIR
BUSINESSES, WHAT SCALE THEY WANT
TO OPERATE, WHETHER THEY WANT TO
HAVE OFF-FARM WORK, ET CETERA,
AND I THINK THAT'S REALLY THE
PRIMARY DRIVER OF IT.

Steve says LET'S TALK SCALE FOR
A SECOND, BECAUSE YOU'VE SAID
YOU'RE A SMALL OPERATOR.
SCALE IMPORTANT IN YOUR WORLD?

Andrew says CERTAINLY.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW, WE -- AS WE
COME HOME TO THE FARM, MY WIFE
AND I, YOU KNOW, WE'RE DOING THE
SAME THING THAT MY GRANDFATHER
DID AND MY FATHER DID, AND
THAT'S HOW ARE WE GOING TO GROW
IT IN THE NEXT KIND OF 20 OR 30
YEARS WHEN WE'RE ON THE FARM?
CERTAINLY WHEN WE CAME HOME TO
THE FARM EVEN 5 YEARS AGO, IT
WAS 35 COWS IN THE BARN.
IN FIVE YEARS IT'S 50.
YOU KNOW, WE HOPE THAT IN
ANOTHER 5 OR 10 YEARS IT'S
75-PLUS, JUST BECAUSE, FOR US ON
THE FARM, YOU TALK ABOUT
OFF-FARM WORK, BOTH MY WIFE AND
I KIND OF DO PART-TIME FREELANCE
CONTRACT STUFF TO KIND OF FILL
IN THE HOLES.
BUT CERTAINLY THE GOAL IS HOW
CAN WE BUILD IT SO WE'RE HOME
FULL TIME ALL THE TIME AND THE
SCALE HAS TO BE PART OF THAT.

Steve says THAT DOES -- I
SHOULD ASK YOU: DOES IT SPEAK TO
THE FACT THAT WHAT YOU'RE TRYING
TO DO ON THE FARM IS NOT A
SUSTAINABLE FINANCIAL WAY OF
LIFE BECAUSE YOU BOTH HAVE JOBS
ON THE SIDE?

Andrew says PART OF IT
IS THAT WHAT WAS A FARM FOR A
FAMILY IS NOW FOR TWO.
SO INSTEAD OF JUST MY PARENTS
TAKING AN INCOME, NOW IT'S MY
PARENTS AND US TAKING AN INCOME.
IT'S ONE OF THOSE WHERE WE FOUND
THE SPACE THAT BOTH MY WIFE AND
I DON'T HAVE TO WORK OFF THE
FARM NOW.
WE CAN BOTH KIND OF DO IT
PART-TIME INSTEAD, WHICH WORKS
WELL, BUT REALLY, IT IS ABOUT,
YOU KNOW, HOW ARE WE FINDING
INSTEAD OF JUST ONE INCOME, TWO
INCOMES NOW, FROM THE SAME
OPERATION.

Steve says HOW OLD ARE YOUR KIDS?

Andrew says ONE AND THREE.

Steve says SO IT'S A BIT EARLY
TO ASK WHETHER THEY'RE GOING TO
BE GOING IN THIS LINE OF WORK AS WELL.

Andrew says WHO KNOWS
IF THEY WANT TO.
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, IF THEY
WANT THAT OPTION, WE'RE GOING TO
HAVE IT AS ECONOMICALLY VIABLE
AND SUSTAINABLE FOR THE COWS AND
LAND AS POSSIBLE.
IF THEY DECIDE THAT IS AN OPTION
THEY CAN HAVE.

Steve says HOW CONCERNED ARE
YOU, ANDREW, THAT AS CONSUMER
CHOICE -- I THINK IT'S FAIR TO
SAY -- CONSUMER CHOICE FOR
ORGANIC, LOCAL, YOU KNOW, ALL
THE THINGS WE'VE BEEN TALKING
ABOUT, IT'S GROWING.
HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU THAT THE
MODEL THAT YOU'VE GOT IN PLACE
IS GOING TO BE OUT OF STEP WITH
THE TIMES GOING FORWARD?

Andrew says I THINK
IT'S ONE OF THOSE WHERE WE KEEP
LOOKING AT THE BUSINESS MODEL,
YOU KNOW, ON AN ANNUAL OR EVERY
COUPLE OF YEARS BASIS TO SAY,
OKAY, ARE WE STILL IN THE RIGHT
POSITION THAT MAKES THIS FARM AS
VIABLE AS POSSIBLE?
IF EVERY CONSUMER WANTED ORGANIC
MILK, WE'LL START PRODUCING
ORGANIC MILK.
THAT'S NOT THE ISSUE.
IT REALLY COMES DOWN TO, YOU
KNOW, WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR
OPERATION, YOU KNOW, AND WHERE
DO WE THINK WE FIT IN KIND OF
THE FARM COMMUNITY.

Steve says AND WHAT PRICE YOU
CAN GET --

Andrew says AND WHAT
PRICE YOU CAN GET.
HEY, IT HAS TO BE PART OF IT.

Steve says I NOTICE A and W IS
NOW MARKETING ITS BURGERS AS
BETTER PRODUCTION, RIGHT?
BETTER PRODUCTION -- BETTER
BECAUSE OF THE PRODUCTION
METHODS THEY USE.

Al says THEY SAID
THEY'VE TAKEN HORMONES OUT.

Steve says AND CHIPOTLE DID
SOMETHING LIKE THIS AS WELL,
RIGHT?
SO THEY'RE TRYING TO CARVE OUT A
NICHE FOR THEMSELVES.
AS A GUY WHO LOOKS AT THE WHOLE
SECTOR, WHAT KIND OF RIPPLE
EFFECTS DOES THAT HAVE ON THE
WHOLE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR?

Al says I THINK THE
FIRST THING, JUST LOOKING AT
A and W FINANCIAL RETURNS, IT
SEEMS TO BE WORKING WELL FOR
THEM.
AGAIN, I WORRY ABOUT THIS WITHIN
THE GENERAL FAMILY OF FREE FROM
SPECIFIC TECHNOLOGIES AS SOMEHOW
BEING MORE SUSTAINABLE.
AS ANDREW INDICATED, YOU KNOW,
WHEN WE APPLY ANTIBIOTICS IN
LIVESTOCK, THERE ARE WITHDRAWAL
PERIODS, AND PRODUCT IS SAMPLED.
WE MAKE SURE THAT THAT
PRODUCT -- YOU KNOW, IF THERE
ARE ANY RESIDUALS OR METABOLITES
OF ANTIBIOTICS, THAT STAYS OUT
OF THE FOOD CHAIN.
THAT'S JOB ONE AS THE FOCUS.
AGAIN, THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE
THAT HAVE OPINIONS AND FEELINGS
ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS IN FOOD AND
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT ARE
PREPARED TO SERVE THAT, BUT YOU
DO WORRY, YOU KNOW, IN
AGGREGATE, AS THIS PICKS UP, YOU
KNOW, IS FREE FROM SPECIFIC
TECHNOLOGY MORE SUSTAINABLE?
AND MY UNDERSTANDING OF IT, THE
ANSWER IS PRETTY CLEARLY NO.

Steve says YOU THINK IT'S LESS
SUSTAINABLE.
BUT IN TERMS OF MARKETING, IT'S
CERTAINLY WHERE A LOT -- IT'S
WHERE AN INCREASING SHARE OF THE
MARKETPLACE NOW IS.
SO YOU ARE -- I PRESUME YOU ARE
CONCERNED ABOUT THE FACT THAT
MORE AND MORE PEOPLE SEEM TO
WANT A KIND OF AGRICULTURAL
PRODUCT THAT YOU SEEM
UNCOMFORTABLE ABOUT.

Al says ONLY
UNCOMFORTABLE TO THE EXTENT THAT
THE CONNOTATION IS THAT LESS
TECHNOLOGY IS MORE SUSTAINABLE,
AND I BELIEVE THAT'S FACTUALLY
INCORRECT.

The caption changes to "Supply and demand."

Steve says OKAY.
BUT IF THE MARKET ENDS UP GOING
IN THIS DIRECTION, WHAT'S GOING
TO HAPPEN?

Al says WELL, AS ANDREW
INDICATED, YOU KNOW, IF
EVERYBODY WANTED ORGANIC, HE'D
SHIFT TO ORGANIC.
IF EVERYBODY WANTS
ANTIBIOTIC-FREE, THE MARKETPLACE
WILL SHIFT TOWARD
ANTIBIOTIC-FREE.
WHAT THAT WILL MEAN AS THE
SUPPLY CHAIN -- IN FACT, WITHIN
THE FARM, ADJUSTMENTS ARE MADE.
WE'LL HAVE TO SEE BECAUSE THAT
WILL TAKE PLACE OVER A NUMBER OF
YEARS.
JUST TO PICK ANOTHER EXAMPLE,
CAGE-FREE, THERE'S A GREATER
INTEREST IN CAGE-FREE EGGS.
THE ADJUSTMENT TO THAT CHANGE
WILL OCCUR OVER A LONG PERIOD OF
TIME AND -- ONCE YOU GET INTO
THIS, YOU FIND -- YOU TAKE THE
CHICKENS OUT OF THE CAGES, WE
HAVE TO VENTILATE THEM
DIFFERENTLY.
WE FEED THEM DIFFERENTLY.
THERE'S DIFFERENT PEST
PRESSURES, THE MORTALITY RATES
CHANGE.
BY THE TIME THAT ADJUSTMENT,
BASED ON A CONSUMER DEMAND,
CONSUMER PERCEPTION, WORKS
THROUGH THE SYSTEM, YOU MAY HAVE
A VERY DIFFERENT FARM SEGMENT
THAT YOU STARTED WITH.
IT'S NOT JUST TAKE THEM OUT OF
THE CAGE.
IT'S NOT JUST GET RID OF THE
ANTIBIOTICS --

Steve says I GET IT.
BUT ARE YOU HEARTENED THAT THERE
APPEARS TO BE APPETITE AMONG
SOME IN CITIES TO PAY MORE FOR
FOOD, WHICH IS A MESSAGE YOU
GUYS HAVE BEEN HAMMERING AWAY AT
FOR YEARS.

Al says IT'S A DIVERSE
AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM.
THESE ARE SMALL BUSINESSES.
WE DON'T HAVE CORPORATE
BEHEMOTHS THAT OPERATE FARMS
THAT YOU CAN ONLY GET VANILLA
PRODUCT FROM.
THAT'S NOT THE SYSTEM.
THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE URBAN
FRINGE THAT ARE VERY
WELL-POSITIONED TO CATER TO
THOSE.
THE ISSUE BECOMES AS THESE GET
MAINSTREAM AND THAT'S A CONCERN.

The caption changes to "tvo.org"

Steve says SHOULD WE LET THIS
GUY GET HOME TO STRATHROY, HE
HAS TO GO TO BED.

Andrew says I HAVE TO
MILK COWS AGAIN.

Steve says WHAT TIME?

Andrew says QUARTER TO FIVE.

Steve says YOU MILK LAST THING
AT NIGHT AND FIRST THING IN THE
MORNING.

Andrew says FIVE AND
FIVE, YEP.

The caption changes to "Produced by Hilary Clark, @hilarygclark"

Steve says GOOD FOR YOU.
OKAY.
THANKS TO YOU BOTH FOR COMING IN
AND SHARING YOUR VIEWS ON
AGRICULTURE IN THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO TONIGHT.
ANDREW CAMPBELL, AL MUSSELL.
APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH.

Andrew says A PLEASURE.

Watch: Modern Farms, Modern Choices