Opinion: Rethinking how to approach sustainability, climate change

What those words meant now was anyone’s guess.

Climate change — are you still reading?

Sustainability — am I now in the recycling bin?

What about the word carbon — what does it mean?

These words have shocked the agricultural industry. Correction: these words are taking the agriculture industry by storm. They are important. They divide. And those are words that have long since lost their dictionary definition. What they meant now was anyone’s guess.

Industry needs to reset the clock. He needs to put on his sunglasses, pull out the memory erasing device, take us back in time a few years and then send us home for a good night’s sleep.

This will give all the farming groups who have worked tirelessly to bring the industry together around sustainability, climate change and the various issues associated with carbon time to rethink their strategies and do a much better job of bringing us together a second time around.

Currently, sustainability, climate change and carbon are topics of discussion. Tomorrow, it will be a policy that, naturally, becomes a policy, whether you believe it or not.

However, other markets do. The success of Canadian wheat may, at some point, depend on our stance on this issue. I know enough climate change deniers to be unaffected by science, but would change their minds in an instant if it meant their grain was guaranteed home and premium.

Right now, the Canadian ag is dealing with something that doesn’t look good from the outside. I don’t mean the lawyers and doctors who live in the big cities peek at what Canadian farmers are doing.

Industry disputes are being highlighted to our trading partners, such as European Union, USA, Asia, Brazil and others. For example, issues such as our inability to unite around something more complex than not wearing a mask are the basis for the short documentary about the Canadian ag currently playing internationally.

This is the industry today. Imagine. There are farmer group leaders who try to convince their members and administrators to get involved, but do not convince themselves. Farmers who are not willing to bend their knees. Board members who are also trying to convince others while not really understanding or being completely loyal to the goals themselves.

In the midst of this, some believe and are vocally supportive; some don’t even think we need to pretend to believe; and others define sustainability differently from others.

I don’t have an answer but I do know that the industry has taken several initiatives related to upcoming sustainability, climate change, and carbon mandates and implemented them too quickly, leaving a lot of farmers behind.

Given the power, I’d be tempted to use some sort of Men in Black memory-wipe gadget to get us all back to ground zero on this issue. Then again, I’m not sure how sustainable it is

For a closer look at this scenario, join me online at producer.com to check out some of the situations our industry finds itself in and maybe have some fun with it.

Toban Dyck farms in southern Manitoba and shares his thoughts on media platforms.

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