News from our rich agriculture history

The farm and rural history website is dedicated to celebrating and digitizing the last 150 years of success in the Canadian agriculture and food industry. The agriculture and food industries in Canada have a rich heritage of innovation, and have laid a foundation of excellence upon which we continue to grow. We celebrate Canada’s food and agriculture innovations on these pages.
Across the Plains of North Middlesex

That the Province of Ontario possesses a plains country essentially similar in some respects to that of the great Prairie West, will come as a surprise to most readers, but a trip north from London on the Huron & Bruce branch of the Grand Trunk, or west from Stratford along the Port Huron line will bring the fact home with depressing clearness. There are many wide, level stretches of

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Keep that fifth column off the farm front

This cartoon appeared in a June 1, 1940 issue of the Canadian Countryman, and framed weeds as a dangerous fifth column threatening the war effort against the Axis powers.

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Dog-Powered Barrel Churn

This device combines the inventions of the barrel churn with an animal-powered wheel. While the exact year this particular device was made is unclear, it is based on a

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Letters from Britain from a Canadian Farmer

I arrived safely in Liverpool. We came through a good deal of fog, and saw a number of icebergs, but our captain was a very cautious man, and we were in no danger. There is so much competition in the Atlantic carrying trade that the steamship companies are vying with each other as to which shall give their passengers the greatest amount of comfort and luxury. The fare in the second cabin is

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lives lived


JUNE 22, 1883 - MARCH 18, 1969

John Bracken led an eventful life in the fields of agriculture and politics which included many high and low points. He was born June of 1883 near Ellisvale Ontario, but is most known for his time spent in the prairie provinces. Before moving west, Bracken attended the Ontario Agricultural College where he demonstrated great academic and athletic success.

Upon his graduation Bracken was offered a job in Manitoba as a seed control inspector at the Department of Agriculture which caused him to travel extensively through the prairies. He was exceedingly skilled at his job and his

Robert Miller

1857 - 1935

There are few names of more significance to the history of the livestock business in Canada than that of Robert Miller. The famous livestock man was born on July 15, 1857 in Brougham (Pickering), Upper Canada into a Scottish family of immense importance to the livestock community of Ontario. His father, John, had migrated from Scotland to Upper Canada in 1835, bringing livestock with him. His farm, known as Thistle Ha’, was known far and wide, and is currently a National Historic Site. The Millers specialized in Shorthorns, which would dominate the family industry during

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