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.

The relative merits of the tractor and the horse for doing farm work is a question which could be argued until Doomsday without arriving at a conclusion that would be satisfactory to all concerned. The tractor enthusiasts can quote figures to show that the tractor performs work more cheaply than horses, and those who back the horse can produce figures equally convincing to prove that for real

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The Hog as Mortgage Tosser

This cartoon originally appeared in the June 13, 1912 edition of The Farmer’s Advocate. It depicts a man labelled “stick-to-the-hog farmer” happily

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Cant Hook

This artifact is a cant hook, a traditional logging tool that was used to assist lumbermen in working with logs in sawmills. It consists of a wooden lever and a hinged

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Encourage Farm Girls

Scores, yes hundreds, of reasons have been advanced to account for the boys leaving the farm to engage in urban occupations. The problem is unsolved. Perhaps if all the sound reasons advanced were put together in one volume they would cover the case. In dealing with the subject of the trend of population cityward, by far the largest percentage of writers discuss the problem from a very

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lives lived

David Fife

1805 - JANUARY 9, 1877

The history of Canadian agriculture owes a great debt to the experimental efforts of one man. A Scotch immigrant farmer, David Fife was responsible for introducing a strain of wheat uniquely suited to the harsh and unforgiving Canadian climate. Known as Red Fife, this wheat served as the foundation of Canada’s agricultural prosperity through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Born in Scotland in 1805, David Fife immigrated to the Province of Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario) with his family in 1820. The family settled on a farm on Lot 22, Concession 4 in Otonabee, near

Joseph-Octave Arsenault

AUGUST 5, 1828 - DECEMBER 14, 1897

Joseph-Octave Arsenault was born on a farm in Cascumpec, Prince Edward Island on August 5, 1828. Of Acadian origin, Joseph and his family were influential figures among this French-speaking minority on the Island. At the age of four, the family moved to La Roche, and Joseph received a first-rate education from the best Acadian school teacher of his day, Mr. Gaudet. Inspired by his teacher and mentor, Joseph began a career teaching school in 1847 when he was nineteen years old. In 1852 he attended the Central Academy in Charlottetown and received his first-class teaching certificate. Proud

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