Oh Canada!
This past week was a cold and snowy one when I visited our neighbors to the north. I had to drive through a snowstorm with six-foot high banks on the side of the road. I froze!

I would like to give you some perspectives from a "designer pig" panel and talk show. Why? Because I was one of the two featured guests. Here are the perspectives.

When asked in a market survey what their top three priorities when purchasing pork, consumers answered:

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  • Food safety

  • ¸ <<li>p>Ethical treatment of animals
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  • Environmental management

Some of the leading food agribusiness companies in North America are developing plans for natural foods with producers that meet some of those needs. The requirements for these animals are:

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  • Fed GMO-free feed
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  • No use of growth hormone or antibiotics
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  • Sufficient space in raising the hogs
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  • Natural sunlight and ventilation for all animals
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  • Composted manure rather than storing in a lagoon

The hog farm owner on the panel has a large number of employees and 20 percent of the workforce are females

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
I was stuck in 3-foot snow banks in Brandon, Manitoba. It required me to use all methods of transportation and reminded me of the famous Canadian actor, John Candy, in his great movie "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles." Yup, that sure was me too.

Down on the Farm
A steer from my neighbor’s ranch recently went berserk. And there stood my neighbor, with that big beast charging right for him. At the last minute, he just stepped aside. I told him not to scare me like that, no matter how good he knows his herd. Why that steer went crazy, I will never know. Remind me to sell my beef cows. I am sticking with Holsteins and Jerseys.

Sports Perspective
The Hokies almost blew up the BCS computer polls. And Barbzilla is smiling. Yes, her Packers won again. Nice game by the Redskins. I bet you were watching, too, to see what would happen.

LSU really made the Big Red fans happy. Each week until the Rose Bowl, I will give you one tip on how to beat Miami. Here you go, Big Red Fans!

Tip #1: Pressure the Miami quarterback. Don’t give him time to throw. He will eat you alive.

I am going back to the Midwest and hoping for no snow. Did you take time this weekend to get a Christmas tree for your family?

My e-mail address is: sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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