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Jul 5, 2021

The Rundown

In this episode we go deep into Canada’s beef industry with a young woman who grew up on an Ontario beef farm,  consults to the government about Canadian agriculture, is a politician herself, and can covert vegans to meat-eating on social media. Next up, an elegiac and informative meditation on that most prosaic of feeds, hay. Both interviews are food, for thought.

Amanda Brodhagen and Cattle Tales

 Amanda Brodhagen has been around beef since birth. She grew up on a cattle farm near Stratford, Ontario. There she developed a love for her animals and for the rich pasture eco-system on which they grazed and which they shared with a variety of natural species. Today Amanda is a proud advocate for the beef industry, an agri-food consultant to the government, and a politician herself. She’s a rural councilor in the Township of Perth East in Ontario. I spoke with Amanda recently about her life with cattle, the challenges the industry faces, and the need for diversity and innovation if the industry is to survive.

Judy Silva and Hay for Horses

A lot of us take hay for granted. But not Judy Silva. Judy grew up on the prairies tossing bales of hay high into her family’s barn. She developed a deep love for its scent and for the wide variety of brome grasses, fescue, and timothy that go into the fragrant horse feed. I spoke with Judy about the complexity and memory of hay.

End Notes

Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. Or you can check out Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at

By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer, and friend of the 'cast, David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website,