Celebrating Ontario Agriculture Week
October 1, 2021 | Paul Bootsma
October 4-10 is Ontario Agriculture Week, a time dedicated to celebrating the abundance of food our farmers produce, the people our industry employs, the rural communities we support and the economic engine we fuel. Historically, agriculture has been the backbone of many communities in rural Ontario.
Ontario Agriculture Week always takes place the week before Thanksgiving. Setting aside one week every year helps us remember our journey from the past but also allows us to join with others to look forward. Organizations that work on behalf of agriculture in Ontario use this week to inform the people of Ontario, particularly in urban areas, of the significance of farming.
As it says in the Ontario Agriculture Week Act, “Ontario’s agriculture industry has always been and continues to be an important part of the province’s economy.” The Act recognizes that agriculture was taking place long before it was first surveyed for homesteaders. As other industries were established across the province, people became less connected to the farming. It is good to remind people that agriculture is connected to everyone.
The goal of this week is to help the citizens of Ontario to understand the contribution of farmers to the quality of our lives. This is accomplished by some well organized events such as the Breakfast From the Farm tour, organized by Farm & Food Care Ontario. This is a drive-by tour that will bring the farm and food products to visitors.
Education is another way to bring the importance of agriculture to people. In the classroom, young people can learn how food is produced and the effort it takes to bring it to their tables. This will have significance for the rest of their lives, something which needs to be understood by each generation
AgScape is another organization involved in promoting agriculture and has prepared material specifically for this week of celebrating agriculture. AgScape works continually to bring the voice of agriculture to the classrooms of Ontario, providing curriculum that is balanced and factual.
The CFFO, which represents many families who produce our food, thanks these organizations for their work in reaching out to the people of Ontario. Food production is the livelihood of our members and this week is an opportunity to connect farmers and consumers together, to help understand each other’s needs. As we go forward, building relationships is vital for both the producer and the recipients of our products. Thank a farmer for the food you eat.
Paul Bootsma is Field Services Manager for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKXS Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and CHLP Listowel.