Farmer Conference Signals Hope

January 24, 2020 | Clarence Nywening

Farmer Conference Signals Hope

Early this month, the 27th annual SouthWest Agricultural Conference was held at the Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph. Thirteen hundred people crowded the lecture halls to hear guest speakers address topics ranging from the challenging growing season of 2019, to better tillage practices, equipment management and crop rotation options.

To some, this event may not seem very important, but to me it shows a fundamental reality of farming. Every year our land is changing, and farmers are faced with new challenges and obstacles to overcome. In some ways it would be easy to deny these challenges and fall back on the tried and true methods that farmers have used for years, but when 1300 people show up to learn about better farming practices, I am encouraged and excited to see what the next cropping season will bring.

When farmers are willing to gather together and learn, much can be accomplished. We can work together to find ways to improve our land quality. We can search out methods of soil stewardship and farming sustainability. We can improve nutrient management and prevent runoff into our waterways. Big things can happen when we take the time to learn.

So, to all who attended the SouthWest Ag Conference, or other events like it, thank you for taking the time to learn. Your time is not only an investment in your farm but an investment in the future of farming. And to all those farmers who are innovative and willing to try new methods to improve farm stewardship, your efforts are a blessing to the entire farming community around you. You are showing us the benefits of going above and beyond in the work of caring for this land.

It’s an exciting time in farming, and I can’t wait to see the changes and improvements made over the next few years as we work on preserving our land for ourselves, and for the generations to come.

Clarence Nywening is President of 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, and CKNX Wingham.