Still Have a Job to Do
September 9, 2022 | Paul Bootsma
Agriculture, or the gathering of food, is the oldest occupation around. Adam and Eve did this in the beginning, as did their sons- one a livestock producer, the other a grain producer. We are called to use the earth’s resources to feed the world. For centuries, the gathering of food has been the most common activity on earth.
When we look at all of the issues that are around us, we can become discouraged and wonder why we do what we do when there seems to be such little appreciation for agricultural work. Farmers are a very small percentage of the population, and more and more people today have very little, if any, connection to the farm. There are organizations whose sole purpose is to block livestock farming.
Earlier this summer, at one of the CFFO district picnics, the discussion was about a planned development near a small rural community that would increase the population several times over and change the way of life in that area. There are more communities across the province that are having the same topic of discussion. This commentary is not about this being good or bad.
The governments of the day are emphasizing the building of new homes due to a housing shortage. This brings up the discussion of farmland preservation, something the CFFO is passionate about. Why does so much development take up good soils? Ontario is a large geographical province, but development is centered on a small portion of it.
We all know that there has been a tariff implemented on fertilizer coming from Russia. Now the government is reducing the amount of nitrous oxide emissions, basically reducing the amount of nitrogen we are able to use for growing crops. This presents challenges that we feel are unfair and undeserved, raising concern about the real intention of these rules.
The CFFO’s purpose is to bring the biblical perspective to how we should produce agricultural goods and care for the earth and nature around us. The earth and its resources are not there just for our pleasure or pocket book, but for God’s glory. This should reflect in how we farm every day, to be responsible stewards of the land. We need to continue to have that long-term perspective on agriculture and the earth we live on. We need to be like Boaz in the story of Ruth, and be at the city gates to speak our mind on issues farming faces.
Although our methods of farming are a lot different than Adam and Eve’s, the job is the same: gathering food for the people who live on this earth. The Noahic covenant promises springtime and harvest every year. With this in mind, we are called to farm to the best of our ability, regardless of the situation around us, trusting in God’s provisions.
Paul Bootsma is Member Relations 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.