Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

by Paul Bootsma

Farmers need to get their story out to the public. The general public is the farmer’s customer and wants to know what farming is like in this decade. Agriculture, like all businesses, has evolved and changed, and today’s farmers are as likely to use a communication device as a shovel or a pitchfork.

Recently, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released an article called Realities of Agriculture in Canada (See Infograph here: http://ontag.farms.com/profiles/blogs/infograph-realities-of-agricu...) pointing out some misconceptions about agriculture and what is really happening on the farm. THE CFIB argues that the following misconceptions exist:

  • That agriculture is not innovative and modern while the reality is that 51 percent of agri-business owners are adopting new and innovative technologies.
  • The agricultural sector is shrinking when in fact 44 percent of farmers say they plan on expanding in the next three years and 21 percent plan to hire new employees.
  • That farming is unsustainable and potentially environmentally harmful. The reality is that 95 percent of farmers are taking action to protect the environment.
  • That 83 percent of farmers are planning to transfer their business to a family member.  The misconception is that farming is moving towards corporate operations.

Education often begins in the class room. After all, today’s students are tomorrow’s customers, and the ideas children bring home influence their parent’s decision making. The industry needs to continue to work with the educational system to ensure that images of farming are of today’s farmers. What is taught in the classrooms needs to accurately reflect what happens on the farm, which means images with tractors with GPS units, large tillage equipment, soil conservation equipment, and communications devices. And more importantly, there needs to be an explanation of why this equipment is being used to achieve more efficient and sustainable results as a normal part of business in 2014.

Moving forward, it is important that the public know agriculture’s story. In the information age, farmers need to focus on ways to grow consumer’s confidence in the food system, and reassure them that their food is produced in a positive way. Farmers are one of the more trusted and respected professions of society. Farmers need to bring their story out to the public, showing their compassion for the animals they work with and concern for the environment they are part of. They do have a great story to tell, and should be proud in sharing it with the public.

Views: 91

Comment

You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Saskatchewan Crop Conditions Up from a Year Ago

The first Saskatchewan crop condition ratings for the 2024 growing season are mostly up from a year ago, although the scope of improvement is variable. The weekly provincial crop report on Thursday pegged this year’s spring wheat crop at 87% good to excellent as of Monday, up a relatively modest 6 points from a year earlier, while the oat and barley ratings were 2 and 5 points higher, respectively, at 87% good to excellent for both. At 78% good to excellent, the condition of the canola crop was just a single point above a year ago. On the other hand, the condition of the durum crop was rated 93% good to excellent as of Monday, an increase of 21 points from a year ago, while the lentil crop was 15 points better at 90% and the chickpea crop a major 31 points higher at 95%. Gains for other crops fell somewhere in between. At 91% good to excellent, the condition of the flax crop was up 8 points on the year, with mustard up 14 points to 88%, and peas up 9 points to 91%. The canary cro

New Grading Changes Coming for the 2024-25 Crop Year

The Canadian Grain Commission has announced new grading changes for the upcoming 2024-25 crop year that it says will better meet the needs of the grain sector in Canada and grain buyers around the world. Among the changes are new variety designation lists for food barley, and updates to the assessment of seed coat discolouration in soybeans. According to a CGC release, food barley varieties are unique and different from malting or feed barley varieties due to the distinct quality features desired for food, such as high beta-glucans. And to ensure Canadian producers and the agriculture sector can realize the benefits of developing and growing these varieties, the CGC is creating variety designation lists for Barley, Canada Eastern Food, which will take effect on July 1, 2024, and Barley, Canada Western Food, which will take effect on Aug. 1, 2024. Meanwhile, as part of the CGC grain grading modernization project, the official Grain Grading Guide will be updated to clarify the asse

Alberta Seeding Complete; Crop Emergence on Track with Average

The final push was delayed by rain in some parts of the province last week, but Alberta seeding is virtually now complete.  Friday’s crop showed the planting of Alberta major crops (spring wheat, oats, barley, canola, and peas) at 99.6% complete as of Tuesday, up a few points from a week earlier and in line with the five- and 10-year averages of 99.4% and 98.7%.  The report said final seeding efforts in the Central, North East, and North West regions were slowed by rain that was accompanied by persistent strong winds that led to an overall reduction in surface soil moisture in all areas but the Peace Region.   Regardless, crop growth is off to a good start, with the South Region in need of timely rains while the rest of the province needs warmer temperatures, the report said.  The emergence of major crops across the province is reported at 86%, which matches both the 5- and 10-year averages. Regionally, emergence of major crops is behind the historical average in the South and Nort

Automation, robotics helping farmers strengthen food security

B.C. farmers are accessing new technology through federal and provincial government funding to grow their businesses and increase production to help strengthen food security in the province.

© 2024   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service