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The CFFO Commentary: Personal Insight Into Need to Preserve Best Farmland

By Nathan Stevens

October 15, 2010

Sometimes it takes personal experience to really strengthen one’s believe in a core value of an organization. The Christian Farmers are champions of preservation of our best farmland for agriculture in the long-term. Yet along the way, there are always self-interested forces that are pulling at farmers to sell their land to other interests. I want to share my newly discovered, or perhaps re-discovered, personal connection to the value of prime farmland.

Prior to moving back out into the country, my wife and I spent the last three years living in a lovely little home in Waterloo. Prior to that, we lived in an apartment in Kitchener. Over the course of that time, we have experienced first-hand the difference that good land can make in producing food.

There is no doubt that the opportunity to have a backyard was a vast improvement over that tiny apartment. My wife was able to start a small garden, and I had the joy of dealing with weed control, and lawn development. However, the results were often less than impressive. Quite simply, the quality of the soil in our little suburban home was too poor to sustain a fantastic garden or a green lawn that featured grass.

The move to the country has presented new opportunities for my wife and I. Primarily, my wife was able to start a new, larger garden. The results were fantastic. Plentiful and vibrant, the wide array of fresh vegetables has filled our plates. The simplest reason for the change in output is the quality of the soil.

This very personal experience has helped bring home just how important it is that the CFFO continue to champion the importance of preserving our best farmland for agriculture. There is no substitute for good land that has been under the care of a skilled farmer. Future generations will need this land to provide food for themselves and others.

The CFFO is a proud champion of the preservation of farmland in the long-term. For some of our members, it is a long-term principle that makes sense to them. For others, a personal experience lends weight to their support for one of the key principles of the CFFO.

Nathan Stevens is the Research and Policy Advisor for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. It can be heard weekly on CKNX Wingham and CFCO Chatham, Ontario and is archived on the CFFO website: www.christianfarmers.org. The CFFO is supported by 4,300 farm families across Ontario

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