Farming has not always been looked down upon, but it sure seems like we must fight for everything we get.
With the demand for housing, the city keeps expanding. Where does this end? Farmland is a valuable commodity, and it is not being recognized. We have such a small voice in all of this.
Rules are made to keep the general population happy, but they are forgetting one thing. And a very important thing I would add – farmland is not replaceable.
As the farmland gets gobbled up and put under asphalt and housing extends out from the city limits, we clear land so that we have farmland to produce food. Then we are criticized that we are taking down all of the trees. We are ruining the environment. Well, do people realize that crops are good for the environment and just as a little added bonus – it feeds them. Hmm, guess that is not a consideration when you can just buy everything in the store.
When will people start to realize that farming may be only 2 per cent of the population, but we make a big impact quickly.
During the rallies, when the farmers blocked the food terminal in Ottawa it was proven that within 24 hours the food system came to a halt. As we value that yes, we are in business because people apparently like to eat (who would have known), but we also need the resources to be able to continue to farm.
We are always price takers, yes, we do have some flexibility in that we are able to prebook products to get a reduce price or we can contract to secure a specific level of income, but overall, we are the price takers.
I am impressed that COVID has made people more aware of shopping local and for some farm operations that has been very helpful. We are seeing agritourism expanding which is a terrific compliment to the farming community but this lack of understanding or appreciation for the value of farming needs to change.
People move out from the city and love the beautiful open spaces, but they need to realize that there are smells, noises and sounds that come from that beautiful working community.
How has this gotten so far out of hand. How is it possible that people do not understand the importance of a country being able to feed itself? Where have we failed, millions of dollars are spent to try and educate the public on the value of agricultural products. Agricultural committees have been created on some township councils but yet here we are, fighting to preserve the land that provides.
Without farmland where is agriculture? We cannot all grow our products in a container and hydroponics.
As another farmer said to me a few days ago, hold on and try to enjoy the ride, we are in for another challenging year. Here’s to wishing each of you a safe summer and enjoy farming!