Your chance to meet real Ontario farmers

Scott-SnyderDo you wonder who actually produces our food?

Would you like to learn more about who Ontario’s farmers actually are?

A website launched last fall by Farm & Food Care will let you do just that.

It was inspired by the organization’s popular Faces of Farming calendar, but also includes stories that have been written as part of other Farm & Food Care projects or by other farm organizations.

“For a decade we’ve been collecting the photographs and stories of Ontario’s farmers. This website is a central repository for all of those great images and stories,” explains Kelly Daynard, Farm & Food Care’s Communications Manager.

“For example, every year, when a new calendar comes out, the previous photos and stories disappear, so this is a way to keep them alive and accessible,” she says.

Available at www.facesoffarming.ca, the site features an interactive map of Ontario that allows users to search for stories and photos by region, as well as by farm type, including fruits and vegetables, grains and field crops, livestock and other.

Since the calendar was first produced by Farm & Food Care in 2006, 114 Ontario farmers and farm families have been featured.

The website currently includes those stories, as well as many others that have been produced by Farm & Food Care as part of a farm family profile project to promote positive agricultural stories in urban and rural media across the province.

Stories from Farm & Food Care member organizations are also featured.

In total, close to 200 stories are already available on the site, with more being added as they are developed.

Farmers and farm organizations are also encouraged to submit their own story ideas and photos using an online form on the site.

Submissions will be reviewed by Farm & Food Care’s editorial team for possible future use on the site.

“Ontario agriculture is such a diverse industry and this website is a true reflection of that. It’s also a great way to showcase the pride that Ontario farmers have in their farms and businesses,” says Daynard.

“We’ll also continue to add to it regularly and are looking for interesting farms, farm families or farm businesses to profile. Many of our members have already added photos and stories taken from projects they’ve produced,” she adds.

Since its founding in 2012, Farm & Food Care’s mandate has focused on building public trust and confidence in the Canadian food supply, which includes introducing the public to farmers through outreach projects like the calendar and this Faces of Farming website.

Photo: Young farmer Scott Snyder, courtesy of facesoffarming.ca.

A version of this article was originally published in Ontario Farmer in December 2013.

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