An engine for economic health

Agriculture is the engine that can bring Ontario’s economy back to a healthy life – and there’s more to farming than just food.

So says the National Post in an article published last week – which I happen to be quoted in, but that’s not really the point of this post (had to just slip a little shame-less self promotion in there…).

Although we may be buying fewer cars, cutting back on entertainment and taking fewer trips, we all still have to eat.  So farmers will always have customers.

But it goes beyond traditional food production, which is what most of us traditionally associate with what farmers do. These days, it’s also about creating new industries and new products – but all based on agricultural products.

This could be growing hemp for fibres and insulation, soybeans for car parts and waste water treatment, or fruits and vegetables as disease preventors.

Many of these are yet in their infancy, but the possibilities they present for growing new markets – and jobs – are endless.

The article presents its readers – mostly urban Canadians – with a totally different view of Canadian farming. To many it’ll be new and fascinating; to those of us in agriculture, it’s nice to be recognized for what we do every day on farms across the province and across the country.

Click here to read the article.

Photo by Kelly Daynard, 2007 Canadian Farm Writers Federation conference, Belleville ON

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