Faces of farming

WITH 6,500 COPIES printed and over 25 media hits in the first three weeks, the Faces of Farming 2010 calendar has made quite a splash. Launched in October at the Ontario Harvest Gala in Guelph, the calendar was well received and is expected to sell out by Christmas, says Kelly Daynard, Program Manager of the Ontario Farm Animal Council, the organization responsible for the calendar project.

Although OFAC is an organization focused on addressing issues in animal agriculture, Daynard explains that they thought it was “important to showcase all of agriculture from livestock operators, to fruit and vegetable growers, grain growers and specialty crops.”

As well as ensuring representation across all agricultural sectors, the calendar also features farmers from clear across the province and over a wide range of ages.

REPRESENTING GRAINS AND OILSEEDS
Mr. November in the 2010 Calendar is Blair Scott, a grain and oilseed farmer from Bruce County. Representing Farmers Feed Cities!, Scott was excited to share his story with the public through the calendar. Known not only for his farm business, Scott is also well known in his community as the man who proposed to his girlfriend via a plowed message in his field. “I’m    just happy to be a part of the project,   says Scott, “I think the calendar has a great message.”

Grain Farmers of Ontario also sponsored a month in the calendar and Janet Smaglinski was thrilled to be our very own Ms. February. Smaglinski farms with her parents on their Ottawa Valley farm where they grow corn, soybeans, wheat, canola, sunflowers and flax. Although she’s a busy woman with two children, she found time to be involved with the calendar project. “I’ve seen the calendars in previous years and always thought they were a neat idea,” says Smaglinski. “It was a really good experience to be involved in.”

SPREADING THE WORD
Of the 6,500 calendars printed, about 4,000 are mailed out to key stakeholders as a “gift from Ontario’s farmers,” says Daynard. All Ontario politicians receive a copy including MPs, MPPs, mayors and wardens, along with grocery stores, butcher shops and the media.

The ultimate goal of the project is to “introduce consumers to the people putting food on their tables,” says Daynard. Considering the attention the calendar has received from local and national newspapers, radio and television, including a full page in the Toronto Sun, it seems the calendar is a huge success.

Calendars can be purchased from the OFAC website at www.ofac.org or by calling the office directly at 519-837-1326. •