EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK, grains are a hot topic these days, and it’s not just farmers who are talking about crop production. With the ongoing war in Ukraine, global food insecurity on the rise, inflationary pressure causing increased grocery bills, and climate-change-influenced natural disasters happening around the world, Canada’s role as a grain-producing and exporting nation has come into sharp focus in recent months.
Ontario’s grain and oilseed sector is well-positioned to meet these challenges head-on. After the 2021 Canadian Census of Agriculture data was released earlier this year, Ontario was referred to as an “agricultural powerhouse,” with grain and oilseed production leading the nation in many categories, including growing more than half of Canada’s soybean and corn acres. The census reports that Ontario farmers have the highest rate in Canada in adopting environmental practices such as cover crops, rotational grazing, and producing renewable energy.
These are just a few of the good-news stories that Grain Farmers of Ontario will be talking about as we get out on the road this summer and fall. As Covid-19 pandemic restrictions ease and public events are in full swing, we’re hitting the road with our public trust outreach initiatives, including the Grain Discovery Zone trailer that attends local agricultural fairs and festivals and the new ‘Grains on the Go’ trailer that will be featured at larger events like the Honda Indy, the Canadian National Exhibition, and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Staff and farmer-member volunteers will be talking to consumers about how we’re proud to produce safe, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable grain and oilseed products that help feed Ontarians, Canadians, and people worldwide. We’re also excited to see our farmer-members face-to-face at events like Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and the International Plowing Match after two years of cancellations and virtual events.
We’ve also been talking to our elected representatives about the important role Ontario’s grain farmers play in national and international food security, the environment, and the economy. In June, we held our first reception in more than two years for federal MPs and senators and their staff, and we were pleased to be joined by our partners, Les Producteurs de grains du Québec, Atlantic Grains Council, and Spirits Canada. Staff and Board members connected in person with federal representatives from all parties to talk about how important the grain industry is in Canada and how the federal government can help farmers meet the domestic and global demand for grains and oilseeds.
While we’ve been doing a lot of talking about grains and oilseeds lately, we’re also here to listen! The Grain Farmers of Ontario staff and Board want to hear from you — what are your challenges? Stop and talk to us at farm shows or events, or give us a call to share your ideas. •