By Carlie Bowditch, Agrology Student, Tisdale
In Small Town, Sask., it’s common to know a farmer. It may be your neighbour, the coach of a sports team or even a relative. It’s also common, even in small Saskatchewan communities, for residents to have many questions about modern farming practices, and they may never have visited a farm.
As producers, we may assume our friends and family know about our farm and how we are working to provide food to the world, so we do not take the time to tell our story. However, if we do not tell our own story, unanswered questions and misinformation start to tell our story for us.
Statistics show that the average Canadian trusts a farmer or rancher more than a scientist or doctor. For this reason, it is important that we have conversations with our communities about the new and exciting advancements in agriculture so that consumers can be excited with us instead of being misled and confused.
If you are a consumer and you have questions about where your food comes from or how it gets from the farmer’s field onto your table, please reach out. There is a lot of information out there, but why not ask a trusted community member who grows your food for a living?
To get the conversation started, here are a few commonly misunderstood topics and the facts about Saskatchewan that pertain to them.
Question: Are large corporations taking over production agriculture?
Answer: No! Ninety-seven per cent of farms in Canada are family owned and operated. Family farms have become much larger and can include multiple hired hands. At the end of the day, the family makes all the management decisions.
Question: Can modern agriculture practices keep up with the continuously growing world population?
Answer: The agriculture industry is constantly innovating and developing new technology and other advancements to increase crop yields, decrease inputs and address market barriers. These advancements include precision agriculture, bio-engineering and trade agreements.
Question: Is the food we buy safe?
Answer: Yes! Farmers, ranchers and everyone along the value chain take great pride and care in ensuring the food they produce is of the highest quality, and our robust regulatory system helps to ensure its safety. No matter the label, Canadian farmers work hard to supply abundant and safe food.
Conversations about food can be tough. With many differing opinions, it is important to keep in mind that we all have the same goal: Feed our families safely today while supporting a healthy environment that will feed us into the future. What a great country we live in where we have so many choices and options when it comes to food!
For more information, visit Best Food Facts or Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan.