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Learning Outside the Classroom

Farm and Food Care Hosts Food Influencer Tour

By Karly Rumpel AAg, Public Trust Specialist, Tisdale

September 2021

Farm tour speaker in front of pasture riders and cattle
Ryder Lee hosting a discussion in the pasture.
According to the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity’s annual research, Canadians trust producers and want to hear from them directly when it comes to agriculture and food. Ideally, every consumer would have the opportunity to know the people that grow their food but that just isn’t feasible in the world we live in. Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan (FFC-SK) believes that getting to know producers means also getting to know food. FFC-SK links thousands of livestock, crop and horticulture producers, government agencies, individuals and businesses with a common goal to help people understand the agriculture industry.

One of the ways FFC-SK accomplishes this vision is through the Food Influencers Program. This program gives food writers, health professionals, chefs and others who influence food choices the opportunity to tour farms and food facilities, get to know the people that grow our food, learn about our commitment to food safety, animal health and the environment, as well as network with one another.

Recently, the program offered a two-day event featuring a tour paired with discussion about sustainability, genetic engineering in crops and in pork production in Saskatchewan. With a room full of educators and food influencers, questions were abundant and impressive. A major takeaway from this discussion was that through selective breeding, technology and animal husbandry advancements, efficiency on the farm has greatly increased, even in recent years.

On the second day, the group had the opportunity to tour Colborn Farms Ltd., a family run grain, egg and beef operation just west of Saskatoon. To start the tour, Shawn Colborn, Owner of Colborn Farms and FFC-SK Director, explained and displayed different technologies and practices utilized in grain production. The group also discussed how this year’s drought has impacted grain operations on the Prairies and how our innovative, modern agricultural practices have made it easier to “weather the storm” to a degree.

In the egg barns, Shawn demonstrated the difference in housing facilities and explained how the industry is committed to using research to ensure producers are following best practices on agriculture operations. The group was also able to see the feeding and egg packing system in action. Shawn went on to explain the supply management system and how egg production works in Canada.

Finally, the group went out to one of their pastures to see their purebred red angus cattle. Ryder Lee of Saskatchewan Cattleman’s Association discussed the importance of beef cattle in Saskatchewan and how they fit into our diet and the ecosystem.

By the end of the tour the group had an overall better understanding of agriculture in Saskatchewan and the improvements that are being made in production practices. It is through continuing tours and educational opportunities such as this that bridging the gap between the consumer and producer will become easier. Visit the FFC-SK website to learn more about what they do and see how you can get involved.

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