I had really been hoping to share this post last Wednesday in time for Earth Day to address some environmental factors but as per usual life got the best of me. No better time like the present though!
This summer there will be a week long Farm Management Conference in Quebec City and Farm Management Canada and Farm Business Consultants put on a video competition to win an expense paid trip in to attend. Ek!! I can’t even describe how excited I would be to go! But I digress! The purpose of this short-film submission was to highlight what farms are doing to promote and practice ‘Healthy Farm Management’.
There are so many ways to promote health within any farming operation nowadays it is crazy! We have the standard crop rotations, increasing your on-farm diversity, planting cover crops, buffer zones all the way to efficient water management and working hand in hand with our large animal vets and specialized nutritionists. You can start to see how all of this didn’t fit into a 1-minute video!! You can take it a step further and get into intensive rotational grazing, automatic/electronic herd monitoring, biorefineries, precision farming technology, and crop sensors. Just a few more examples! The health of our crops and our livestock have always been a farmers first priority but I feel that the agricultural industry, as many others, needs to take on more ‘service oriented’ responsibilities as well. It had always been our goal to provide a healthy food product for the public, not only because everyone else needs it, but because we, and our families, need it as well! The agricultural industry permeates literally every facet of life! But as our modern world is changing, so are its social views and some of its integral beliefs.
People in our modern society are more conscious of their health and are more healthy oriented than ever before. We choose to be healthy. We don’t walk that 5 km just because cars haven’t been invented yet, and we don’t eat local organics because groceries stores simply aren’t a reality; we make the conscious decision to walk to the farmers market instead of driving to the grocery store. That is what makes today’s day and age so amazing! However, this also just shows how involved people still want to be in their own lives! They want to be active participants in their own health!
As I mention in my video, I was originally hoping to include a couple snippets from various farms to highlight the endless possibilities of ‘healthy farm management’ but I was turned down by 3 different farms, each belonging to close personal friends for the simple fact that the publicity terrifies them. A quick chat immediately leads to horror stories of extreme activists trolling online for farm names and locations, and sneaking onto the properties and into buildings to try and uncover negligent conditions. While I believe these people may have the best of intentions, they are going about it in the worst way possible and it is in fact, having the opposite effect that it needs to. Farmers now fear being in the public eye when what we really should be doing in having an open-door, glass walls policy. We should be engaging the public and encouraging them to experience farming for themselves, and to see how their daily meals are being produced! Some great individuals such as Adam Henson, Joel Salatin and Jamie Oliver have been instrumental in this movement but we need to make those individuals the norm!
So take a peek, give it a like if you want, and never stop promoting a healthy agricultural industry!
UPDATE: Turns out, before I even got a chance to post this… I was one of the winners! I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to be able to participate in such a large scale event. Watch out world, this country gal is going to Quebec City!