My inbox has been overflowing with farming updates & emails so this week is going to be a little different while I try to catch up and sift through some of these articles. There are so many exciting things happening with Ag this year, but here are a few of my facourite stories to come out recently!
ONE// 2016 Agriculture Census
TWO//Urban thoughts on Ag
Absolutely loving this article from Farms.com and some of stats they’re giving from a recent survey of Toronto residents. This was one of my favourite points:
“Notable study findings:
– When asked when the last time they visited a working farm, 14 per cent of respondents said within the past 90 days. (27 per cent said in the past two years, 17 per cent said within the past 5 years, 24 per cent said within the last 7 years or more, and 14 per cent said never.)
– 68 per cent of respondents said they have not worked in the agricultural industry, nor do they know anyone that does.
– When asked to scale their level of ag industry trust from one to five (five meaning a high level of trust), 35 per cent of respondents said level five (or a high level of trust), while only 6 per cent said level one.
– Those that had visited farms recently had a higher degree of trust in the agricultural industry, relating also to a higher degree of support.”
THREE// Farm Crawl
This is such a good idea!! I’ve been on a few farm tours over the past couple of years and they are always a highlight to any event or conference I’m attending. I particularly love their branding, Farm ‘Crawl’, to me it screams hip and fun, reaching out to the younger audiences as well. Would love to see more communities setting this up with local farms and really encouraging their residents to get back in touch with their food and their communities!
FOUR// Generation Agriculture
I also loved this article from Farms.com (why yes, this is my favourite source for farm & agriculture related news :P). Students from various schools competed for a $500 prize by taking part in meetings, field trips and special projects, all to learn and expose themselves to what agriculture. Each team’s task was to then come up with a business name and marketing strategy to inspire their peers to consider a career in agriculture, and present those ideas to a panel of judges from the ag industry. Again, this is something that can also be sponsored at a local level and I think would be so valuable to engaging teens with their local community and agricultural businesses!
There is potential for two prison farms in Kingston, Ontario to re-open based on feedback from a local survey from 2016.
“The results of the study were released in November 2016. They included:
- Closing the farms was a mistake,
- Agricultural labour generally rehabilitates offenders,
- Working with animals rehabilitates offenders, and
- The farms prepare inmates for employment generally, not just in the agri-food sector.”
I love initiatives like this and couldn’t agree more. There is a connection made when you work on a farm that I don’t believe can be made anywhere else; to your food, your animals, the earth, your customers, and to yourself in your feeling of independence and self-worth. An especial congrats to the local community for seeing the value and supporting this!
Who will you inspire?