Celebrating Ontario Agriculture

We all like to give thanks at this time of year, and while all of us who live in Canada have so much to be thankful for, the food on our tables is high on the list of gifts we should celebrate. Whether you buy fresh, frozen, or canned, cook for yourself, eat out, or order in, it’s important to consider the faces behind your food. Ontario Agriculture week is celebrated every year during the week just before Thanksgiving. It makes sense that we celebrate the hard work and dedication of our province’s 70,000 farmers, not to mention the tens of thousands of farm workers, that goes into putting food on our tables.

Every fall there are also lots of opportunities to get out and learn more about agriculture in your community. Fall fairs happen across the province and provide excellent venues to get up close and personal with farm animals and fruit, vegetable, and grain displays. Stop and ask questions as you enjoy a day at the fair!

If you’ve missed your local fair, there are plenty of other ways to learn about agriculture and food in Ontario. The farm community is active on Twitter and will be happy to share information about their farms and the products they produce for us to enjoy. (try searching for #OntAg)

We are privileged to live in a place where we have the freedom to choose the food we share with our friends and family. From traditional fare to organic, vegetarian or vegan diets, angus beef or juicy turkey breast, peaches to cucumbers, and everything in between – one thing we can agree on is that we owe the talented farmers of our province a huge thank you.

 

For more information about Ontario agriculture, check out these links.

There’s something for everyone!

  1. For the home cook looking for seasonal ingredient ideas and recipes: https://www.ontario.ca/foodland/foodland-ontario

  2. For the young cook looking for tips and ideas for how to use local ingredients to create healthy and easy recipes: http://sixbysixteen.me/

  3. For informative videos about a variety of Ontario agricultural products, check out Fresh Air Farmer: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYcqz2M9zDDO0B-Ley1itkw 

  4. For the teachers out there who want to incorporate agriculture in to the classroom: https://agscape.ca/

  5. Interested in dairy following the NAFTA decision? Check out Dairy Farmers of Ontario!

  6. https://www.milk.org/Corporate/View.aspx?Content=Consumers/Consumers

  7. More videos! http://www.farmfood360.ca/

 Cattle judging at the Ilderton Fall Fair

Cattle judging at the Ilderton Fall Fair

Did you know?

  • Our Ontario Agriculture sector employs more than 800,000 people[1] and contributes over $37B towards Ontario’s GDP[2]

  • Ontario is the 3rd largest producer of greenhouse floriculture in North America (behind California and Florida)[3]

  • We have more than 3.6 million hectares of cropland in the province producing dairy products, vegetables, soybeans, and specialty crops such as ethnic vegetables, hops, sweet potatoes, and sea buckthorn[4]

 Close-up of an award-winning Sunflower

Close-up of an award-winning Sunflower


[1] Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Employment, Agri-food Industries, Ontario, 2011-2016. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/stats/economy/labour_force.htm

[2] https://news.ontario.ca/omafra/en/2017/12/ontario-celebrates-local-agri-food-innovators-in-toronto.html

[3] Ontario Ministry of Agriculture (2014). The Ontario Greenhouse Floriculture Industry. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/greenflor.htm

[4] Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Statistical Summary of Ontario Agriculture http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/stats/agriculture_summary.htm

Bronwynne Wilton