Happy New Year to each of you. I trust this year will bring you health, joy, and a sense of peace in your hearts. As we begin another new, it’s always good to look back and see where you have been in order to see where you are going. I have now been writing this column for twelve years, which is so hard to believe. Together, we have looked at soybeans, turkeys, corn, sheep, wheat, cattle, fruit, ethanol, biotechnology, pork, bees, corn detasseling, 4-H, food safety, and many other topics and issues related to agriculture.
It’s interesting when you look back on your life and some of your ideas when you are younger. I grew up in the city and during my childhood, I thought the milk on our breakfast table simply came from a glass bottle delivered by our Silverwood’s Dairy milkman. I thought the bread for our sandwiches came from the Jackson Bakery bread man with the horse, and the meat on our supper table came from Martin’s Butcher Shop around the corner from our house.
I had no concept how the farming world operated. I found out later (and am still learning) that agriculture is massive, intriguing, and very complex.
Many Chatham-Kent citizens, especially younger ones, have no rural roots. Born and raised in the city leaves little opportunity to explore or understand how agriculture impacts our daily lives. Here in Chatham-Kent, we have a rich farm heritage. Our growers are the best anywhere in the world in terms of knowledge, expertise, experience, and care for the food products they bring to us and the land they farm. We have some of the best soil in Canada, capable of growing anything from soybeans to sour cherries, corn to cucumbers, or raising anything from cattle to sheep, or pigs to quail.
One of the many advantages of living in Chatham-Kent is all our communities are surrounded by farmland. Did you know that 84% of Chatham-Kent is used for farming purposes? So wherever you live, you just need to drive a few minutes into the countryside to see first-hand our agricultural sector in action. But that is as close to agriculture as many people get.
The purpose of this column has been to take you inside our agricultural industry and see how it works and what it means to you, as a citizen of Chatham-Kent. Just how big is agriculture and how does agriculture positively impact our economy? What are some of the crops we grow and the animals we raise? What concerns does our urban community have in regards to agriculture? What concerns does our rural community have in regards to their livelihood? The list is endless. If you would like to see a certain topic discussed in these weekly columns, please let me know.
There is an endless amount to learn about agriculture. I have been involved in this fascinating sector for over 35 years and thoroughly enjoy it. But I still have so much to learn. My hope is with these weekly columns, you will be able to come away with new knowledge, new insights, and a deeper appreciation for our producers and the agricultural sector here in Chatham-Kent.
Think about this – Trusting in God’s forgiveness is the only sure way to make peace with the past. Trusting in God’s promise is the only sure way to be at peace about the future.
Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’.