The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario is urging young members of the organization to speak up for agriculture.
The group’s president Clarence Nywening recently hosted an event specifically aimed at his Thamesville area farm specifically aimed at farmer under the age of 40, saying their voice is needed to speak to a younger generation of consumers.
“To encourage the young farmers of Ontario to get involved, to see the importance of what they do, so they get their voice out there and tell the good story of what we do as farmers.”
Nywening says a younger generation of farmers are uniquely equipped to speak with new generations of consumers because they have embraced social media and electronic communication.
He also says it is important to reach out to younger consumers because they are even further removed from agriculture than previous generations, and farmers don’t want to lose public trust.
“We were always considered a trustworthy group, and now with the bio-security and systems we have in place we (have to) force the public to stay away from our facilities,” he says. “They think we are hiding things, so I think we as farmers have to approach things differently.”
Nywening says safety and bio-security issues may be reasons to keep people from visiting farms but they make communicating about agriculture all the more important.