This week, we are going to meet the two young woman who represented Chatham-Kent in the Queen of the Furrow and Princess of the Furrow competitions at the recent International Plowing Match. They both represented Chatham-Kent very well and we are all proud of them both for displaying so much character, abilities and skills during the week’s competition.
Jordan Wills is 14 years old and is in grade 10 at the Lambton Kent Composite School in Dresden. She competed for the Princess of the Furrow and did an amazing job. I met her and her family at the IPM and was quickly impressed with her many giftings and abilities. Here is the speech she gave to the judging panel.
“Welcome judges, fellow contestants, plowmen and families. My name is Jordan Wills and although I don’t live on a farm, I still see agriculture everywhere. Especially in my everyday life. 8 am. I wake up and use eggs, peppers, and tomatoes all locally produced to make a breakfast omelet. 10 am. I watch as tractors pulling wagons usually full of tomatoes drive by my house. 12 pm. I go for a drive with my mom and I watch as we pass field after field filled with crops such as corn, wheat, tomatoes, beans, and many more. 2 pm. We stop at Janson farms to pick up some delicious sweet corn to have with our supper. 3 pm. I catch up with my friends and they tell me all about how corn detasseling went that day. 5 pm. I sit on my back patio gazing out over the field behind my house, where they just took off wheat, and I think to myself how lucky I am to live in an agricultural community.”
Emma Richards competed for the Queen of the Furrow competition. Emma is 20 years old and is in her third year at the University of Guelph in the Food and Agricultural Business degree program. I have known Emma and her family for many years and am so excited to see what the future holds for her. Here is her speech.
“Recently a new mammal has been added to the Endangered Species list. This mammal is seen in any field of crop. They can be seen working the soil, from dusk until dawn, in the prime conditions of spring and fall. They rarely return to their den before dark and can be found in the cab of a tractor, truck or combine in the darkness of night. This species I speak of is the farmer.
It’s funny to think that farmers make up less than 2% of the world population, yet, they provide food for over 7 Billion people. Sounds like they have a pretty important job. It is quite fitting that Chatham-Kent’s motto is “We Grow For The World” as this is 100% true! We are the top producers for Brussel Sprouts in all of North America, the number 1 producer of seed corn and tomatoes in all of Canada, the number 1 producer of sugar beets in Ontario, as well as producing 20% of all vegetables grown in Ontario.
Even though the number of farmers is decreasing, the number of acres worked per farm is growing in Canada. In 2011, the average acreage was 780 acres per farm. This number increased to 820 acres per farm in 2016. If I chose to farm, I will be the 5th generation to farm our land. It’s a big job farming as it is a science these days: determining how much of a herbicide to use or deciding what hybrid you want to plant next year, how much and what field. A lot of hours go into planning what to do on the farm, as many as actually farming for some farmers.
Agriculture is an evolving industry. There is so much new technology making it easier than ever for farmers to track their information from the field. I see this every day on my farm. My dad can sit in his office chair and see what was planted that day, at what rate and which field, using an App. That’s pretty neat. Technology isn’t just evolving on the farm. It’s also evolving in the seed industry with new hybrids becoming available every year with new treatments and traits. One example of this would be the new Enlist soybean variety hitting the market in the near future. This technology allows farmers to spray a variety of products to keep the field clean of weeds.
As we take in what Chatham-Kent has to offer over the next few days at the IPM, we must remember the importance of the farmer. They will never go extinct but will forever be endangered. I would like to leave you all with some food for thought. If you ate today, thank a farmer. If you farmed today, thank a consumer. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your time at the 2018 IPM and Rural Expo!”
Think about this – All creation bears God’s autograph.
Just some food for thought.
Here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at:
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’.