This large conveyor delivers tomatoes into the ConAgra Foods plant in Dresden, Ontario (Ellwood Shreve/Chatham Daily News)
What do you know about the crops we grow and the animals we raise here in Chatham-Kent?
Here are some facts on what we grow and raise and how we rate against the rest of the province and the rest of Canada. It is an impressive list. Here in Chatham-Kent, we really do grow for the world.
Did you know that Chatham-Kent:
· Has the world’s largest fresh water commercial fishing port (Wheatley) in the world?
· Is the number one producer of Brussels sprouts in all of Canada?
· Is the number one producer of black tobacco in all of Canada?
· Is the number one producer of cucumbers in all of Canada?
· Is the number one producer of pumpkins in all of Canada?
· Is the number one producer of seed corn in all of Canada?
· Is the number one producer of tomatoes in all of Canada?
· Is the number two producer of sugar beets in all of Canada?
· Is the number one producer of green peas in all of Ontario?
· Is the number one producer of quail in all of Ontario?
· Is the number one producer of field peppers in all of Ontario?
· Is the number two producer of asparagus in all of Ontario?
· Grows over 70 different crops?
· Is 90 per cent rural by area, but only 30 per cent of the population of 104,000 live in rural areas?
· Soybeans, corn, and wheat are the three major crops in Chatham-Kent in terms of acreage?
· Agriculture is responsible for over 16,000 jobs in Chatham-Kent?
· Each farmer in Chatham-Kent produces enough to feed 120 people?
· There are over 2,000 farms, which account for four per cent of Ontario’s total farms?
· Greenhouses in Chatham-Kent now account for 370 acres or about nine per cent of Ontario’s total greenhouse area?
· Is home to the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, a vital and growing research centre for our agriculture sector?
We are fortunate in our community to have many great sectors and leaders, including those in agriculture, manufacturing, commercial enterprises, research and innovation, and so many more. It has always been said we really don’t know what is in our own backyard.
Agriculture is a prime example of having a strong resource. In fact, it is a $3-billion plus sector here in Chatham-Kent! Let’s do all we can to keep this sector going by supporting our local agricultural producers however and whenever we can.
Think about this – It is better to walk in the dark with God than to go it alone in the light.
Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at: www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’