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 year, it’s always good to look back and see where we have been in order to see where we are going. I have now been writing these articles for 15 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 to look back on your life and look at some of your perceptions when you were younger. I grew up in the city and during my childhood, I thought the milk on our breakfast table 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 or anything about where my food came from. 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 their 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 land they are stewards of and the many food products they bring to us.
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 per cent 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.
My purpose in writing these has been to take you inside our agricultural sector 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? 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 40 years and thoroughly enjoy it. But I still have so much to learn. My hope is that with these weekly columns, you will be able to come away with new knowledge, new insights, and a deeper appreciation for our producers, our agri-businesses 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’. Check out our community’s agriculture website at: www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 40 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’