Photo credit: Peter Baumgarten, Creative Island Photography
Exploring the truth behind common misconceptions of modern agriculture is an important part of our lives as a farming family. It’s a conversation @CanManFarm and I have with people almost daily. We do extensive research on ways to best manage our farm when it comes to everything from soil and crop management to caring for our animals and on working on ways to have a sustainable environment for future generations. We’re passionate not only about providing safe and high-quality beef for consumers, but also about being good stewards to the land as well. This is why we were excited to watch License to Farm.
Though my family is a farming family, my husband and I are also consumers and parents. Food safety is of the utmost importance to us. This is why we insist on making informed decisions when it comes to how we operate our farm and what we buy in stores.
License to Farm is a documentary that offers an interesting and perhaps different perspective for consumers (both non-farming and farming) when it comes to agriculture and production. I believe it’s worth checking out if you haven’t seen it already.
It is crucial for agriculture – particularly farmers – to take a seat at the table when it comes to conversations about food. Farmers can play a crucial role by engaging in meaningful conversations, opening the doors to their livelihood and building trust with their communities.
This powerful documentary explores the truth behind common misconceptions of agriculture production in Canada, while empowering farmers to stand up and advocate for their social license to farm. (from www.licensetofarm.com)
A few interesting take-aways from License to Farm
“Relatively, until recent times, until 70-80 years ago, 70% of the population was somehow involved in farming. Today, it’s less than 2%. 2% of the population is providing the fantastic amount of food that we enjoy.” Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill University’s Office for Science & Society
“97% of farms in Canada are family owned and operated.” Cherilyn Nagel, Farmer
“Everything we eat is genetically modified from its wild ancestors, but if this was done a few thousand years ago, people are less concerned than if this was done in a lab yesterday.” Mark Lynas, Environmental Activist, Author of “The God Species”
The film mentions a meme that was floating around the internet. The meme stated that “farmers irresponsibly soak their fields in pesticides to maximize profits.” To regard this as truth would be much easier than to acknowledge the fact that farmers use pesticides sparingly. Very little of the active ingredient is used. In fact, most of the mixture is actually water! We find ourselves constantly trying to explain to people that whenever they see a farmer spraying their fields, it’s mostly water in that mist. The ratio of active ingredient to water is much smaller than people think it is. Sometimes it can be even the volume as small as a can of soda pop of active ingredient to spray a 1 acre field. To put things into perspective, 1 acre is almost the size of 1 American Football field.
Farmers do not irresponsibly soak their fields in pesticides. Farmers only use as much as needed, when needed. Plus, if you knew just how expensive those products cost, even more reason farmers do not douse their fields in them! And, if you think farmers are in this industry for the big bucks, that’s another misconception. Trust me.
Out of curiosity, I recently asked my husband why we keep farming. It’s getting increasingly more difficult to stay afloat, farming is very expensive and very challenging physically, emotionally, and mentally. Yet we keep on farming. The answer is simple though.
My husband was quick to respond with “It’s what I love doing. It’s in the blood, we’re connected to the land, the animals, and we are providing food for those who do not grow their own. We’re feeding hundreds of families. That’s why.”
** In case you’re wondering (because some of you might be!), this is NOT a sponsored post. This is just something I thought would be interesting to discuss.
Elva Roberts says
Even tho we farmed for over 35 years, I have learned some new facts about farming in Canada. I did not realize how small a percentage of the popu.ation. farming involves. Of course, we have seen this trend on our Island over the years. When we moved to our second farm, almost everyone farmed. Now it is done by a very few corporate farmers and a few organic ones,
You have to love farming to stay in it.
You need to be a part of a competition for just one of the best sites on the net.
I’ll recommend this web site!
Thank you for continuing to farm! I as a consumer do try to support local businesses and Ontario grown food when I’m shopping for my family. I think its really important to keep family farms like yours going as mass produced food (factory farmed) isn’t sustainable, ok for the environment or particularly healthy.
Other than trying to be conscious of what we are buying what are some other ways we city folk could help local farming families?
Thanks for posting this. Just checked out the documentary and admit that I have been basing choices on popular news. You see so many things on FB about how dangerous food we feed our families is and it is hard to know what is true and what isn’t. . Interesting info in the video.