Farmers say better communication with general public is needed about where food comes from.

VG Meats’ Kevin Van Groningen has done the math. And if the two per cent of Canadians who are farmers fail to adequately educate the urbanites who are their primary consumers, he believes they will pay a price.

Customer communication remains a cornerstone of VG Meats, Van Groningen says, crediting the Norfolk butcher shop’s online versions of “meat counter conversations” with helping to identify… Continue reading

Growing past the straw-hatted stereotype

To some, it’s offensive.

To others, a source of dark humour.

But at the very least, FS Partners Great Lakes Division Delhi Hub grain originator Devin Homick says any lingering stereotypical images of the simple farmer are highly inaccurate.

“A lot of people still see the farmer with a piece of straw out his mouth and a straw hat.”

By contrast, the farmers Homick sees… Continue reading

Its the 2017 fall farm show season once again.

Canada’s largest outdoor farm show is returning to Woodstock this month.

The annual Outdoor Farm Show will return its site just north of the city for the 24th year in a row on Sept. 12, bringing with it a huge number of exhibitors and showing off the latest advancements in the agricultural industry.

Communications manager for the farm show Amanda Macfarlane said this year’s show… Continue reading

Farming is always changing and Norfolk County is leading the way.

That’s the conclusion Norfolk’s tourism & economic development department has gleaned from Statistics Canada’s latest agricultural census, which was completed last year.

“The fact we’re No. 1 in technology use is very impressive,” says Clark Hoskin, Norfolk’s manager of tourism and economic development. “Computers, smart phones, GPS – on a per-acre basis, Norfolk is the most extensive user in Canada. Our agriculture has become very… Continue reading

Ontario vegetable growers, processors keep sparring.

There was a brief truce Tuesday at an annual meeting of Ontario’s vegetable growers and the companies that process their harvests.

But it’s clear the power struggle over how prices are set in the industry continues.

In back-to-back speeches at the London meeting, Francis Dobbelaar, chairperson of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers’ Association, said the farmer-led agency should continue to negotiate prices on behalf of… Continue reading

Webinar seeks balance and safety for farm equipment on the roads.

For drivers in Southwestern Ontario, one of Canada’s busiest farm belts, the mix of farm equipment and regular traffic can be especially dangerous.

In Norfolk County, a 21-year-old man died recently when the farm tractor he was driving was struck from behind by a pickup truck.

Three years ago, two drivers — one in Elgin County, the other in Lambton — died within hours of… Continue reading

The days of soaring, double-digit annual increases in farmland prices in Southwestern Ontario are over.

The days of soaring, double-digit annual increases in farmland prices in Southwestern Ontario are over, the fallout of lower crop prices, a new private outlook suggests.

But demand for turf will still remain strong, only with more modest increases in land value, in the region that’s one of the nation’s richest farm belts.

“Increases of 20 to 30 per cent are not going to… Continue reading

Smaller farming operations are on the rise in Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Farming in Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties is following many of the same trends locally as across Ontario and Canada, according to just-released statistics from the 2016 Census of Agriculture.

Each county had fewer farmers in 2016 compared to the last census five years earlier in 2011, but the average size of farms has risen.

The figures show the amount of acreage devoted to crop… Continue reading