Recognize that face?!
Yes, that’s me in the video. I am happy to have been a small part of this video initiative on sustainable farming practices put together by the Grain Farmers of Ontario. While the wonderful kids and dog are certainly not my own, the messaging is something that I can truly get behind.
‘Sustainability’, to me, has become this over-used buzzword that happens to look really sexy and appealing as far as marketing strategies go, but has no clear meaning or definition to the term. Sure, it sounds good on paper and on any given day you would likely say yes, being sustainable is the smart thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. Of course, save the trees, and all that jazz. But really, what the heck are we even saying when we define something as being sustainable or not? And who gets to make that call? Is everyone’s standards different?
However, what I don’t think most of the greater public is aware of is the fact that the concept of sustainability is not new. It may seem new because it is being increasingly used in ad campaigns to market all kinds of different products. The growth of ‘eco-labels’ has increased dramatically in recent years and consumers are becoming more conscious of these goods and have started making purchasing decisions based on this marketing aspect.
With the increase in focus on the idea of sustainability, the spotlight has been cast on farmers as being one of the most important groups to hold accountable. And by that, I mean that the pressure is on farmers now to ensure that our resources are not being abused and we are growing food in a sustainable way.
However, I would argue that farmers already are FANTASTIC STEWARDS OF THE EARTH. No, this was not always the case, and yes, we have come a long way in the evolution of modern farming methods so that we can be sustainable. Decades of research, trial and error, technological innovations… farmers have never stopped trying to get better at what they do because trust me, they care A LOT.
The GFO video aimed to let people know just that. That farmers are way more environmentally conscious than you think and strive to incorporate best management practices in their day-to-day operations.
You may have even seen the sign or logo, ‘Environmental Farm Plan‘ in your travels. This means that the farm has gone through the process of creating an environmental action plan that identifies their strengths and weaknesses and allows them to set a strategic plan to improve the areas of concern on their farm. You can read more about that here: Environmental Farm Plan
Grain Farmers of Ontario also have a lot of good information pulled together on their sustainability page. I’d also like to draw attention to Ag Innovation Ontario. It never ceases to amaze me what scientists and researchers have been working on as far as food production technology goes. Apple isn’t the only company to come up with some seriously cool stuff.
If you’re looking for more information or resources. Feel free to reach out. I know that finding information on this topic is not the easiest because there is hoards of junk out there that unfortunately makes it to the top of your Google searches.