Tomorrow, we celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday. Canada has grown into one of the best nations of the world.
Social programs, health care, freedom of religion, and public safety all make Canada a great place to live and raise our families. In Canada, we have the opportunity to pursue our dreams for life and business. As much as we may complain, Canadians have a great life when we seriously consider what we have in this growing country.
Agriculture has always been one of the main industries that keeps the Canadian economy going. Farming, of course, existed before Confederation: Indigenous agriculture was established centuries ago; pioneers depended on their own labour if they wanted to eat. Today, growth and innovation in agri-food means that it continues to be a major contributor to the economy and job creation.
Today, agriculture uses up-to-date technology in its production of food. Automation has been a huge part of cutting the cost of this production. The meat processing industry is Canada’s third largest manufacturing industry, ranking behind motor vehicles and petroleum products. Canada’s plant science industry ranks among Canada’s top employers.
In fact, one in eight Canadian jobs are related to agriculture, and agriculture itself employs 2.1 million Canadians. At this time, there are three jobs waiting for every agronomics graduate in Ontario, so there is opportunity within the industry for more employment.
Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of flaxseed, canola, pulses, durum wheat, peas, lentils and mustard seeds. We are the world’s largest producer of blueberries and produce 85% of the world’s maple syrup. Canada is the world’s second largest exporter of malting barley, which is used to brew beer.
Yes, Canadian farmers have a lot to be proud of.
But we need to protect what we’ve got. Over the past years agriculture has emphasised the importance of stewardship and sustainability. We need to ensure our soil, water and air are in the best condition possible. As we understand more and more how our soil functions, we realize the importance of sustaining the soil’s life, so that future generations can also use it for food production. This is why the CFFO has emphasized water stewardship, soil health and farmland preservation for decades.
Agriculture will continue to play a significant role in the future of Canada. Thank you to all the Canadian farmers that provide our daily bread. Canada needs you.
This weekend as we celebrate and participate in local events, let us show our thankfulness for the blessings we have received as a nation.
Happy Birthday, Canada. God keep our land.
Opinions expressed in the CFFO Commentary are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent CFFO policy.