Community needs to work together to protect farmland

 In Letters, Opinion

I am a young local fourth generation farmer who is very proud to call this area home and am part of the ever shrinking agricultural community.
Throughout my life I have seen many farms purchased by people from urban areas for weekend getaways. I completely understand this as I could not live in the city myself.
While majority of the newcomers are understanding of how farms operate and the importance of agriculture to this community, it is disheartening to see some of those who purchase farms and then build houses at the back of the farm using much of the productive farmland to build a long winding laneway, leaving small fields that are inefficient and difficult to access.
This is an extremely wasteful use of one of our most precious resources. Once this land is gone we can’t get it back.
Many of these people claim to be environmentally friendly and shop local, not realizing the negative environmental impact they themselves are causing.
The urban sprawl has raised the prices of farms significantly to the point that no young farmers are able to compete. Therefore buying local products will be difficult in the future.
I have seen in many cases where urban weekenders and local farmers successfully work together to achieve the best results for all parties while maintaining the agricultural land and local environment.
Farmland is one of the most precious resources as it supplies the food we need to live as well as sequesters atmospheric carbon in the soil as organic matter, making it very useful to fight climate change.
As a community, farmers and urban weekenders, need to work together to protect farmland for generations to come.
Maybe there is a way that the township, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, and Niagara Escarpment Commission can work together to protect our farmland for years to come!
Chris Millar,

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