Let’s work together for the children

 In Letters, Opinion

Editor:

I am writing this letter as a response to Donna Baylis’ letter in the April 6 edition of The Creemore Echo, “Think food and water when at the polls”. I couldn’t agree with her more. 

The letter states that Ontario is losing 175 acres of farmland every day to development. 

I have read different articles that were giving estimates of 350 acres a day but it doesn’t matters who’s right or wrong, the fact is that development has to slow down. 

I support good development and I realize the need for affordable housing in the province but as a farmer and a father I see a real need to sustain an affordable agricultural industry for our children to rely on in the future. 

If we keep letting our farmland go for development we will no longer be able to feed ourselves. I pity the future generations when they have to depend 100 per cent on another country for food. 

History has shown that when a nation loses the ability to feed itself it has nothing to look forward to but a quick slide into oblivion. 

I firmly do believe that farming is heading for some tough times, if we are not already there. 

Consider the fact that a 100-acre farm is worth $1 million and a bushel of corn is worth $4.70. According to the March crop budget the estimated cost of growing an acre of corn is $635 with a break-even price of $3.53 per bushel and a break-even yield of 129 bushels. So do the math. Is there enough left over to pay the mortgage for said farm. 

Unfortunately soybeans and wheat don’t pencil out much differently. I remind you these are estimates only and costs vary from farm to farm. 

I know, I have heard it all before, “just sell the farm”, but a million dollars in the bank won’t mean anything to the next generations if they can’t feed themselves. 

So now, as my barn sits empty and I head for the weekly cattle sale to fill up for another year, I will know then if it’s a buyers or sellers market. It still needs to work both ways to sustain a food source for our children and grandchildren. 

We all need to work together to develop a fair strategy for the developer, farmer and the children. 

Biblically speaking, we don’t own our land or money, we are just stewards. Let’s all learn to manage. Hoping some of the above will be of interest. 

Brooke Timmons, 

Fifth generation Clearview farmer.  

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