Ag edition: Farmers express optimism about the future of farming

 In Opinion

With agriculture being a primary industry locally, The Creemore Echo set out to tell the stories of some of the farm families that make up an important sector of our local economy.

We thank all those who welcomed us into their homes and barns and were willing to share the ins and outs of their daily lives, introduce us to their herds, and open up about their challenges.

It is not easy to let a stranger – especially one with a camera and a notepad – into your home and we are very appreciative of those who did.

While collecting stories for this debut special agricultural edition of The Echo, we learned a lot about our community and those who work the thousands of acres of farmland in Clearview Township and surrounding area.

Driving around on the backroads we were curious about the many family farms and what they do. Clearview is dotted with a variety of farms. Once you take a close look it becomes apparent that agriculture is at the heart of the community.

It was pointed out to us that this area has a rich and diverse agricultural landscape, compared to other areas that focus on one type of crop or livestock.

We started gathering information for this edition in January and we went into it with open minds. From the beginning we asked members of the farm community what they thought were the most pressing issues. Eventually themes developed around the use of technology, economics (pressures of inflation, high interest rates, tax increases), land use, and climate, but in our conversations most farmers expressed an optimism about the future of farming.

Again and again the conversation turned to the next generation of farmers. Either in middle-age or still in elementary school, the next generation of farmers are investing in technology and education to support a strong future in the industry.

Parents are doing what they can to set their children up for success in farming if they choose to continue as a partner in the family farm, and although sensitive conversations need to be had, there was an underlying tone of optimism and planning for the future.

On the other hand, soaring land prices have made it harder than ever for people not born into a farm facility to get into farming, but we learned there are agricultural-related businesses that can provide pathways to a career in the ag sector.

Farming is a passion for all of the people we interviewed for this edition, a way of life. We heard from most that it’s in their blood, that they aren’t in it for the money, they do it because they couldn’t imagine any other life. With farming comes a strong sense of community, a connectedness between those who share equipment, lend a helping hand when needed, and commiserate when things don’t go as planned.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment