Van­thof rec­og­nizes agri­cul­tural sec­tor

Northern News (Kirkland Lake) - - NEWS - BRAD SHER­RATT

KIRK­LAND LAKE - This past week was Agri­cul­tural Week in the province. Timiskmaing-Cochrane MPP John Van­thof stood in the house and ex­plained the im­por­tance of the week.

“For most, I think the pur­pose of Agri­cul­ture Week is to help them stop and rec­og­nize the im­por­tant role that the peo­ple who work in agri­cul­ture play in this province. There’s over 700,000 peo­ple who work in that sec­tor here, which is an in­cred­i­ble num­ber. It’s one of the big­gest driv­ers in the province.

But for me, and I think for many of my NDP col­leagues, Agri­cul­ture Week is about the corner­stone of the peo­ple of the sec­tor, and that’s the farm­ers. For them, Agri­cul­ture Week likely will be about the weather be­cause it’s been a re­ally tough sum­mer.

“Lots of times there’s toughs, but this has been a re­ally tough sum­mer. Farm­ers al­ways con­tend with that, but the last few weeks of our ex­tended sum­mer, while oth­ers were talk­ing about the heat and com­plain­ing about heat, there was no farmer in On­tario com­plain­ing about the heat be­cause those few weeks of ex­tended heat for many peo­ple in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor saved the sum­mer. It’s in­cred­i­ble how big a dif­fer­ence those cou­ple of weeks of heat made. Farm­ers are an in­cred­i­ble breed and one I’d like to rec­og­nize.

The OFA or­ga­nized a tour of Bev­erly Green­houses this sum­mer. One of the own­ers, Dale Van­derHout, gave us a tour. He was talk­ing about a dif­fer­ent man­age­ment prac­tice they’d im­ple­mented. He said, “You know what? The plants just seem hap­pier.” That spoke to me be­cause I’m a farmer. Farm­ers want their plants and their an­i­mals—they want ev­ery­thing to be happy be­cause that’s how they make their liv­ing. That’s why they keep fight­ing with the weather and fight­ing with the el­e­ments.

Lastly, I think we all need to thank the peo­ple who con­tin­u­ously do that. Rest as­sured, the farm fam­i­lies of On­tario will con­tinue to work. They will work tire­lessly un­til the crop is off so that we can all be as­sured to eat the great food that is grown in On­tario.

He later spoke to the Northern News and stated “Temiskam­ingCochrane’s unique in northern On­tario be­cause agri­cul­ture is a ma­jor em­ployer. There are over two thou­sand peo­ple em­ployed in the Ag sec­tor , and there is po­ten­tial for many more. This is due to ad­vanced in crop types, ag prac­tices like tile drainage and cli­mate change.

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