Manitoba Canola Growers bridge the gap between consumers and producers
In an attempt to raise the profile of one of Canada’s most overlooked professions, Canola Eat Well dedicated last September to the people who put the food on our tables – farmers!
“I Heart Farmers” month kicked off with Canola Connect Harvest Camp, a three-day event that provides a backdrop for agricultural conversations among diverse individuals. For the event’s fifth year, Canola Eat Well brought together 10 campers including chefs, dietitians, home economists, restauranteurs and food writers from across Canada for a tour of western Manitoba. They visited a cattle ranch, apiary, bison operation and canola farm while sharing stories and asking questions about food production in Canada.
“Harvest Camp has the ability to create incredible bonds between people who promote, sell, cook and talk about food, to those who grow and raise it,” said Ellen Pruden, education and promotion manager, Manitoba Canola Growers. “There’s a common thread found in every conversation they have together, and that is: we all want the same thing – healthy and safe food to feed ourselves and our families.”
During Harvest Camp, Canola Eat Well launched its first pop-up e-store featuring a limited-edition t-shirt emblazoned with the message “I Heart Farmers”. Buyers were encouraged to wear their shirts with pride and participate in conversations focusing on food in Canada.
Later in September, the Canola Eat Well team travelled to Ontario to host a media day focusing on Canadian ingredients. Led by professional home economist and television superstar Mairlyn Smith, the group visited Applewood Farm & Winery in Whitchurch-Stouffville to pick apples on the first day of autumn. Next it was on to South Pond Farms for a picnic lunch. Manitoba canola farmer Will Bergmann was along for the trip, sharing his story about growing food on the Canadian Prairies.
“I arrived in Toronto with many lovely parting gifts, the most priceless of which was a new-found respect for all the growers and producers whose hard work feeds and nourishes us across our country,” said Waleed Hafeez, who writes about Toronto’s vibrant food scene at waleedhafeez.com
Throughout the month on Twitter, Canola Eat Well encouraged consumers to reach out to Canadian farmers with questions, stories and messages. During the I Heart Farmers Twitter party, tweeters were asked what they would say to a farmer if they were given the opportunity. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say:
Thank you, Canadian farmers, for bringing delicious food to our tables!
Thank you for providing us with true Canadian food, fresh, safe and yummy!
Perhaps the entire month’s efforts were summed up by Carole Nelson Brown of The Yum Yum Factor blog after the Ontario media day.
“The highlight of the day, for me, was talking to a young, super tech-savvy farmer from Manitoba, Will Bergmann. This guy does NOT look like my idea of a Canadian farmer, and yet, there he is, looking like he would be just as at home on Toronto’s trendy Queen West as he is out in the field. This articulate, passionate guy is the face of the modern Canadian farmer.”
Annual General Meeting
The Manitoba Canola Growers Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held February 16 at 7:30 a.m. in conjunction with the CropConnect Conference at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre in Winnipeg. Join us for breakfast and our AGM as we make important decisions regarding the Manitoba canola industry. Canola producers may attend the AGM without registering for the CropConnect Conference. Visit www.CanolaGrowers.com closer to the date for more information.
Save the Date
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March 7, Victoria Inn, Brandon
The Five Per Cent Secret for Record Farm Profits PLUS How to Take Charge of Your Farm’s Financial Management
March 15 & 16, 2017,
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June 22, 2017, AAFC, Portage
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