By Carol Harrison, RD
February 11th is Canada’s Agricultural Day, the one time we all get to raise a fork and thank farmers – the less than 2% of the population – who feed the rest of us.
Five Facts about Canadian Agriculture
- No two farms in Canada are alike. They vary in size and how they farm, but the one thing most have in common is that they are family-owned, (97%). It’s not uncommon to see three generations all working the land together.
Good to know: Farms should not be judged based on their size. Small and large farms both have the same goals: to care for the land and their animals, and produce high quality food.
- Farming, like any other field, leverages innovations in science and technology to improve practices. Phone apps give alerts if the temperature in the barn drops and a GPS allows farmers to precisely apply pesticides to make sure they do not overlap on the field.
Good to know: For an unfiltered glimpse into the daily lives of Canadian farms, check out Real Farm Lives, a documentary series.
- Without plant science innovations (pesticides and plant biotechnology), Canada would need to farm almost 50% more land to grow the same amount of food – equivalent to the combined land base of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI. The end result is a much smaller environmental footprint.
Good to know: Farmers generally don’t yearn for the nostalgic “olden days farming” where food quality and crop yields were more unpredictable and environmental awareness was low.
- Farmers scrutinize innovations before adopting them on their farm and there is worldwide consensus among many highly reputable organizations that genetically modified organism (GMO) technology produces food that is safe for humans and the environment.
Good to know: Farmers are not going to invest in practices that will compromise their safety, the productivity of their land or the quality of food they produce. Let’s remember, their own families live on the farm and eat the food they produce. It’s a myth that farmers are forced into decisions about what and how to farm.
- Thanks to farmers’ continual commitment to improving practices, our food has never been safer, more high-quality, or as affordable as is it today.
Good to know: Canadians on average spend only about $0.10 of every dollar on food.
Find out more about Canadian Agriculture:
About Carol Harrison