It’s Farm and Food Awareness Week in the province
By Diego Flammini
Manitoba ag industry reps are encouraging all Manitobans to learn about the people and the processes of food production.
Sept. 21 to 25 marks the sixth annual Farm and Food Awareness Week across the province.
Since 2015, the third week in September has been dedicated to celebrating Manitoba’s agri-food industry, which employs more than 36,000 people and contributes to almost 6 per cent of the province’s GDP.
With COVID-19 affecting all aspects of life nowadays, it’s especially important to highlight farmers and the work they do on an everyday basis, said Bill Campbell, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers.
“If there’s one thing everyone should know, it’s that (farmers) are at work 365 days a year producing food for this country and this world,” he told Farms.com. “We have generations of people who have never seen an empty shelf at a grocery store, and that goes back to the farmers who produce the food that ends up there.”
Communication remains a challenge for the industry.
Users’ ability to use social media has provided a platform to spread misinformation, but has also allowed farmers to tell agriculture’s truths, Campbell said.
“We have seen some benefit from social media and being able to get positive messages out about what we do in agriculture,” he said. “But there are also those who wish to put agriculture in a negative light, and we need those industry advocates to correct any incorrect things that are being said about the industry. If we don’t stand up for the industry, it can be pretty easy for negative messages to spread quickly.”
Each Farm and Food Awareness Week focuses on a theme.
For 2020, the theme is “150 Years of Agriculture in Manitoba,” which highlights the province’s ag history.
The provincial ag ministry will be releasing five videos focused on 150 years of Manitoba agriculture. The videos can be viewed on Manitoba Agriculture’s Twitter account.