Mike MacGillivray hopes to welcome guests in August
By Diego Flammini
An Ontario livestock producer is turning his farm into a tourist attraction this summer to give consumers a better understanding of food production.
Mike MacGillivray farms 196 acres at Kirkview Farms in North Glengarry, Ont. He raises chickens, turkeys and pigs. He is also in the process of selecting beef cattle breeds to bring to the farm.
He plans on welcoming guests to his farm later this summer for a local food and farm festival. The event will feature local vendors, tours of his operation and information about his farming practices which include using manure for weed control.
Visitors will also be able to tour his hay pastures.
The event is focused on education.
Many consumers are only connected to the industry through the purchase of groceries, he said.
“We’re entering a realm where a large portion of the population doesn’t have any connection to agriculture,” MacGillivray told Farms.com today. “Years ago, someone’s parents or grandparents would have been farmers, so that connection was there.”
Customers also have more questions about food than ever before, and producers are the best people to answer those questions. Farmers should welcome the opportunity to do so, he added.
“People want to know their farmers and where their food is produced,” he said. “It’s a trend that’s growing and I feel will continue to grow. They want to know where their food is coming from and they want assurances that the animals are being treated properly.
“Showing our customers how and why we do the things we do can help to build a stronger trust.”
MacGillivray will also talk about his future plans for the farm during the tour.
Those goals include adding solar panels to the farm and planting 100,000 trees.
Mike MacGillivray/Ecological Farmers of Ontario photo