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Decreasing Rural Demographic Increases Importance of Farmers Engaging with the Public

The Executive Director of Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan says with an increasing smaller percentage of the population involved in the production of food it's important for those who are engaged in agriculture to be ready to share their stories. Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan was established in 2014 to engage with consumers to ensure they understand what farmers and ranchers do.

Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan Executive Director Clinton Monchuk says many consumers have a basic idea of what's happening in food production but the not the technologies or practices farmers use so the more farmers can get out there and engage with consumers, the more knowledge they will have.

Quote-Clinton Monchuk-Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan:

If you go back to the start of confederation here in the country the predominant split was, about 85 percent lived in rural Canada and 15 percent in the urban areas at that time.If you look at where we're at today, we have about 82 percent of the population that lives in an urban area and the other 18 percent live in rural.

Just because we have so much of the population that actually lives in an urban area, the ability for them to even have that association with farmers and see what farmers are actually doing is less and less.So, the big thing that we like to do is make sure that farmers can feel comfortable and confident talking about there own farm.

This can happen on a buss or in an airport or at a community event.Just having that ability to feel comfortable talking about your own farm increases that engagement and that's what we're really encouraging a lot of people to do in those one-off conversations.

Or, if you feel comfortable, go on line and post video of your harvesting or what you're doing with your hogs or your poultry or your cattle, just things to actually engage with the general public.

Monchuk says, when you look at policy development, especially in Ottawa, and the disconnect that policy makers have from agriculture you can see policies that don't meet the needs of farmers and are little bit off base and that lack of understanding is getting greater.He suggests that why it's the responsibility of everyone involved in agriculture to get the truth out there.

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