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Most growers, producers and others believe that agriculture is the sector of the future. After all, where will humanity get the food it needs, if not from farms?

Well, asks agri-food strategist Christina Crowley-Arklie, founder of Crowley + Arklie Strategy & Co., how about getting food from a lab? Or from a pill? Or from another country?

These are cringe-worthy options for her and for most others in the sector. After all, Crowley-Arklie who now lives in Guelph with her husband and children, was raised on a family dairy farm near Peterborough, Ontario. She, as much as anyone, wants such operations to survive with more than a semblance of familiarity in the future.

But she’s concerned that the agri-food sector is not taking a lead role in setting the agenda for modern agriculture. Despite having such great stories to tell about food security, food safety and food production, she thinks the sector has yet to break away from the passive, reactive approach that made it nearly invisible for so many years. And that could jeopardize its advancement, as the public ponders the future of food.

She said so in a webinar she hosted last month, titled “Our Greatest Challenge Ahead in Canadian Agriculture and Food.” To Crowley-Arklie, former communications advisor to Jeff Leal, former Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, confusion over the confluence of marketing, policy and identity is the sector’s greatest challenge.

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