Imagine if we all gathered together in a big backyard somewhere. We would have quite the celebration! It is exciting to realize that by including everyone who has engaged with the Ag Women’s Network, whether online or in-person, it would be an across-Canada celebration!
While on recent flights, west to Edmonton and then home from Saskatoon, I gazed out the airplane window as we flew below the clouds. In a surprising way I felt a kinship to the realities of the rural life below. Thanks to my involvement in AWN, I have grown so much in my understanding of the women of Canadian agriculture. I looked at the natural beauty of our country and the farm land stretching out below. I thought about the people running the farms, providing services and support to those farms, raising families, being stewards to Canada’s resources, upholding rural life and producing the food that feeds, fuels and brings together the people of Canada.
I have been fortunate to travel to many parts of Canada and, more often than not, the trip has had something to do with farming. Visiting so many farms has been a wonderful opportunity. I’ve come to realize that the people of Canadian agriculture are a diverse group and our industry’s strength comes from that diversity. There are geographical issues that often rally us into regional viewpoints and historical and cultural backgrounds that can tangle up our understandings. Our political views are varied. The commodities we produce can sometimes be competitive. However, we have so much in common. Our differences must not overwhelm who we are and what unites us. We have common understandings of dedication, resilience, passion, determination, succession and stewardship. We have common sources of pride in our families, animals, crops, products, land, communities and farms. Together we are Canadian agriculture.
On those farm visits, there is almost always time for standing in a yard and having a conversation. It is during those conversations when common understandings and sources of pride are most evident. Farmers are yard people. People who like to gather- near a barn, around a campfire, in a pasture field, at a picnic table, after a crop tour, beside a tailgate, helping a neighbor, close to an animal’s breath at sunrise or surveying a field at sunset. We are people who like to be together.
This Canada Day, as you celebrate in your backyard, front yard, farm yard, courtyard, neighbour’s yard or under a yard light, be sure to share your pride in our country and in Canadian agriculture. And then, give an extra wave of the flag for the women of Ag.