Mary Ann is a co-owner/operator of her family's dairy farm.
What a great time of year to celebrate Ontario Agriculture. Many people may be unaware that October 5-11, 2015 is Ontario Agriculture Week but I can guarantee that they are celebrating in their day-to-day lives. Grocery stores are full of local Ontario produce, drive through the country and you can see the crops being harvested, and local fall fairs are in full-swing celebrating all that agriculture has to offer.
Fall is my favourite time of year. Working the fields at harvest time brings a deep sense of contentment with a job well done.
At our farm today, a custom operator is combining soybeans. He doesn't need our help this year as a retired transport driver is working for free because he misses working the harvest. With our new-found free time, we are busy putting away field equipment for the winter. Across the road I can hear the hum of a combine taking off a neighbour's grain corn. For lunch we enjoyed local vegetables from our latest grocery trip where we always look for Ontario products. And our families are exchanging emails planning meals and pumpkin carving for Thanksgiving. I can smell harvest in the air.
Fall is also a time for reflection as we see the finished product after worrying about the crops all summer. The new hay field that was once bare on the hill, scorched from sun and drought, is now thriving after growing under its cover crop of oats. And the corn that was hit by drought, frost and torrential rain, all in a short period of time this spring, was taller than the tractor at harvest. My dad's soybeans came in first place at his local fair, but the less we say about the barley field the better; at least it's off the field and we don't have to look at it anymore. Optimism and hope for the future is necessary in this world, and I am filled with both when I think about the direction Ontario Agriculture is going.
I encourage you to take a moment to reflect while you are out in the fields, or give a farmer a big wave and a thumbs up when you drive by. It's time to celebrate.