Talk to a farmer


Headshot of Chronicle contributor James Bauman
Headshot of Chronicle contributor James Bauman

As a society we take the abundance and accessibility of food for granted, and it is because of hardworking farmers that we do not fear food scarcity.

Farmers don’t get enough credit for providing what is the backbone of our daily lives.

Farmers such as Stewart Skinner of Listowel, Ont. want you to do more than buy and consume. Skinner encourages the public to talk to farmers who produce their food.

In the Op-Ed piece written by Skinner for the Toronto Star on Thanksgiving Monday this year, Skinner speaks about the gratification that comes for him by educating consumers who take the time to speak with him. Through education consumers learn more about the food they are consuming and the farmer gains respect for the work he does.

If more of the public took the time to learn about where their food comes from and how it is produced, farmers would get the credit they deserve. Animal activists attempt to discredit the valuable work farmers do by putting the lives of animals ahead of farmers’ livelihoods. The fact is farmers feed our entire nation.

According to the World Bank there will need to be an increase in food production by at least 50 per cent by 2050 to feed the then nine billion people on earth. Without an increase in the size of existing farm operations, or an influx of new farm operations, the number of those experiencing food scarcity and uncertainty will only continue to increase. Now more than ever we need to support our farmers, because without them society ceases to function.

In Durham Region there are 20 farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to the public. From Pickering to Newcastle to Brooklin, there are no shortages of opportunities for the public to not only buy locally but also to become more educated about their food. You would be hard pressed to find a farmer at a farmer’s market who was unwilling to discuss your purchase, how it was produced, and where it was produced.

So when animal activists target farms and farmers with both sabotage or rhetoric they neglect the work that farmers do for our communities here at home in Durham Region, across Canada, and around the world.

Go out and speak to a farmer, buy local, become educated about your food and how its produced. We need to take a moment, slow down, and step back to when those in the community knew who was putting food on their dinner table. When was the last time you spoke with a farmer?

Here are a list of farmer’s markets in Durham Region to get you started:

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James Bauman is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. He enjoys writing about sports, arts, and culture for The Chronicle. James is a former three sport athlete who can be found on the links during his downtime. He hopes to cover sports for a daily publication, and eventually to work as a sports columnist.