2018 Grain Discovery Zone Experience

“After school I knew I wanted to use this passion and spread the message about food choices. I took on the role of Grain Discovery Zone Ambassador and spent the summer travelling around Ontario with Grain Farmers of Ontario’s interactive trailer, the Grain Discovery Zone”.

Have you ever been frustrated while trying to make decisions about food? Have you stood in the grocery store trying to decide what local, organic, non-GMO, and gluten free mean and just wished you could have someone you can trust talk to you about it? I have.

I grew up in northern Ontario very separated from food production. In the summer my parents would grow food in our backyard and so, I was always fascinated with the process and the ability for us to use the Earth’s resources to make food for us to eat.

Grain Discovery Zone Ambassador, Meghan Clout, feeding a calf at the Renfrew fair.

I went to the University of Guelph for my undergraduate degree in Environmental Governance. Here, I took great interest in what I was eating, how it was grown and where it came from. This endeavor proved challenging although there is so much information about our food, it is difficult to navigate. I struggled to determine what mattered to me. I spent so much time and effort navigating the choices and learning more about my food. This journey lead me to be very passionate about food production and encouraged me to support local farmers.

After school I knew I wanted to use this passion and spread the message about food choices. I took on the role of Grain Discovery Zone Ambassador and spent the summer travelling around Ontario with Grain Farmers of Ontario’s interactive trailer, the Grain Discovery Zone. This gave me the opportunity to continue my journey and I learned a lot along the way!

With the Grain Discovery Zone I traveled over 20,000 km across Ontario and attended over 30 events. I had the opportunity to share what I had learned along the way and continued to learn more about the grain farming industry through visits and conversations with farmers.

For me, as an environmentalist, I found it most exciting to learn about the amazing innovations and tools farmers use to keep the land healthy and productive. Most interesting, cover-crops! I also learned how technology such as genetic modification has been able to decrease pesticide usage and increase productivity of crops.

Cover Crop display: this display shows the difference of water flow over a fields of bare soil, residue, and a cover crop of oats and barley.

Most importantly I learned that farmers care about producing healthy, quality food for us to eat. I think when we are disconnected from agriculture it can be easy to vilify farming. When we step into the agriculture world, we see that farmers work so hard to make sure there are healthy options for our tables and enough food for us to eat. They feed their families, but also ours.

Grain Elevators are a fitting background at Farm Food Care Breakfast on the Farm event in North Gower.

Is has been a pleasure for me to travel and learn from grain farmers as well as other commodity groups. The world of agriculture is amazing and has captured my heart. I look forward to learning more and continuing to share #YourFarmers stories.

Check in to see the 2019 Grain Discovery Zone schedule for your opportunity to be a part

2 Replies to “2018 Grain Discovery Zone Experience”

  1. Great commentary Megan so proud of you and who you have become you have changed my way of thinking on farming and the environment

  2. What a wonderful experience Megan and you’ve taught so many people about grains and what Farmers do to produce healthy food for us.
    We enjoyed seeing your display at the Ottawa Fair .
    Well done !
    Sam and Mary Parsons
    And Pat Dwyer

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