By Anna Stubbings, Grain Discovery Zone Ambassador
The end of 2019 also marked the end of another Grain Discovery Zone season. After a busy 2019 season of attending over twenty events across Ontario, I’m here to tell you about my experience! Here is our Grain Discovery Zone 2019 wrap Up!
I grew up on a farm near Ottawa and come from a long line of farmers. Family gatherings and Holiday meals were always second to discussing how much rain we got this year or what the yield on the crop was. The way my family talked about farming was very much an industry-based conversation. As a result, in-laws would get confused when we talked about agriculture, this showed me what a disconnect there was between farmers and consumers, I saw this as a problem. After high school, I went to the University of Guelph to study Business with a focus on marketing and communications. After graduating in the spring, I wanted to find something that combined my education with my love of agriculture.
This summer I had the opportunity to drive around the Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Grain Discovery Trailer. This is an educational trailer that tours around to different fairs and events across the province to teach people about grain farming. The trailer folds out on one side with a giant corn box (like a sandbox but with corn!)
To get the Grain Discovery Zone Trailer at your next event: Check out our Fair and Event Offerings
20,000+ Kilometers and a whole lot of hamburgers and French fries later, I think I learned as much as I taught. While being at fairs I got to learn about other industries like animal production, fruit and vegetable farming and even saw Giant Pumpkin competitions. I saw kids learning how to milk a cow, or how to shear a sheep, how maple syrup or honey are made, or seeing (and tasting) the types of apples are grown here in Ontario and learning about all aspects of agriculture along the way! I learned the great value of going to a rural fair. That’s my number one recommendation to consumers and the people reading this. Go to your local fair. Talk to the experts.
With so much miss-information out there, lots of people, including myself, are wondering how to get accurate information on the food we eat. Rather than going online; where ‘fake news’ dominates, take your family and friends for a walk outdoors and ask the real professionals. These are people who have studied agriculture or spent their entire lives in the agriculture profession. A lot of the time, they are your neighbours, farmers in your area, that want to teach you about the job that they are proud of and love doing. Don’t be afraid to ask what you think is a ‘stupid’ question, odds are someone else has already asked that same question. Only 2% of people are farmers. That leaves 98% of the population that have the same questions as you do. Be the person who goes to talk to a professional, rather than a website or documentary.
Got a Question? We might have already answered it! Check out Good in Every Story where we post all kinds of farming facts and information!
If you want to learn about corn, ask a corn farmer! Want to learn about cows and the environment, ask a cattle farmer! If you want to learn how to buy local Ontario produce, ask a fruit and vegetable farmer! That’s the purpose of these organization’s booths, they are there to talk to you and educate you! Your Ontario grain farmers pay for the trailer to be at the fair because they want all Ontarians to know that there truly is Good in Every Grain. We farmers see it firsthand, we grow the crops, harvest them and feed them to our families. We want you to feel comfortable feeding safe, sustainable, healthy grains to yours!
Where Can you Find the Trailer?
Check out our schedule for the 2020 Grain Discovery Zone Trailer! It’s coming to an event near you!