Grain Discovery Zone Update

Grain Discovery Zone at the Norwood Fair in summer 2017

June continues to be a busy month for the Grain Discovery Zone. This past weekend was spent at one of the southernmost regions in the province in Leamington, the tomato capital of the province. Leamington’s 166th annual fair offered a number of diverse activities to keep fairgoers busy throughout the three days including a stop at the Grain Discovery Zone.

Popular activities at the fair included a produce tent where taste testing of locally grown tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers occurred. Visitors tasted the different varieties and voted on their preferred choice and I can say that it was tough to decide! I often had to try the vegetables twice just to be sure!

There was also a demonstration of traditional aboriginal music and dance presented by First Nations people from across the province. The dress was beautiful and incredibly intricate and the drumming was enthralling. Between the dances, insight to the meanings of each beat of the drum and each body movement in the dance were discussed.

Other neat displays included a honey bee info stand, local students’ artwork, antique tractors, steam engine and handmade quilts. Leamington Fair also boasts live harness racing and a demolition derby with a grand stand for spectators.

Looking ahead, the Grain Discovery Zone will be participating in Fords in the Park event at Country Heritage Park in Milton on the 21st and then will be heading to Norwich Township to celebrate Canada Day.

Don’t forget to follow the Grain Discovery Zone throughout the summer and share your experience with us! Tweet @GrainFarmers #Discovery Zone and like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/GrainDiscoveryZone.

Discover the Good In Every Grain

Grain Farmers of Ontario recently unveiled a new campaign to help tell the story of corn, soybeans, and wheat and the 28,000 farmers that grow them. The new campaign, Good In Every Grain aims to connect rural and urban people, with a focus on the good things these crops bring.

Good in Every Grain speaks to the good values farmers represent, the good work they do for the environment and their communities, and the good quality grain crops they grow. Beyond the farm gate, Good in Every Grain is about the good products created with corn, soybeans, and wheat, and the good contribution the grain industry makes to Ontario’s economy.

Corn, soybeans, and wheat combined contribute $9 billion in economic input, employ 40,000 people and cover over five million acres of farm land across Ontario. These grains have roots in our backyard; however, as more complex commodities the various uses of commercial grains are often unknown. The Good in Every Grain campaign is here to tell the story of these vital grains and the 28,000 Ontario farmers who grow them.

Visit http://www.www.goodineverygrain.ca to purchase merchandise, discover school and media resources, and ask grain-related questions. Follow @GoodinGrain and #ONGrain on Twitter and like Good in Every Grain on Facebook for great information on corn, soybeans, and wheat.

Good in Every Grain builds on the popular Farmers Feed Cities campaign, replacing it with a focus more in line with its founding organization, Grain Farmers of Ontario.

Grain Discovery Zone at Steckle Heritage Farm: Jean Steckle Week

Spring has finally arrived and it looks like we might finally be able to enjoy some nice weather. This past week, the Grain Discovery Zone attended its first official event of the season at Steckle Heritage Farm in Kitchener. Students from Jean Steckle Elementary School came to the farm to learn about the legacy of Jean Steckle, their school’s namesake. Children from kindergarten to grade 7 had the opportunity to meet the farm animals, see the apple blossoms, learn about the many vegetables that are grown on the farm and interact with the Grain Discovery Zone.

The Steckle Homestead has been in the family since 1833 and has seen a great deal of changes over the years. Originally a farm boasting several hundred acres, it is now surrounded by residential and industrial development. Jean Steckle purchased the homestead and 10 acres from her parents in 1978. 10 years later, Steckle established the farm as a non-profit organization and the farm has been open to the public as an education tool ever since.

The Grain Discovery Zone unveiled a new trivia game that proved to be an excellent learning tool for students and triggered many questions about grains and life on the farm during the busy summer months. The corn box was a highlight again and many children had the opportunity to learn about how much equipment corn, soybeans or wheat crops require from planting to harvesting.

Jean Steckle Week is just the beginning for the Grain Discovery Zone as the season starts to heat up. Next weekend, you can catch the Grain Discovery Zone at Country Heritage Park in Milton for their summer kick off! Don’t forget to follow the Grain Discovery as it travels across Ontario by liking our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/discoveryzone). We’re also on Twitter- use the hashtag #DiscoveryZone to join the conversation. Check out our website http://www.gfo.ca for the complete list of events that Grain Discovery Zone will be attending!

Grain Farmers of Ontario hosts Tractor Cab Telephone Town Halls

Due to the late spring this year keeping farmers out in the field, Grain Farmers of Ontario will be hosting a series of Tractor Cab Town Halls during which farmers will be able to talk to candidates from their tractor cab. These Tractor Cab Town Halls are intended to help involve farmers in the election campaign.

The first Tractor Cab Telephone Town Hall will take place this Monday, June 2nd at 11:00 a.m. -11:45 a.m., with Ernie Hardeman. Hardeman is the MPP for Oxford County and is the critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairsfor the Progressive Conservative party. The dates for the other Telephone Town Halls with other parties have not yet been scheduled.

We hope you will join us and encourage others to join us for this conference call, as it will be an opportunity to deliver GFO’s priorities for the election and also an opportunity for you to hear directly from Ernie Hardeman about the Progressive Conservative’s priorities.

Dial-in numbers will be sent closer to the date. For more information, visit www.gfo.ca.