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 schoolâ€™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! Donâ€™t forget to follow the Grain Discovery as it travels across Ontario by liking our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/discoveryzone). Weâ€™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!
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 GFOâ€™s priorities for the election and also an opportunity for you to hear directly from Ernie Hardeman about the Progressive Conservativeâ€™s priorities.
Dial-in numbers will be sent closer to the date. For more information, visit www.gfo.ca.
With Motherâ€™s Day just around the corner, Grain Farmers of Ontario Resident Chef Jonathan Goodyear joined host Bob Cowan on CHCH Morning Live, demonstrating great ways to spice up your Motherâ€™s Day dinner with Ontario grains. Chef Jonathan helped viewers step out of their comfort zone to impress Mom, spicing up dinner with appealing to her sweet tooth with Warm Caramelized Date and Vanilla Bean Pudding with Forty Creek Whisky Caramel. This recipe is a sweet, gooey, rich way that showcases how decadent grains can be!
Check out Chef Jonathan in action at http://www.chch.com/cooking-mom/, and find the full recipes for this hearty meal and delicious dessert.
A Canadian Soybean Delegation has recently returned home from a program to Japan. The week-long program visited Osaka and Tokyo from January 18th to 25th and focused on further enhancing Canadaâ€™s relationship with Japan.
The delegation met with industry associations, government officials and private corporations to promote Canadian soybeans for food use to potential international buyers, gathered market intelligence from end-users and government officials on soybean market trends in Japan, and gained knowledge of new market opportunities that are available. The delegation included representatives from across the soybean value chain including producers, soybean exporters, and government officials.
The program included two large industry seminars in both Tokyo and Osaka. Over 180 researchers, whole sellers, and soy food manufacturers from the Japanese soy industry attended. This yearâ€™s seminars were titled â€śCanadian Soybeans: A Success Storyâ€ť which highlighted Canadaâ€™s ability and commitment to delivering a high quality product to our customers.
The delegation also visited several soy food manufacturing companies. Here, the delegation toured facilities and gained a better understanding of the dynamic soy food industry in Japan.
Nicole Mackellar is a Market Development Coordinator at Grain Farmers of Ontario and was a part of the delegation. She said initiatives like this outgoing program increase market access for our high-value soybeans.
â€śThe program allows the Canadian delegation to interact first hand with Japanese soyfood manufactures, distributors and researchers,â€ť says Mackellar. â€śThe knowledge obtained is used to better understand the quality characteristics needed in our soybean varieties to meet their needs.â€ť
Japan is Canadaâ€™s largest market for food grade soybeans and third largest market in the world. On average over 350,000 metric tonnes are exported each year with a total value of over $225 million. Ontario continues to be the largest exporting port for non-GMO food grade soybeans to Japan. Developing further opportunities in this important market is important for the continued growth of Canadaâ€™s soybean industry.