ELORA – Farmers brought the food to the people at the Grand River Raceway on Aug. 27 for Breakfast From the Farm, a Farm and Food Care Ontario event.
It wasn’t only the free breakfast sandwiches using Ontario-grown products that farmers brought, they also drove in modern farm implements, from sprayers to combines; brought the cows, goats, sheep and a horse; and even the barn itself (at a reduced scale).
Farm and Food Care Ontario’s goal is to build public trust in food and farming in the province, and bringing farmers to the people is one way of accomplishing that goal each year.
Around 880 people, mostly made up of families with young children from urban and suburban areas, spent Saturday morning and afternoon connecting with those who grow and produce food, learning about modern agricultural technology, equipment and animal husbandry at exhibits surrounded by the racetrack.
Typically, people are welcomed to local farms for a tour and breakfast, but Farm and Food Care spokesperson Amber Anderson said the event took a spin in 2021 and now the farm comes to the people. There are three events this year, with the remaining event scheduled for the Milton Fairground on Oct. 8.
Longtime dairy farmer and Farm and Food Care Ontario board chair Bonnie den Haan said there’s “a lot of nonsense on the internet” and events like Breakfast From the Farm allow people to speak directly with a farmer and discover where food comes from.
“Never has food been so safe and never have people been so afraid to eat it,” den Haan remarked, adding, “people who grow and produce food care about what they do and the responsibility of feeding Canadians.”
As children explored a cutout replica of a barn created by Brian Starr, Fergus Agricultural Society president Jennifer Craig said the event provides people with a “nice, interactive and fun agriculture experience.”
After learning about harvesting, how cows are milked, how eggs are sorted, or holding a baby goat, guests received a smile from one of the 70 volunteers who helped make the event happen, along with a bag of pancake mix and maple syrup on their way out.