MPP John Wilkinson encourages new, local Thanksgiving tradition

As people begin to prepare for time with family and friends, Perth-Wellington MPP John Wilkinson is asking everyone to take up the challenge: to make at least one dish of the Thanksgiving meal “all Ontario.”

“Whether it’s a turkey from a local producer, a pie made from Ontario apples, or mashed Ontario potatoes – I’m encouraging my constituents to bring local food home this holiday season,” said Wilkinson. “You’ll be surprised at how easy – and tasty – it is. At this time of year we give thanks and I can think of no better way to say thank you to our local farm families who put the bounty of their harvest on our tables.”

Once again, Ontario is celebrating Agriculture Week, this year running from Oct. 4 to 10. Ontario Agriculture Week was officially created as a result of legislation sponsored by former local MPP Bert Johnson. With this year’s harvest well underway, it is an excellent time to recognize the hard work and dedication of Ontario farmers.

There are nearly 60,000 farms in Ontario and each farmer produces enough food to feed 120 people every year. Ontario farmers grow more than 200 different agricultural products, a diversity that is not matched in many other parts of the world – from apples and zucchini, to beef, pork, poultry, eggs, and cheese, Ontario has it all.

Not only do its farmers produce some of the best food in the world, but Ontario’s farmers and food industry grow Ontario’s economy, contributing more than $33-billion to the provincial economy each year. The sector employs more than 700,000 people and is the second largest goods-producing sector in the province – second only to the automotive sector.

Ontario agriculture also helps to build strong rural communities. One in every five Ontarians lives in a rural community. The agri-food industry is one of the foundations of rural prosperity, providing the jobs and investments needed to build vibrant communities. That’s why the provincial government has invested almost $65-million in key initiatives to encourage people to choose Ontario foods first.

“Working together, we make things better,” stated Wilkinson.