The world of agriculture is a tight-knit one, and if there was ever proof of that it was on Canada’s Agriculture Day.
On Feb. 16, hundreds of industry representatives gathered at the Ottawa Marriot Hotel – alongside thousands of other Canadians marking the occasion at related events across the nation – to celebrate our strong agriculture sector on the first annual Canada’s Agriculture Day, hosted by Agriculture More Than Ever.
Fertilizer Canada was honoured to join other industry representatives to revel in the powerhouse that is Canada’s current agriculture sector and discuss what it has the potential to become. Highlights of the day included:
- “Let’s Celebrate the Food We Love” luncheon, featuring Canadian ag-food products.
- Keynote address from Michael Hoffort, President and CEO of Farm Credit Canada, on Canada’s potential to become a true world leader in agriculture. Hoffort spoke of Canada’s current position on the world stage as second in food sustainability and how we are poised to increase our potential as the need to feed more mouths grows. Canada already produces more food than we consume, he said, which puts us in a good position for the future.
“I would suggest the world needs more Canada,” he said.
- Fireside chat with students. A panel of high school and university students spoke of their ideas for the future of agriculture in Canada and worldwide. Messages included the importance of youth engagement at an early age and supporting local agriculture as much as possible.
“Feeding nine billion people by 2050 – that’s our challenge, and we’re ready to talk about it,” said Cameron Choquette, a commerce student at the Edwards School of Business, who chaired the panel.
- Sharing Canadian Ag Stories. Two Canadian farmers joined John E. Betts, president and CEO of McDonald’s Canada, to talk about the importance of sharing with consumers the stories of Canadian producers.
“When (consumers) put food on their table, they want it to be trustworthy – that’s us, that’s Canadian farmers,” said Denis Desjardins, a New Brunswick potato farmer.
Betts spoke of the McDonald’s initiative to inform its customers where their food is sourced from, a lot of which is from Canadian farmers, and showed recent video campaigns with both Desjardins and Lane Stockbrugger, a canola producer in Saskatchewan. The panel also spoke of the important of sustainability and keeping farmland viable for future generations.
“Sustainability is the destination, but it’s also the journey,” said Stockbrugger.
- “Celebrating the Food We Love” reception, highlighting the diversity of agriculture in Canada.
The first Canada’s Agriculture Day was a huge success and the hashtag #CdnAgDay trended on Twitter across the country. We look forward to an even bigger event next year!