Let’s see more action on agriculture, not just celebrating

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

In watching all of the tweets, headlines, and instagram posts from across Canada, it’s clear our industry knows how to celebrate. That’s a great thing — but what about the next steps required?

Let me be clear: I think Canada’s Ag Day is a great idea, as it brings awareness to the industry with policy makers and the general public.

But…I would like to see Canadian agriculture advance the conversation. Showing pictures of cute calves, combines threshing, and plants growing is easy, low-hanging fruit, made even better if we throw in multiple generations and a kid-to-adult ratio of 2-to-1 in all pictures. We all love it and always will.

Celebrating the significance of agriculture is not a bad thing, but we also need to take the next step and focus on the real challenegs that threaten our ability to deliver on our promise.

This past week, we saw the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate their Super Bowl victory.  The parade closed schools, the streets filled and beer was drank. Winning the Super Bowl takes individual talent, team strategy and a serious commitment to the process of winning against 31 other teams trying to do the same thing.

In agriculture, it’s more like we would have a parade for training camp. I don’t feel like we’re really “moving the chains” and grinding out a big success.

Ever have a discussion with a loved one where they are ranting on about a particular subject and you finally stop them and you say, “so what are you going to do about it?” This is what we need to ask ourselves.

We all know the hurdles: environmental policy detached from production targets; a lack of strategic trade infrastructure investment; missing long-term commitment to production research funding; labour shortages; attracting capital; extensive consolidation across all value chain levels; and regulatory constraints… to name a more than a few.

One of these years, I’d like to see us walking out of the Canada’s Ag Day celebrations actually discussing options for solutions to some of these topics I’ve listed. Action needs to become more of the push than chants of “We are awesome.”

Agriculture is very diverse with many challenges across the country, so celebrating its existence is a good way to hold hands over a shared pride and passion. The next challenge is to come together with that same passion and pride on tougher issues. This is much harder.

Let’s use the feel-good energy from the week to drive the work on the hard stuff.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture