Online series sheds light on real farmers

Most Canadians know that farmers exist, but their knowledge of farming is somewhere between diddly and squat.

Many urbanites still think that a typical Canadian farmer has a red barn, 10 cows and 20 chickens and wears dirty overalls 365 days of the year.

Using tweets, Facebook posts and other social media tools, producers and leaders in Canada’s ag industry have tried to combat that outdated perception.

CropLife Canada released another online tactic last month — a documentary series about three farm families in Canada.

The industry association, which represents crop science companies, produced a web series called Real Farm Lives. The episodes can be viewed at www.realfarmlives.ca.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there about food production and farming techniques,” said Pierre Petelle, president and chief executive officer of CropLife Canada.

“By connecting Canadians with real farmers who sustainably grow our safe, high-quality food, we hope viewers will learn about the obstacles farmers have to tackle and the tools they need to do their jobs well.”

CropLife Canada, in a news release, said telling the stories of real farmers is critical because most Canadians are “disconnected” from farming. The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity survey found that 93 percent of Canadians say they know little-to-nothing about farming.

Episodes of Real Farm Lives will take a close look at three farm families in Canada — two in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan.

The first episode, released recently, tells the story of Chris and Rachel Renwick, who grow corn and soybeans near Wheatley, Ont. The other episodes in the series will feature Norman and Loretta Englot, who have a 3,000 acre farm in Montmartre, Sask., and the Ardiel family, who run Apple Springs Orchards in Clarksburg, Ont.

“Growing apples is an art and a science and we take our jobs very seriously. We love what we do and hope viewers walk away from Real Farm Lives with a greater appreciation of modern farming,” said Kyle Ardiel, son of Shane and Gail Ardiel.

The series will run for six episodes until the end of November with a new episode released each week.

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