Making a Statement
I shot this while driving by a supermarket in the suburban Hamilton mountain neighbourhood of Balfour. As a street or urban photo, it’s not terribly impressive but the impact it does have is all about the slogan on the tractor. Whether in real time or in the image, you see it in an instant and you just have to say of course! Then you realize a split second later that although it may seem to be an obvious statement, it has to be said because the fact is one of those realities that many of us simply take for granted. We have to be reminded of these things.
The Farmers Feed Cities campaign was born from the Ontario Grains & Oilseeds Coalition which includes the Ontario Bean Producers’ Marketing Board, Ontario Canola Growers’ Association, Ontario Coloured Bean Growers’ Association, Seed Corn Growers of Ontario and Grain Farmers of Ontario.
To quote the campaign website: “In 2005 commodity prices were low and grain and oilseed farmers in Ontario were forced to produce below the cost of production. The only way these farmers would be able to sustain profitable operations would be if they had an opportunity to pay into an insurance type of program to help offset the many risks in farming. The grain and oilseed farmers in Ontario developed a price insurance program called the Risk Management Program (RMP), and brought it to the provincial government to lobby for funding. This is where the slogan ‘Farmers Feed Cities!’ began.”
Ontario’s agriculture sector reportedly benefited from the four-year pilot program. By 2011, the Ontario Provincial Government moved beyond the pilot by establishing an RMP through its budget.
The intent of the campaign is to remind citizens of Ontario; perhaps especially southern Ontario which is extremely metropolitan, that agriculture is an essential aspect of the province’s economic, physical and social success. It is a public awareness plan of the coalition’s overall strategy to help Ontario farmers sustain their industry into the future.