With spring turning into summer, the focus on agriculture in Colchester North is obvious. Newly cultivated fields, crops planted and growing, and first cuts of silage remind us that one of the primary resources and industries in our province is making a comeback. It is so encouraging and positive to see farm lands that have been lying fallow for many years are now in active production. I commend those young farmers who see a future in the agriculture sector.
Although blueberry producers have had a recent difficult season, I am also encouraged by those growers who are staying with the product through difficult times. Hundreds of acres are yielding thousands of tons of blueberries. The challenge is to find new markets and our Minister of Agriculture continues to promote the product, both markets locally and in foreign markets, including China. With the uncertainty facing trade with the United States, it is important that we diversify our export markets.
We know that the US provides one of the greatest export markets and we are optimistic that market will continue in the future. However, working both with Europe and Asia will help to secure a trading partner and allow blueberries and other agricultural products to find a market.
It is also encouraging to see young farmers expanding their farms to include beef and pork, in particular, I want to acknowledge Joe and Carolyn Cooper of Balamore Farms and Curtis and Anne Millen of Millen Farms. In addition to providing beef and pork for human consumption, they are raising purebred cattle for breeding. In particular, Balamore Farms are raising purebred beef cattle (Limousin) and are attracting buyers from across Canada to their annual bull sale. They are also hosting the Canadian Junior Limousin Show this August, the first for Atlantic Canada.
Many other young farmers throughout Colchester North are to be commended for their renewed interest in agriculture.
As the sign says at Smitty’s Restaurant in Truro:
“If you have eaten today, thank a farmer”.
Karen Casey, MLA