One of the latest inductees into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame says one of the biggest challenges facing agriculture today is keeping the public informed about what farmers are doing to ensure they continue to produce food ethically and in a way that protects the environment.
The Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame inducted four new members last week as part of its 2016 induction ceremony in Portage La Prairie.
Retired Neepawa area pork producer Weldon Newton, one the four inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, says one of the biggest changes he’s seen since becoming involved in farming more than 40 years ago has been the rapid evolution of the technology involved in agriculture and one of the biggest challenges has been keeping the public informed about what’s happening in agriculture.
I think there’s more awareness. People seem to want to know where their food comes from. We don’t need to be ashamed of what we’re doing and now we have to be able to tell people and show them what we’re doing, not only from the crops end but from the livestock end as well and that becomes a big challenge because it takes a lot of money to do that.
We all know that there’s very few farm organizations that are really well funded and the opponents out there that are picking holes, or trying to pick holes in what we’re doing, they tend to be able to raise millions of dollars of money with no problem and they create an adverse situation for us. I think that’s one of our biggest challenges is to continue to show the consumer that we are raising everything properly and ethically and we are looking after the environment. In fact we’re doing a better job with the environment now than we’ve ever done. ~ Weldon Newton, Retired Pork Producer
Newton says agriculture is a very challenging industry and suggests people have to realize how much of the rest of society actually earns a living off of agriculture with the ancillary jobs that agriculture creates.