To the members of the Lambton Federation of Agriculture,
As I look back on our time since our last AGM in November 2018, I can think nothing but “what an absolute whirlwind”. To say that the Lambton Federation of Agriculture board had been busy would be an understatement. Multiple elections, events and some un-fun farming conditions have kept us on our toes, but it’s been a great journey.
I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing board members, people in our community and others in Ontario agriculture over my time as president. This comes as no surprise, as I truly believe Lambton County is a top notch community on so many different levels; innovation, caring, growing. The opportunities ahead of us our endless with all the assets we have access to.
As bright as our future does look, I can’t help but look back on the challenges that we have had over the past 15 months and to say that it hasn’t been easy on farmers would be an understatement. With Lambton being one of the worst counties hit between the DON issue, winter kill, the wet (and then the crusting) year, it seemed like one blow after another. The one thing I do believe is that farmers are resilient. I was asked in an interview this past spring if farmers would be seeking “emergency funding”, and although I’m sure we as farmers would put it to good use, we are simply such proud people and I couldn’t see it happening. The one thing we have in our corner, as I believe it is a staple for us, is our strength. “There is always next year” is something, as a young farmer who did struggle this past year, is reassuring glimmer of hope to hear from farmers with many more years of experience than myself.
I am truly grateful for the community support that I have seen throughout the county, farmers helping farmer in any way they can in order to make this past year a little easier. Even something as simple as lending a neighbour gravity wagons to help them finish harvest before one of the many rains almost seems like an immeasurable favour. Or rather then emptying the planter, offering to help get those last 15 acres planted or sprayed, and working out the logistics at a later date has been the break some needed. Mother Nature has not been kind, but our community will help us through.
Personally, I need to thank my family for helping me during the presidency and giving me the time needed and support. Without you, I would have surely failed.
I wish everyone the best in 2020, I know the LFA has some incredible things planned.
President, Lambton Federation of Agriculture