Farm & Food Care officially unveiled the sixth edition of The Real Dirt on Farming, its flagship public-outreach publication, at its Harvest Gala on November 16, 2023.
The Real Dirt on Farming is a nation-wide initiative designed to help Canadians connect with their food and the farmers that produce it – who they are, what they do, and why they do it. Using both stories and science, the 60-page publication addresses common questions and misconceptions about Canadian food and farming, as well as other subjects that the general public has indicated are important to them.
The 2023 edition features farmer and researcher profiles from across the country – from the Yukon to Newfoundland and all points in between. It covers big topics being talked about currently in Canadian agriculture – from farmer mental health to the critical work done by seasonal agricultural workers; sustainability, food inflation, food insecurity and food waste, climate change, plant breeding, animal welfare and more.
The booklet is created through a partnership of the three Farm & Food Care organizations in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Prince Edward Island and was written by freelance journalists Lilian Schaer and Matt McIntosh. An expert committee comprised of researchers, commodity and subject matter experts were also involved in reviewing and vetting content.
This is the sixth edition published since the project’s inception in 2006. To date, approximately five million copies have been distributed across Canada.
The booklet is available in English and French. By early 2024, a digest version will be available as a digital educator resource coming from Agriculture in the Classroom Canada and a new 4-H manual being created by 4-H Ontario. Distribution of the booklet will also begin in earnest in 2024 with plans for mainstream media inserts and mailings to politicians across Canada.
The publication is currently available online at www.RealDirtonFarming.ca. Hard copies may also be ordered from the website. In total, more than 13 companies and agribusinesses across Canada supported the 2023 initiative. Champion level partners ($20,000 or more) included long- time supporters Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd and Canada Beef.
Source: Farm & Food Care November 17, 2023 news release