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December 04, 2023

Canadians interested in learning more about how their food is produced can now access two new farm tours at The 2023 video releases will allow Canadians to immerse themselves in a 360 experience on berry and dairy farms. These virtual reality tours will be added to the already extensive list of farms that Canadians can visit at and explore from the comfort of their own homes or classrooms.


Using virtual reality technology and 360 cameras to create a dynamic, interactive experience allows Canadians to tour real, working farms and food processing plants without putting on boots or biosecurity clothing.


The first of the new VR tours takes visitors to two Ontario berry farms: Howe Family Farms in Aylmer and Thames River Melons at Innerkip. In the videos, Howe family members and grower Alex Chesney explain how strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are grown. This tour was funded in partnership with Berry Growers of Ontario (BGO) and the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC).


“So many people enjoy Ontario berries but haven’t had a chance to see how our farmers are able to get them from their fields to our tables,” said Victoria Eastman Buma, research and promotion coordinator from BGO. “We are excited to have had the opportunity to partner with FFCO and be able to offer that experience to Canadians.”


Peter Katona, communications and industry relations manager for the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) explained that the berry VR project was partially funded through AAC’s FarmFood360 program. The program supports up to half of the costs of completing a VR project for AAC member organizations.


“The intent of the program is to apply the most innovative and current examples of transparency available, to help earn public trust in food and farming,” said Katona.  “We’re just delighted that BGO used this funding to complete the new berry tour and hope other members will apply for similar funding in 2024.”


This project is also supported, in part, by the AgriCompetitiveness program of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal, provincial, and territorial initiative.


Source:  Farm & Food Care Ontario December 4, 2023 news release


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 4 December 2023