Sunday, February 25



One thing I hear all the time is that farmers are rich. This can be a tricky statement because of how you define rich. If you take into effect all of the assets the farmer has (Land, livestock, tractors and other equipment, as well as buildings) then the farmer is seen as being rich. If you go by the money in their bank account, then not so much.

Right now, land in Southwestern Ontario will cost you anywhere from $5,000-$23,000 per acre. If you were to buy a pig ready for market it would be worth roughly $160. If you bought a beef cow ready for market it would be worth between $1,500-$1,800, and a sheep would be worth $200-$500.

A dairy farmer is only paid an average of $0.70 per litre of milk produced. In addition to the price of the cow, the farmer has to pay other bills (Feed, vet visits, wages, fuel, hydro......) from that $0.70 per litre they receive. Once all the farm expenses are paid, the farmer only makes a few dollars a day to cover their personal expenses. The dairy farmer is limited on how much milk they can ship by the amount of quota they owns. One kilogram of quota allows a farmer to produce one kilogram of butter fat a day (which is about 25 litres of milk), which is roughly equivalent to one cow. currently, In Ontario, one kilogram of quota costs $24,000.

Another example is when you buy a loaf of bread at the store. The farmer that grew and harvested the grain for that loaf of bread only gets about $0.08 per loaf, while the consumer is charged $3.

If a farmer were to sell their land and equipment, they could probably become very rich. However, without selling their farm, a farmer is not that rich because their money is tied to land, livestock, and equipment.

So are farmers rich? I guess its all in how you define rich.

Monday, June 19

The Importance of Agriculture

Did you know that 98% of Canada’s farms are still family owned and operated? Or that a Canadian farmer could only  10 people a 100 years ago, but now can feed over 120 people.
Agriculture plays a crucial role in the life of our economy. It is the backbone of our economic system, and not only provides food and raw material, but also employment opportunities to a very large percentage of the population. Canada is one of the largest agricultural exporters in the world which contributes $100 billion annually to it's GDP.

The Agriculture industry employs 2.1 million Canadians that's 1 in 8 jobs.

In 1930, one out of every three Canadians lived on a farm. Today, only about two percent of the population live on farms.

So he next time you buy locally grown food, think about the potential it has - it is the key to our economic success, the livelihood of many, and the legacy that is proudly part of Rural Ontario. Agriculture is the key to our success, and a bright star for Ontario for generations to come

Wednesday, January 20

Do people really know your story?

If you have some of my posts on my blog, you might have read that I am part of the 10% percent of the population that is left handed, or you might have read that I was homeschooled, but more to the the point you might have read that I have dyslexia. Being dyslexic has its challenges. As a dyslexic I have trouble with spelling and grammar. Those with dyslexia can have difficulties with spelling, reading, rhyming and discerning left from right to name a few. A person with dyslexia often cannot recall important details of what has been said or read.

But dyslexia also has its benefits. Dyslexics have a strong ability to see concepts with the "big picture" and in perspective, excel in areas not dependent on reading, and they tend to be more curious, creative, and intuitive than the average person. They can also be capable of seeing things differently than others.


As I build my business I need to compensate for my weaknesses. I can do this by using tools like the dictionary or spell check or having someone proofread my material. I can make notes when I am talking to a customer so I can remember needed info. I can give myself extra time to get my articles correct. I also need to take advantage of the strengths of my disability. Being curious, creative and Intuitive are an asset in my career. Also being able to see the whole picture and think outside the box will help me excel in my job.


Some people see dyslexia as a disability. I have learned to see it as a challenge that can be overcome. I am going to close with a quote by Albert Einstein that I think is fitting.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Dyslexia may slow me down but it won’t stop me.

Sunday, November 15

My Summer Adventure


an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling.

Like most people who work on a farm, time off is a rare commodity and this summer I spent most of that time as a 4-H ambassador. As an ambassador, I had the privilege of promoting the 4-H program, by attending 4-H and community events across the province. For more info about 4-H check out my blog post Head, Heart, Hand, Health.

The 2015 4-H Ambassadors

One of my favorite events that I attended as an ambassador was the The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. While at the Royal, I was able to assist with the 4-H Go For The Gold competition (a trivia competition about 4-H and 4-H projects) as a scorekeeper.

Region 3 vs region 5 in the championship game

Other events I have attended so far this year are:
  • Three fairs (Embro, Welland and Sutton)
  • Discovery days, a day of hands-on learning about the different parts of 4-H for kids ages 9-12
  • A special 100th anniversary of 4-H event at Canada's Wonderland with a Leah Daniels concert.
  • A tour put on by the sponsors of the ambassador program GROWMARK FS and UPI Energy LP, with stops at the UPI Bulk Plant (Guelph), GROWMARK Ontario Distribution Centre (Kitchener), FS PARTNERS (Ayr), North Wellington Co-operative Services (Harriston), and a FAST STOP® remotely monitored gas bar (east of Alma)

  Working on a farm, being a student and being active in my community, has kept me busy, but if I were to take a vacation I would love to go to the Netherlands. 

Where would you go on vacation if you could go anywhere?

(Originally written for a school assignment and posted on

Monday, May 25

5 Reasons Why I Am An Agvocate


There are many reasons to be an agvocate, but today I am going to tell you five of my reasons.

An agvocate is an individual who actively promotes agriculture in respectful and meaningful ways.


Every year, there are fewer and fewer farmers in Canada, making farmers a minority group that represents less than 3% of all Canadians. This means that a majority of Canadians have never visited a farm or, if they have visited a farm, they most likely lack understanding about the important role that agriculture plays in all of our lives, and so it's up to us to educate them.  


 It only takes one person to initiate change. In my blog post, #farm365, I talked about how a dairy farmer from southwestern Ontario was able to start the #farm365 hashtag that has now become global.


Andrew Campbell might have started the #farm365 hashtag, but it takes various types of farmers to show what happens on the many different types of farms.


Being an agvocate gives me the chance to tell others about what it's like to work on a farm.


By being an agvocate on social media, I have been able to meet many farmers from around the world, as well as advocate for agriculture on a global scale.

Saturday, April 18

4-H Ontario is 100 years old!


2015 is a big year for 4-H in Ontario, it is the 100th anniversary


2015 is also the the 10th anniversary of the 4-H Ontario ambassador program.

ambassador new logo.png 

The ambassador program provides youth with advanced training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. 4-H Ontario Ambassadors channel their energy and 4-H experiences into recruiting new members, representing 4-H Ontario youth at functions, and sharing the 4-H story. for more info about the ambassador program check out the 4-H Ontario website here.

This year the ambassadors are Ava Doner, Cailen Bromley, Laura Scott, Gina Posthumus, Olivia Bolender and myself.  
From left to right: Nic Willemsma, Ava Doner, Cailen Bromley, Laura Scott, Gina Posthumus, Olivia Bolender

As 4-H ambassadors we have the privilege of promoting the 4-H program by attending 4-H and community events across the province, with a chance of attending national and International opportunities that might become available. 

At the end of Feb I went to Guelph for the Ambassador Training weekend Reception. 
The training took place at the 4-H Ontario office in Rockwood, with the reception held Saturday night at the Holiday Inn in Guelph. 

The next thing on my agenda was a teleconference with the my fellow ambassadors and our staff contact at 4-H, We received Updates from 4-H and discussed ideas to help us during our year as ambassador.

I looking forward to attending many events as throughout Ontario to promote the great program has to to offer.


The 4-H ambassador program is sponsored by UPI Energy LP and GROWMARK, Inc.

Wednesday, March 25

Head, Heart, Hand, Health


Head, Heart, Hand, Health

4-H is an organization with many great opportunities for youth between the ages of 9 to 21. In 2013 a new program was started called Cloverbuds for ages 6-8, In Cloverbuds kids get a taste of the topics covered in 4-H projects, while also developing an understanding of 4-H values.
4-H Ontario is divided into local associations. Each association has clubs that you can join,  clubs need  a minimum of six 4-H Members and two trained, screened Volunteers who act as Club Leaders. Members spend 12 hours, normally six, two-hour meetings exploring the topic of that project. Currently 4-H Ontario has over 100 different projects (topics) to chose from.

The 4-H motto of “Learn to do by Doing” is reinforced with members taking the positions of youth leader, president, vice president, secretary, press-reporter and treasurer.  All club meetings are run according to parliamentary procedure and include elements of public speaking, judging, leadership skills and decision making. 4-H is very community minded and many clubs hold their achievement day at a local fair for the public to see what the members have accomplished that year.

Local associations have different events for members during the year such as Judging Night, Rally Night(Sign-up), Go for the Gold Competition and other events. Some associations have competitions between each other through regional animal shows, as well as regional Go for the Gold and judging competitions. 4-H Ontario also plans events, camps and conferences to further develop team building and leadership skills.
Some camps and conferences you can attend are:
  • discovery days for ages 9-12
  • youth adventure camp for ages 12-15
  • Future Leaders In Action for ages 16-21 
For the full list of camps and conferences check out the 4-H website

4-H is involved with building future leaders, is an organization that has been around for over 100 years, can be found in approximately 80 other countries and is almost completely run by volunteers.  4-H allows youth a safe environment to learn and grow.

The 4-H pledge is said at the beginning of every 4-H event and meeting. It is a pledge to use our Head to greater thinking, our Heart to greater loyalty, our Hands to larger service and our Health to better living in our Club, our Community and our Country

4-H covers all areas of our lives with the 4 Hs –Head-Heart-Hands-Health, to give our youth a well balanced lifestyle. 

For more information about 4-H check out the 4-H Ontario website