Voices in the media are often focused on various topics related to Canada’s place in the world. For example, whether our country has influence at the United Nations, the impact and sway our Prime Minister has with other world leaders and the role we play in various diplomatic wins and losses. But rarely, if ever, do we hear about Canada’s incredible global food impact.

Sure, you can see on government and industry group websites that between 2019 and 2020, we increased our exports by $7 billion, from $67 billion to $74 billion. Yes, that makes Canada the fifth largest agri-food exporter behind the European Union, the United States, Brazil and China.

For a country with a population of 38.4 million people, that’s GREAT, don’t you think?

All the other producers ahead of us have populations of 200 million or more. For a small country, we are global heavyweights when it comes to food production. And we’re punching way above our weight.

We often forget that population-wise, Canada is not in the same class as our competitors. We rank 39th in the world in terms of population. We’re welter weight, if that! Our advantage is our land and the people who work it.

We have men and women across the country working day in and day out to feed us and people around the world as well. Our land, water, and air have given us healthy food since the days of Canada’s indigenous first peoples. And now we’re a world leader. Clearly, lots of people must be doing lots of things very right!

Farmers are taking good care of our lands. They are incredible stewards. They invest their earnings, their energy, and their grit.

We, as consumers, should be more thankful for their contributions and more respectful of what it takes to succeed in agriculture.

Farmers don’t get to roll out of bed and start at 8:30 in the morning, only to finish at 5. Their work is 24/7, 365 days a year. Sure, technology helps reduce the workload, but the farm will always need a farmer to see that all is working well. (Humans won’t be replaced by robots on a farm where there are animals – not tomorrow, at least.)

We can, should and need to be proud and supportive of our agri-food producers.

We can trust them to continue managing our land.

We should always buy Canadian products when we can to give them a fighting shot at taking on the world and winning – now and for generations to come.

February 22 is Canadian Agriculture Day, take a moment to thank a farmer in your social media. (And tag @FoodFaits when you do!)