Farm & Food Care officially unveiled the fifth edition of The Real Dirt on Farming, its flagship public-outreach publication, at its virtual Harvest Gala on Nov. 14.
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 credible 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 booklet is created through a partnership of the three Farm & Food Care organizations in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Prince Edwards Island and was written by freelance journalist Lilian Schaer. An expert committee comprised of researchers, commodity and subject matter experts were also involved in reviewing and vetting content which was determined, in part, through questions asked by the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity in its annual public trust survey of Canadian consumers.
To keep pace with Canada’s changing food and farming landscape, many new subjects have been added including Indigenous agriculture, medicinal and ceremonial crops, plant-based proteins, regenerative agriculture, plastics and sustainable packaging, livestock and the Canadian grasslands and African Swine Fever.
The 2020 edition also includes a significant focus on careers in agriculture with feature stories on 32 people working different careers across the country including primary producers, research scientists, animal care researchers, livestock transporter, software developer, chef, registered dietitian, seasonal agricultural worker, entomologist and food scientist.
There have been 4.5 million copies distributed across Canada to libraries, doctors’ offices, registered dietitians, political leaders, educators, and through inserts in national publications.
New this edition will be a classroom resource currently being developed by Agriculture in the Classroom Canada. This resource will be completed in the winter of 2021 and will be distributed, along with the booklet, to classrooms across Canada with the help of provincial agriculture in the classroom organizations.