Sept. 17, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The public is invited to visit any of the 37 New Brunswick farms participating in the eighth annual Open Farm Day, Sunday, Sept. 20. This is a Maritime-wide agricultural awareness event enabling the public to learn more about local food production.
"This year's theme, Farmers Feed Communities, is very appropriate in that it recognizes the important role played by New Brunswick farmers in helping to maintain the health and well-being of New Brunswickers," said Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette. "I encourage everyone to take advantage of the unique opportunity that Open Farm Day provides to visit farms, meet our farmers and witness first-hand how many agriculture and agri-food products are being grown and raised throughout our province."
More than 100 farms in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are participating in this year's Open Farm Day. The event is being supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Sobey's Inc., and the Maritime provincial governments and agriculture awareness committees. A list of Open Farm Day locations in New Brunswick is available online.
"Canadian farmers work hard to produce safe, top-quality food for our dinner table and those around the world," said Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Open Farm Day is an excellent opportunity to learn about Canadian agriculture and to showcase the dedication and innovation that go into the production of our food."
The agriculture and food industry accounts for $1.7 billion in New Brunswick, with annual farm cash receipts of about $480 million.
"Open Farm Day is an excellent way for country and city to meet," said Jennifer MacDonald, chair of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick's Promotion and Relations Committee. "It gives our city cousins a glimpse into farm life."
Earlier this year, the federal and New Brunswick governments launched Growing Forward, a $24.6-million, multi-year set of federal and provincial agricultural programs to help New Brunswick farmers become more profitable, innovative and competitive. Growing Forward includes additional demand-driven funding for business risk management programs to help protect farmers against production and market losses.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Connor, communications, Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-457-3549.