On January 23, 2008, Farm Credit Corporation held the first-ever National Agriculture Day in Canada. I was glad to have been in attendance and felt that the day’s – well it really was just an afternoon – topics and content were very relevant and informative. The majority of the presentation was video with virtual presentations from the Right Honourable Gerry Ritz, Federal Agriculture Minister and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board.
One area that particularly interested me during the presentations was the information on FCC’s advisory panel called “Vision”. Vision is FCC’s research advisory panel and it consists of farmers, ranchers, and agri-business leaders from all over Canada. Results of the Fall/2007 survey regarding optimism in agriculture were presented. In the presentation it was stated that nearly 8,000 individuals participated in the survey. Considering that the number of farmers is decreasing, I thought this number was very high and therefore was quite interested in the results. The results showed that 53% of all respondents were optimistic about agriculture. I was surprised by this result – especially with the current hog industry crisis and woes in the beef industry. Farmers are certainly a resilient bunch. I went to the FCC web site to study the results further and discovered that the survey results were not from all 8,000 Vision participants, but from only 3,636. The results are still 53 %, but 53% of 3636 is only 1,927. Now that’s a horse of a different colour! That seems like a more realistic result. I continued to review the web site a little further and found that all individuals enrolled in the advisory panel were sent the survey but only 3636 replied. Now I’ve got it right. Must have had a moment of “Sometimer’s” – you know, something like Alzheimer’s but not all of the time. Regardless, I was impressed with the whole concept of this advisory panel and have volunteered to participate. But if I don’t hear from FCC for the Vision panel, I hope to get an invitation for the second National Agriculture Day in Canada. Thanks to FCC for the opportunity. Keep up the good work.