Friday, July 12, 2024
Chris Judd


Very few people think that they are entitled to more than others, but, watch their actions! Maybe it’s just because I was raised on a farm where every day our family worked with the soil and animals and people, that we also realized every day that the best soil produces the most profitable crop. The best animals produce the most milk, and, the best people cared about everyone. Recently we have noticed that some major decisions have been made on our planet that look like the results are an advantage only to a select few.
You have read my column before when I mentioned that less than one per cent of Canada’s land is “class one land” that produces the best and lowest priced food for the Canadian farmer. Only three per cent of Canada’s land is suitable to produce any crop because of our cold climate, abundance of mountains and lack of soil depth and water holding capacity to keep little plants growing through weeks without rain.
There is an ever-growing demand for more housing for our expanding population. Large cities are Canada’s toughest lobbyer to get number one land released for building on. All of Canada’s cities were expanded close to waterways where our First Nation people brought their furs by canoe to trade with European buyers who came by ship. All of Canada’s best land is also adjacent to lakes and rivers.
From the top of the CN tower on a clear day, you can see where more than half of the class one land in Canada was. “Was” because now half of that class one land is under cement and asphalt. On the second week of August 2023, the mayor of Canada’s largest city announced that thousands of acres of this very best land would be de-zoned so it could be built over with more houses, roads, and other services. My first thought was “I guess that food is not expensive enough!” However, as a farmer that spent 50 years representing local farmers on farm boards, milk boards, beef boards, etc., I realized that keeping food prices competitive with not only any food that could be imported, but available at a price that all consumers could afford is constantly every farmer’s goal.
When the use of food banks to keep many people living increases, it is a sign that not only is food expensive, but while some of the world’s population is overfed, there are also those who don’t make enough money to feed their family. Most of the politicians that make decisions to remove prime agricultural land from ever producing food again but use it to build housing that the people who use the food banks will never be able to afford to live in is just immoral. Most municipalities only think about their own “tax base” and never think that 90 per cent of Canada’s land can NEVER grow food.
There are billions of acres of beautiful places to live in Canada near lakes, ski resorts, hunting and fishing spots and other potential year-round playgrounds that have road networks and did have rail service before millions of miles of track were torn up and sold for scrap.
With todays improving internet network, people don’t have to live in a large city to work remotely. Smog-free air and space for a garden is also a plus for those who live outside the city core. Planners and developers might have to think outside the box to make this happen and some of our politicians will have to do a little long-term planning to make better decisions for the future of our descendants.
Something that gets our farmers fuming is any group that is advocating for a three or four day work week and shorter days so they can think clearly and work more efficiently. If our farmers implemented this all over the world, it would reduce on farm accidents, deaths, and suicides which are the highest of any profession. Farmers could then plan weekends off, plan family vacations, and hire thousands of workers with also shorter work weeks and time off. The food prices might increase by 400 or 500 per cent and that might lead to a huge uproar from consumers.
Most farmers today tell their families that if you want more money, just work a little harder, milk a few more cows, plant more acres of crop, and don’t expect weekends off. This is why many farmers cannot persuade their kids to stay on and take over the farm. The people who excel at any job are usually those who do a little extra, work smarter and longer, and are concerned about the future and success of whatever business they are in. “Clock-watchers” vs those who try to finish a job to the best of their ability can be easily eliminated from most positions.
Too many of our politicians spend time developing a platform that is popular for the voter today and don’t think of what’s best for the next 10 or 20 years of their county, city, province, country, or world. We too often see some religion, culture, or language suppressed because of popular demand today with little or no mention of how the world will react in the future. Some very short-sighted politicians ignore word trends that have been developing for generations and lead their citizens to a popular to-day decision that will cost their descendants money, jobs, and success for decades to come.
A compulsory subject for every student should be to learn how to plan, plant, and harvest a small garden, even if it’s in a flower pot, and prepare and cook “real food” from scratch. This used to be grandma’s job, but for several generations we have lost even the teachers. An old teacher used to say “success commeth to one who waitith; if you worketh like hell while you waitith!”

Chris Judd is a farmer in Clarendon on land that has been in his family for generations.


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