Celebrate local farms, food and community at Ontario fall fairs

It’s not an official season in the calendar, but kicking off in mid-August and running through mid-October, it is fall fair season in Ontario.

While there are community fairs happening throughout the summer, the period between the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto (taking place until September 5th) and Thanksgiving is packed with community celebrations that feature a midway, carnival games, demolition derbies, vendors, food trucks, demonstrations — and a snapshoot of the 200-plus agricultural commodities that are produced by Ontario farmers.

“Fall fairs are a fantastic peek into rural Ontario and the farms that feed us all,” says Drew Spoelstra, Vice-President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). “The rides and games and extravagant eats may provide colour, but at their heart the fair is a celebration of the local harvest and all the fruits, vegetables, grains and meats that we enjoy on our tables.”

From mid-August to mid-October, there are more than 160 fall fairs taking place every weekend in communities across the province, hosted by members of the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies. The Township of Tiny 2022 Farm Crawl takes place October 1st. In the North Simcoe vicinity are the Coldwater Fall Fair (Sept. 23-25) and the Elmvale Fall Fair (Oct. 6-8).

With increasing urban pressure on rural lands and challenging economic times impacting farms as much as they impact a city family, the OFA, through its Home Grown campaign, encourages people to explore a fall fair near them and help shine a light on the importance of Ontario famers and the preservation of productive farmland.

“At a time when Ontario is losing an average of 319 acres of farmland every day, it is more important than ever that we re-connect with our rural roots,” says Spoelstra. “Fall fairs are a great resource for learning about where our food comes from, and understanding why it is so important that we protect local food and farms forever.”

About the Ontario Federation of Agriculture

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer. For more information, visit www.ofa.on.ca.

About Home Grown

A public awareness initiative of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Home Grown is a campaign to advocate for the importance of Ontario farms as a source of food, fuel and fibre. Arable farmland is the most important natural resource, but Ontario is losing an average of 175 acres of farmland to urban development every day; that is the equivalent of five family farms paved over every week. It is the objective of Home Grown to help develop a workable plan to guide responsible development in Ontario, ensuring growth to provide housing and support local tax bases while also protecting productive farmland.

For more information, contact:

Tyler Brooks
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883 ext. 218
tyler.brooks@ofa.on.ca

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