There’s an old saying about not being able to see the forest for the trees.
In Chatham-Kent’s case, the phrase might be amended to say that we can’t see the field for the crops.
While self-assessments can be notoriously inaccurate, the news that came from Chatham-Kent’s economic development department’s agriculture specialist Kim Cooper should give us cause to cheer.
Cooper’s market research showed that Chatham-Kent is the top producer in Canada of seed corn, tomatoes and carrots, cucumbers, black tobacco, pumpkins and quail.
We’re number two nationally in production of sugar beets and Brussels sprouts.
Provincially, we’re the number one producer of green peas in Ontario and number two in production of field peppers and asparagus.
To top it off, we have the number one fresh-water commercial fishing port in the world.
If you were reading this about a community not named Chatham-Kent, you would be amazed and consider that location a little bit of heaven.
Here, it’s just home.
Home, luckily enough for us, is an amazing place.
We have a multi-billion dollar agriculture sector with some of the nation’s leading innovation and educational efforts being undertaken.
Agriculture helps define who we are; it’s a rite of passage for many children through summer jobs and it’s a backbone of the community that may bend from time to time, but never breaks.
We have thriving businesses which serve agriculture and a community that compliments its many aspects from locally grown food at restaurants to hundreds of roadside stands which dot the area throughout the harvest season.
In agriculture, we’re kind of a big deal. Let’s celebrate that.