Yesterday, for the third year in a row, the family and I went out to enjoy New Brunswick Open Farm Day. This annual event allows members of the public to tour farms throughout New Brunswick and hopefully get a better appreciation for the agricultural sector. Farms range from dairy operations to fruit orchards to an oyster farm to a mushroom farm. Most of the farms have a display and a presentation or tour of their operations.
We started out by going to Coburn Farms which is a farm in Keswick Ridge which produces apple cider and is a 25000 hen egg producer. Although the kids got bored since we weren’t allowed to see the hens due to the bio-security measures. I quite enjoyed the tour by David Coburn and learned quite a bit about his farm and farming in general.
We proceeded to go to Double Oort dairy farm in Springfield, NB which is a Holstein dairy farm. Eric just had a blast here checking out all of the cows and even getting to feed one of the little calf. He thought that that was the best. The fact that they had chocolate chip cookies and chocolate milk on hand didn’t hurt either.
A couple of facts that I learned on my day included:
- Chinese apple juice concentrate has really depressed apple juice prices making it very difficult for Canadian apple growers to make a living
- It is about $25000 for a cow’s milk quota – this quota might also be revoked in the coming years with WTO farm subsidy negotiations taking place
- Loblaw’s / Superstore supermarkets are starting to require all suppliers use EDI which can effectively lock out local or even regional suppliers of products
- Elimination of grain shipping subsidies (Atlantic Region Freight Assistance) has risen grain prices but as a side effect it has also spurred local production of grain to supply local farmers with feed. This allows local producers to feed their animals with local wheat or corn instead of feed shipped half way across Canada.
- All of the eggs from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (perhaps PEI as well) are shipped from their point of production to Amherst, NS to be graded and then shipped back to the market. I guess we like our eggs well traveled out here in the east. Seems to me that Amherst its surroundings is the only place to be for egg production.
If you are interested in more food related posts, check out my new blog Farms, Farming and Food.
Update: New Brunswick Open Farm Day 2008 is scheduled for September 21.