WEST CARLETON – Join the nation in celebrating Canada’s Ag Day on Feb. 23.

This year the day will bring together leaders from major food and agriculture companies in a fireside chat that will push the boundaries on the opportunities available for agriculture and food and Canada’s potential as a global food supplier. The day also offers a chance to be a part of a national celebration of the industry on social media.

“Canada’s Agriculture Day is a perfect time to thank the women and men who are the backbone of growing, producing and manufacturing food across our country,” Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Marie-Claude Bibeau said in announcing the fifth anniversary of Canada’s Agriculture Day. “Farmers and food businesses across Canada have stepped up this past year despite all the challenges thrown their way by COVID-19. This gives us even more reason to celebrate Canadian agriculture and everyone who is working hard to keep our grocery store shelves stocked with quality Canadian food.

“I encourage all Canadians to join in the celebrations and engage whatever way you can. Just as Canadians have celebrated the efforts of health care workers this past year, together, we can create a chorus of love and thanks for our farm families and food businesses.”

The COVID-19 pandemic keeps us from experiencing in-person events, so the fifth edition of Canada’s Agriculture Day includes a virtual event in place of the traditional conference in Ottawa that brought together industry and political leaders, as well as students from across the country in years past. This year industry leaders will celebrate the day with a fireside chat focused on the opportunities ahead for Canadian agriculture and food. 

FCC President and CEO, Michael Hoffort and Canada’s Ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, will discuss how Canada can live into its potential as a global food supplier. The virtual event will also feature a panel discussion with thought leaders Chantelle Donahue from Cargill, Daniel Vielfaure from Bonduelle and Murad Al-Katib from AGT Foods.

During the 90-minute program, the panel will focus on global growth prospects in food and how the agriculture and food industry can be a powerful tool in the economic recovery of the nation.

People can register for the (free) fireside chat at agday.ca.

Additionally, whether you are a producer or a consumer, you are invited to raise your fork and share your Canadian food story on social media. 

“Each year on Canada’s Ag Day, consumers and producers alike share common positivity around agriculture and food, and this year we are seeing that more than ever,” Agriculture More Than Ever’s Isaac LeClair said, one of the driving forces behind Canada’s Agriculture Day. “The people behind the ag and food industry have adapted in remarkable ways in the past year, and Canadians noticed and appreciated their efforts.”

The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity’s 2020 Public Trust Research Report shows Canadians are optimistic about their food supply, even as Canada’s food system faces exceptional pressure and public scrutiny due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian food system’s pandemic response has earned high praise by consumers. Nearly nine in 10 respondents (87 per cent) said they trust the food system will ensure the availability of healthy food for Canadians.

LeClair said Canadians can show their support by sharing their favourite food or agriculture photo, or even by trying a favourite recipe with all Canadian ingredients.

“There are so many easy ways to show appreciation and celebrate,” he said. “Don’t forget to take a photo as you raise your fork to our great Canadian food system, then share it on social media using #CdnAgDay.”

LeClair encourages producers and processors in every sector of Canada’s agriculture and food industry to show their pride and passion by engaging consumers in positive conversations online or in person, showcasing the ways they see growth and contributions to the industry we all rely on.  

Last year, #CdnAgDay reached millions of Canadians on social media. For more ideas on how to celebrate Canada’s Agriculture Day, visit AgDay.ca