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Letter from Belinda Karahalios – MPP for Cambridge

It always amazes me what our region has to offer. The summer months give me—and I hope you—an opportunity to explore our community.

From the stands along our roadsides, to the outdoor markets across the region, and our restaurants that use locally grown food, thank you. I also want to thank all the hardworking local farmers, food processors, and entrepreneurs for providing us with such an array of choices and their commitment to producing high quality food.

I have to confess – I am a foodie! Yes, I love to sample and cook food, especially using locally grown produce.

Did you know that according to the Planning, Development and Legislative Services 2016 Census Bulletin, the Waterloo Region is home to 1,374 farms?

I have always enjoyed visiting a farm with my son. I want him to know that food does not just come from the grocery store. Serving as MPP, however, has given me a different perspective. In January, I hosted a roundtable in North Dumfries on agriculture, which enlightened me to the challenges our farmers face daily, many of which are totally out of their control.

Learning about what goes on behind the scenes is truly daunting – I have great respect for what our farmers do so that we can all put food on our tables. I am privileged to have visited a few local farms this past year where I have learned even more about the intricate differences of each location, livestock, and element influences.

Oakridge Acres, nestled in the back roads of Ayr carries an assortment of offerings from gluten free baked goods, to their organic produce, bison meat, lamb, and much more. Diebold Sister Carriage Company is also a goat farm, which is a popular choice from my Trinidadian heritage. Whistlebare Poultry Farm has been in operation since 1967, carried down by two generations of Hermann’s thus far, also grows soybeans, corn, and winter wheat. Bosdale Farms, another family-run business, on Old Beverly road, is home to 148 Holstein cows, and 800 sows.

I certainly hope to visit more farms in our community to gain even more insight into how the provincial government can support local farmers. I encourage you to buy local, and experience new flavours, and offerings this summer!

 

Belinda Karahalios

MPP for Cambridge

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