Caledon Fair President – Opening Ceremonies Message

Ed Taccone - Caledon Fair President's Opening Ceremonies Address

During his heartfelt address at the 2023 Caledon Fair, President Ed Taccone of the Caledon Agricultural Society lauded the contributions of diverse farming communities across Canada, especially emphasizing the role of First Nations agricultural operators and significant figures in the industry. His inspiring remarks were as follows:

CAS Members, volunteers and spectators, you are the nucleus that makes our Fair happen. Welcome, and thank you for attending and supporting our 2023 Caledon fair themed “udderly dairylicious”.

Today I would like to extend agriculture mention towards farm operators not just local but beyond this exceptional nation. I take great pleasure in passing on this special mention.

Praise to First Nations farm operators, and duly noted that, not to mention more likely to be women, Women made up 36.8% of First Nations agricultural operators, compared with 28.6% of non-Aboriginal agricultural operators.

79.4% of First Nations agricultural operators reported English as the first language, followed by 14.5% who said French and 4.2% who reported an Aboriginal first language. Multiple first languages were reported by 2.0% of First Nations operators.

Among the 960 agricultural operations managed by First Nations people, ‘other crop farming’, representing 22.7%, was the most common type of agriculture practised. Beef cattle production was the main activity of another 21.1%.

Agricultural operations managed by First Nations people had a median area of 151 acres, or about two-thirds the size of processes managed by non-Aboriginal persons. First Nations agricultural operations’ median gross farm revenue was $18,000, or about one-quarter of the revenue of farms managed by non-Aboriginal operators.

These differences are partly explained by the concentration of First Nations agricultural operators in British Columbia, where it is more common to find small agricultural operations that focus on specialty crops, such as berries. It is notable, as well, that First Nations operators were more likely to be “part-time” farmers. In 2016, 60.8% of First Nations agricultural operators worked at an off-farm job or business.

And may I add another special mention:

A Canadian Sikh farmer, the country’s biggest cranberry grower, has been inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

The British Columbia-based Peter Dhillon is the first person of the “visible minority” to join the company of Canadians who have made their mark in the agriculture and agro-food business.

Therefore, I, on behalf of the Caledon Agricultural Society and All residents of Caledon, extend continued success to our aboriginal and visible minority farmers throughout this vast land called Canada. The name “Canada” likely comes from the Huron-Iroquois word “kanata,” meaning “village” or “settlement.”

Ed Taccone President, Caledon Agricultural Society.


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