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Editorial: Yorkton's Harvest Showdown reaffirms farm importance

Take a moment to envision a Yorkton without its agriculture service sector, and you see a much diminished city.
HS for ag front 2
Harvest Showdown is a favourite annual event that teaches about farming. (File Photo)

YORKTON - While it has been noted before – including in this space over the years – it never hurts to remind of the importance of agriculture to the city. 

The community as we know it, or more specifically the roots of what Yorkton is today, began because there was an influx of settlers most lured to the area by the prospect of land ownership with plans to farm and the prosperity that could bring immigrant farmers. 

European immigrants were of course not the first to live in the area, they did begin Yorkton with its agrarian roots. 

Settler farmers needed services and Yorkton rose up to service those needs. 

Flash forward to today and we see a vibrant city, but at its core it is still very much a community which exists to service the surrounding farm sector. 

Take a moment to envision a Yorkton without its agriculture service sector, and you see a much diminished city. 

Gone would be the two huge canola crush plants, Grain Millers processing oats, TA Foods processing flaxseed, Heartland Livestock, the farm machinery dealerships, and the list could go on. If they were not here to serve the farm community, the jobs associated with those businesses would be gone too. 

It would be a decidedly smaller, and far less vibrant Yorkton.

But, increasingly those of us who live in the city are less connected to the farm. Our community relies on farming and our jobs may exist as a result of farming, but we don’t have ties that put us on the farm to understand what the sector really is. 

That’s where an event such as next week’s Grain Millers Harvest Showdown is an important one.  

While many might think of the event in terms of the excitement and entertainment of PBR bull riding and country-themed dances, Harvest Showdown is also very much about education. 

Typically, through the years busloads of area students attend the event where they learn about the source of the food first hand. 

It’s one thing to enjoy a glass of cold milk and a bowl of oatmeal before school, knowing you enjoy both, but another to see a cow and understand she is where milk comes from, or to see oats before they are processed. 

Certainly educating youth about the importance of area farms in terms of producing food is important, but students need not be the only ones learning at an event such as Harvest Showdown.  

Everyone should take some time to walk through the displays, maybe stop and have a chat with a producer about their cattle, or how the harvest was. In so doing you will better understand a cornerstone sector to our community and learn a bit more about what’s on your daily table. 


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