The first official edition of Peterborough County Agri-Notes was dated March 18, 1997 and was prepared and sent out from the OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs) Peterborough office. This was a new name to a well established publication entitled "Beef Briefs" which had been sent to county beef producers from the early 80's to the late 90's.
At a meeting with OMAFRA staff, and representatives from the various farm organizations, it was decided that the newsletter be changed to include all commodity groups and farm businesses. Farm groups provided funding, and submitted their reports for inclusion in the newsletter which was prepared and sent out from the OMAFRA office on a quarterly basis.
In 1999, OMAFRA could no longer provide this service. Volunteers of the various participating commodities stepped up and took on this initiative as they saw the value of the publication to the local agricultural sector. A key supporter of our agricultural industry, Darling Insurance, provided the space to complete this manual task. This involved collating, stapling, folding, taping and labelling while keeping them in postal code order, and watching for duplications!
In 2000 it was decided than an editor was needed and Carolyn Porteous was hired and she brought the publication into the modern world of reporting. The ad hoc committee of volunteers later turned into an organized committee with responsibilities of keeping the publication sustainable which meant looking for financial contributors in the form of ad placements.
The publication is very basic in format; it has been consistent with the recognizable blue cover. There is still some manual work needed to be done prior to mailing it out. This work is done at the Hoftyzer Home. Folding, taping and attaching mailing labels to close to 1000 publications and still keep them in postal code order. This is done by representation from each of the commodities and is rewarded with Julia’s homemade pie, ice cream and coffee when all completed. It sounds archaic, but is a great social evening and lots of world problems get solved on this evening.
The Peterborough County Agri-Notes is an informative publication with information relevant to regional farmers and commodity groups. The articles are a compilation of information from industry partners.
To read all about agriculture in our community, visit www.ruralpeterborough.com
By: Getha Sherry
Secretary of the Peterborough Federation of Agriculture
(former OMAFRA staff)