Pictured is Bayview Dairy Farm in Mabou.

MABOU: The past few seasons have been particularly hard on farmers; early frosts, Hurricane Dorian, last year’s late spring, and now COVID-19 is added to a long list of variables farmers are facing on a daily basis.

To build a stronger connection between farmers and the people living in their communities, the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA) has launched a new initiative called Your Farmers, Your Nova Scotia.

“Your Farmers, Your Nova Scotia, was created in an effort to connect Nova Scotians not only with the food on their plates, but how it got there and who produced it. We have seen the rise in the ‘buy local’ movement and we hope that the momentum continues in the years ahead,” Victor Oulton, president of the NSFA said. “This campaign will help connect your families to our farm families, one bite at a time.”

The campaign coincides with a refresh of NSFA’s Meet Your Farmer Web site, and will profile stories of farm families located from one end of the province to the other, share favourite Nova Scotia inspired recipes, and provide details on how to purchase products in order to support the local economy and contribute to efforts of sustaining the food supply.

“Having people care about their food, is so significant – they start to become aware of what they’re putting in their bodies,” Rodney Beaton said, who owns Bayview Dairy Farm along Route 19 in Mabou.

Beaton indicates this initiative is so impactful, not only for farmers like himself, but for all Nova Scotians to allow for more understanding on what local food is available and where it actually comes from, on a more personal level.

“Knowing where your food comes from and who is growing it, allows you to be more connected to your food,” Beaton said. “It would put a more conscious effort into supporting our local farmers.”

Nova Scotia farms are incredibly diverse in their offerings, producing over 100 different products with 24 per cent of farms selling direct to consumers. Some of the more popular products offered in the province are maple, strawberries and apples.

In addition to the campaign’s interactive components on the Meet Your Farmer Web site, a call for Nova Scotian inspired recipes and other interactive activities will be shared on social media through the Meet Your Farmer Facebook and Instagram accounts.

For Beaton, he hopes the initiative will allow for more Nova Scotians to open their eyes to an expanded selection of local farmers in their area as a potential food source.

“When you support any of our wonderful farmers across the province – you will always be helping your community, and you will always receive a high-quality product made with love.”