10th Annual Spring Farm Media Tour with Farm and Food Care Ontario


This Thursday, Merkato VP Heather Travis and Account Manager Beatrice Bastedo had the privilege of attending the 10th Annual Spring Farm Media Tour with Farm and Food Care Ontario. This year we were all celebrating local food week and of course our local farmers. The guests included Registered Dietitians, professional home economists, industry experts, and fellow media folks.


The day was ridiculously educational, with a specific focus on grain and beef farming in Ontario. Our first stop was to the Burnett Farm in Orangeville to learn about the diversity of grain farming in Ontario. The Burnett family were warm, welcoming and eloquent. They explained to us that on the farm they grow a variety of crops including; barley, corn, winter wheat, canola and both GMO and non-GMO soybeans. The discussion was open and honest ranging from the science (or lack thereof behind the GMO controversy) to the intricate technology the farmers use to maximize their crops while remaining environmentally friendly and sustainable. It was also a whole lot of fun. Check out this great shot of Heather checking out this awesome John Deere tractor:


As if it could get any better, after a brilliant morning, they whisked us off to the Mono Township community centre for a gourmet lunch featuring the best of the best in local food created by Chef Mark Mogensen of Black Birch Restaurant. Try not to get jealous. The menu and of course some foodie glamour shots might leave your tummy grumbling:


All our tables had the most glorious centrepieces made with fresh local ingredients too!

centrepiece menu

During lunch we were privy to some fresh news courtesy of the one and only Cara Rosenbloom. She informed us of a ground breaking study conducted by Canadian Dr. Ravi Chibbar finally debunking the Wheat belly diet and the nonsense concept of ‘Frankenwheat’. Three cheers for bread!!! If you are interested in receiving more details on the study don’t hesitate to email us.

The afternoon was spent at the Schaus Land & Cattle Beef Feedlot in Alliston Ontario. Farmers Ken Schaus and farm manager Paul Martin walked us through this bright, modern facility which is home to 3,000 Canadian cattle that are marketed through Ontario’s Corn fed beef Program. The farm was state-of the art with systems providing traceability for each animal all the way back to the farm it was born on. We also got to check out the only steam corn flaking mill in Canada – it was huge and awesome.


The day was full of surprises and fun facts. We had quizzes and giveaways and were treated to muffins and scones along the way. A special thank you to Jennifer Mackenzie and Kelly Daynard from Farm and Food Care for allowing us to participate in this fantastic experience.


To learn more about local food week visit:

Follow the celebration on Twitter at: @loveONTFood


(posted by Bea and Heather)

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