The following was sent the Minister of Agriculture by the new FARM Community Council President, Lynn Wilson:

June 16/2011

Dear Minister McCrea,

The FARM Community Council is a voice for all small farmers in BC, and as such we represent 17,000 farmers and their families.

Rural residents look forward to the Annual BC Fair as one of the highlights of the year where they can gather with friends and family to enjoy the many attractions and displays, and participate in some of the events.

Many prepare baking and jam, and raid the garden for the biggest and best vegetables and fruit, hoping for a blue ribbon. They gather the sweaters and throws they made over winter, as well as the items they promised for their Instituteís rural life display, and head into town to prepare for the next dayís judging and Grand Opening of their BC Fair.

City folk also enjoy the Annual BC Fair, and flock there with children in tow to see the farm animals, the rural displays, the 4H competitions, and quilting, hand sewing, etc., and to watch the competitions and cheer for their favorites.

The Annual BC Fair is the one opportunity each year to expose city dwellers to the people who grow their food. They see 4H children competing with finished beef, lamb, goats, pigs and rabbits that have been raised in a well cared for environment and are being sold later at the 4H Auction (at the Fair) for meat.

They go through the pavilions and see farm-fresh vegetables and fruit, baking, jam, home canning, quilting, and knitting, leatherwork and other arts that are traditional rural pastimes and often made from wool or leather which are byproducts from the farm.

In this day and age when so many city children donít know that eggs come from hens, or that people grow chickens, or that milk comes from cows and wool from sheep, we cannot miss this opportunity to gently immerse them into this rural whirlpool of information known as ĎThe Fairí and let them soak it up. What better way could you imagine to promote Agriculture?

It is to help maintain this valuable resource that I ask the Ministry of Agriculture, on behalf of BC Farmers, to reinstate the funding of all BC Fairs and Exhibitions to 2008 levels.

Lynne Wilson, President, F.A.R.M. Community Council