The Gleaner
Agriculture

UPA campaign highlights the work of farmers to bridge gaps

On May 17, the 12 MRCs of the Montérégie and the city of Longueil launched a new awareness campaign. “Notre campagne, un milieu de vie à partager – Cultivons le vivre ensemble en Montérégie,” is about building bridges between farmers and non-farming residents and emphasizing the pertinent work being done by many in the farming field. Host and journalist Marie-Soleil Michon is the campaign’s spokesperson and says, “As a native of the Montérégie and the farming community, it’s only natural for me to be associated with this campaign which will help citizens better understand the realities and challenges of agricultural producers, who have adapted to the challenges of modern agriculture.”

The campaign will run until December, and its goal is to highlight the positive work of people in agriculture by highlighting the average person’s daily life versus that of farmers. “The Montérégie’s agricultural producers are involved in many innovative projects to improve their environment. I’m proud that their actions will be highlighted in this campaign, along with the positive gestures of citizens. Behaviour is changing, and that’s positive for the future of our region,” says Jérémie Letellier, president of the Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie.

Agricultural regions have shifted dramatically in the past few years. Many people who are not involved in the agricultural sector are moving into regions that are heavily agriculture-based. Sometimes this can cause friction, which this initiative aims to mitigate. “Quebec’s farms have always contributed to the dynamism of our economy and the vitality of our community, and to the vitality of our territory. Collectively, we have a responsibility to value the work of those who feed us. This campaign contributes to this by promoting dialogue between producers and residents of the Montérégie, Quebec’s larder. I enthusiastically salute this initiative,” shares André Lamontagne, minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and minister responsible for the Centre-du-Québec region.

This project is broken into five themes: biodiversity, product use, climate change, temporary foreign workers, and the importance of agriculture to the local economy. Municipalities will have access to information through press releases, texts for municipal for municipal newsletters, newsletters, publications for social media, advertisements, and posters. There will also be video vignettes and activities in day camps.

The Montérégie UPA’s partners in this regional project are the MRCs of Acton, Beauharnois-Salaberry, Haut- Richelieu, Haut-Saint-Laurent Richelieu, Haut-Saint-Laurent, Jardins-de-Napierville, Marguerite- D’Youville D’Youville, des Maskoutains, de Pierre-De Saurel, de Roussillon, de Rouville, de La Vallée-du-Richelieu, de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the Ville de Longueuil, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food. Together, they have pooled their resources for this awareness campaign. It has also been backed financially by the Stratégie bioalimentaire Montérégie.

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