“You Can’t Ship a Tractor with Soil” but…. Photos of The Lanark Federation of Agriculture Farm Tour

“You Can’t Ship a Tractor with Soil” but…. Photos of The Lanark Federation of Agriculture Farm Tour


Farming has never been my business but The Lanark Federation of Agriculture is one of 52 county and regional federations supported by OFA across the province.  Lanark Federation of Agriculture represents the voice of agriculture in the local community and advocates on behalf of farm families in Lanark on local agricultural issues. I was invited Tuesday to an all day event. Not only am I a councillor for Carleton Place but I feel promoting our local agriculture is important. Did you know?


They say that there is only 1% in total of farmers in Lanark County but OFA thinks that is wrong and in one year they should have the correct percentage. Once upon a time farms were founded and generations carried on the task of sowing the fields and milking the cows. No one ever questioned what they were going to do after graduation and many of my friends went to MacDonald Agriculture College in Quebec or Guelph in Ontario. They studied hard and resumed work on the farm when they completed their education to continue family traditions for their children. Now that’s different.

Running a farm in today’s agricultural market is now very difficult; to make a profit you have to operate on a massive scale. That has caused a lot of young people to throw up their hands and walk away from the family farming business. Agriculture college enrolment has dropped 75% and there are more people getting out of farming than going into it.



This is Andrea McCoy-Naperstkow from the The Lanark Federation of Agriculture and I have known her for two years online. Wednesday was the first time we met and hugged each other hard. It’s like I have known her forever. I also got lost in Perth (who does that?) and she came to rescue me. You might remember her mum Inez McCoy who used to write for The Canadian. I now have a very special friend for life.



This is Lorne Heslop also from The Lanark Federation of Agriculture  and he was once a farmer. The average age of today’s farmers is 55 years old and more than a quarter of all farmers, are 65 years or older. There are so many costs now to produce a crop that by the time they have dealt with the elements and other issues there is just too small a profit for the effort involved. Farming is hard work, and let’s face it there are easier ways to make a living. How do you compete with bigger or commercial farms these days? Credit problems and over the top production costs have literally taken the family out of the farm.

Elm Creft Farms



Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field. This farm has been around since 1854.


Photo- everyone wearing Buffalo Booties so no contamination will enter the barn from shoe bottoms



Urban conservationists may feel entitled to be unconcerned about food production because they are not farmers. But they can’t be let off so easily, for they are all farming by proxy.

But when I talked to some of the younger generation most said they had a hard time finding a bank willing to lend them the money to improve their family’s farms. I was shocked to know that young farmers now use GPS and are involved in social networking sites to remain competitive.

These are a new breed of farmers that care about the environment and now some belong to the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan“Through the EFP local workshop process, farmers will highlight their farm’s environmental strengths, identify areas of environmental concern, and set realistic action plans with time tables to improve environmental conditions. Environmental cost-share programs are available to assist in implementing projects.”

A furrow is a long narrow trench in the ground made by a plow for planting seeds. Young farmers are our seeds of tomorrow and we should do nothing but encourage them. Buy local to help celebrate the people that grow our food, as they are the soul of our lands and we cannot afford to lose future generations. After all- we are what we eat!


Those Buffalo Booties I am wearing are not flattering but wearing them protect contamination from other farms and outside places. Brian Dowdall councillor of Beckwith and Kurt Greaves- CAO of the County. Photo Andrea McCoy.. — My god the cows are taller than I am LOL



This is Whistler, one of my fave cows at Elm Creft Farms. I had hay all over the back of me (don’t ask) and as I walked by the Holsteins they munched on my jacket- one even grabbing it and almost pulling me into the head guard with her. Elf Creft ties up all the tails on their 200 dairy cows.




Three gals that were just curious about us.

Drover’s Farm


Drover’s Farm– sheep sheep sheep–Oliver and Sarah Loten have been raising sheep for 20 years and, like most sheep farmers, have made a lot of changes to their flock and their management in that time. Ewe lambs are bred to Border Cheviot rams and tend to produce a single, very vigorous, lamb. The ewe lambs overwinter in one of the tunnels, starting in mid-December, where they get some extra rations compared to the mature ewes. They usually lamb out in the tunnel in May.


The long and winding windy road to the farm. Coyotes kill over 135,000 sheep a year,  (130 on this farm) and are found in every state in the continental U.S.  and Canada. Generally only found west of the Mississippi prior to European settlement of North America, coyotes began spreading east early in the 20th century to fill the ecological niche created by the extermination of gray and red wolves in the eastern U.S. By the 1980s, populations were established in in every state in U.S. and Canada. Drover’s Farm used to lose a lot of sheep to coyotes, but they figured their dogs were old and once the new batch came in stats dropped.


You don’t mess around with this one.




Did you know what they get for the wool JUST pays for the shearing?




Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited- Carleton Place


Did you know more that three million pounds arriving annually from every part of Canada to be graded in Carleton Place, Ontario, national headquarters of the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited.

Farmer owned, the co-op was set up in 1918 to sell Canada’s wool clip. It occupies a large stone structure over a century old, built by the railway in 1887 to repair locomotives. Traces remain of the building’s original purpose.


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Photo- Mr. Bjergso


On Monday afternoon Mr. James Moulton of the C.P.R. shops in Carleton Place was seriously injured whilst engaged in assisting in repairing a snowplow. In some way the wing was put into motion and Mr. Moulton was caught and most severely crushed. He was rushed to the public hospital in Smiths Falls with little delay and everything is being done to save his life with very little hope of success. Mr. Moulton is  48 years of age and has a wife and seven children depending on him. 1925-02-06- Almonte Gazette



Did you know that you can’t import a tractor with dirty wheels into Canada but you can export this raw wool anywhere. Who is the biggest buyer? China





At Temple’s I find things made with love by someone who had been up at the crack of dawn making pancakes.

Crisp, sizzling bacon, slightly singed sausages and fluffy pancakes from a hot skillet, placed on a plate stacked high.

Dripping butter spreading from top to sides with warm maple syrup waiting for drizzle.


Flip, flop, golden brown–num, num, add maple syrup,
Cut, cutting, pick up with fork, chew, taste— oh, that tastes good!


Outside the air is crispy, like the bacon, and now my journey on the road ahead brings rain,

Out of the corner of my eye I spot her. She seemed to smell like waffles and maple syrup,
and looked like a maple leaf, red, rusty, spinning, floating through the now damp air.

Under her feather umbrella the sugar bush fairy was slowly licking the red top off the maple syrup bottle with maple syrup kisses. No one tried to catch her, as one might only seize her with smoke magic in moonlit parks while shimmering indigo stars dance around her.

As if my life is captured in a raindrop caught with the wind I too drift away like the sugar bush fairy. My tired eyes are now focused on the road.

Inside we drank coffee and ate steaming waffles,
While outside the gray fog draped itself–even over our minds,
Painting things in a sweeping grey that glistens in the sunlight.

A lesson lived,
A lesson learned,
We can’t live on love alone– but maybe, just maybe, life can be lived on maple syrup and sugar bush fairies.


Dairy Distillery


At Dairy Distillery, innovation is at the heart of what we do. So is a deep desire to champion our community and the environment. We’ve married artisanal distilling techniques with cutting edge science to transform unused milk sugar into an incredibly smooth and clean spirit. In doing so we create new opportunity for dairy farmers while reducing waste. We craft great spirits that do good.  yes they do and I can attest to that.


All spirits are made by fermenting sugar. At Dairy Distillery, we use a sugar rarely used to make spirits: milk sugar. Milk sugar, or lactose, is a natural, healthy sugar. It was first fermented to make alcohol by the Mongols over a thousand years ago. While milk sugar produces a cleaner, smoother, gluten-free spirit, it never became popular with distillers due to its high cost and production challenges. Valley Heartland was involved in this and as one gentleman said: “We didn’t have projects like this whenI was in Valley Heartland!”


Milk from 3,500 Ontario dairy farms is sent to large processors where the cream is removed to make butter and the proteins concentrated to make ultrafiltered milk used by cheese and yogurt makers. When making ultrafiltered milk, a sugar rich liquid called milk permeate is produced. Most milk permeate is dumped creating a strain on the environment and a disposal cost for dairy farmers.

In this waste, we saw an opportunity. To make world-class spirits with the potential to support hard working local farmers and the environment. In collaboration with the University of Ottawa we’ve perfected a process to convert milk permeate into an unbelievably smooth spirit. Thanks to this process, anything we don’t bottle can be safely put back into the environment. By buying milk permeate, we will also help Ontario dairy farmers.--Dairy Distillery

Fermented, distilled, and bottled at:



Beckwith Councillor Faye Campbell looking longingly at the Hallmark movie parade on Mill Street being filmed in Almonte.


Here is the travelling gang that enjoyed the day. Thanks Andrea! Remember that creating a successful marriage is like farming: you have to start over again every morning.

So what can you do?



Here is my new license plate frame. Going to put it on with pride.


Plowing match at Mr. Dobson’s farm in Montague

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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