The country comes to the city. The Royal Winter Fair has become as much a part of Toronto as any parade or event that takes place throughout the year. Since 1922 farmers from all over Canada have made the trip here with their best. They come to compete in over 2000 competitions. There is a lot at stake for these farmers and while a ribbon is the ultimate goal it is also an opportunity for us “CIty Kids” to get a face to face, in some cases hands on introduction to where our food actually comes from and who grows it and the farmers get to meet and swap notes. Agriculture is a continuously evolving industry, having to keep up with everything from the changing palates of Canadian consumers to the changing conditions in weather and soil on the farm. I have always had a deep respect for farmers. It is a tough job to say the least but more so it is a way of life. A dedication that reaches through generations. It’s always nice to see the youngsters showing off their animals, perhaps for the first time, with such pride. I have always been fascinated by the work that goes into being ready for the big show. The clipping, buzzing, brushing, spraying and sometimes just that face to face pep talk. Four generations of my family have come here year after year. Where else can a city boy like me look soulfully into the eyes of a jersey and feel the floor shake under the thundering hooves of the Belgians and Percherons. Thanks to all the farmers for again making this event so entertaining and thanks for doing what you do.We depend on it and hopefully everyone will make the effort, as consumers, to support Canadian agriculture. BUY CANADIAN! Thanks to The Royal for the invite, see you next year!!