Fields to Forks is a positive video series created to showcase agri-business in the Middlesex region and educate the community on the impact and importance of agriculture in our everyday lives. This project was created in partnership with CTV, and Middlesex County continues to play an integral role while also being a major sponsor of this initiative. Fields to Forks presents an unbiased, behind the scenes view of everyday people working in various sectors of the agriculture industry while demonstrating the contributions of farmers and agri-business to local communities and to our regional economy. The process. The people. The passion. – that’s what Fields to Forks is all about.
The project began four years ago and was inspired during an annual agricultural business tour organized in partnership with Middlesex County’s Economic Development department, and the subsequent creation of profile videos to highlight various agricultural businesses in the County. The concept was developed collaboratively with CTV taking the lead, and since its inception Fields to Forks has received considerable public acclaim. What began as a local initiative in Southwestern Ontario quickly grew and the idea was picked up by other CTV stations, first in the surrounding area and eventually, across Canada. Fields to Forks has helped create exposure to the significance of agriculture, and has directly benefited support for the industry in Middlesex County.
Increasing misconceptions and concerns about agricultural practices and food production have made agriculture a controversial subject. This negative portrayal of the agriculture industry posed major challenges for this project, however, also further emphasized the importance of sharing the realities of the industry. In partnership with Middlesex County, CTV made the conscious choice to educate the public about the agriculture and the agri-food industry, in attempt to inform consumer perception and influence public opinion using the truth, without fabrication or fiction. Presenting an unbiased and unaltered view of such a contentious subject is risky with the wide range of public opinions and the variety of public platforms available for those opinions to be shared. In order to meet this challenge Fields to Forks touches on the human aspect of agri-business and embraces the strong and vibrant community members who sustain this industry.
The demographics of Fields to Forks are rural and urban residents of Southwestern Ontario who are interested in learning about where their food comes from. The project is aimed at educating those who are not adequately versed in (or may have possibly been misinformed about) the practices of farming, food production and processing, and many other important aspects of agriculture.
The concept of sustainability is at the core of what the Fields to Forks project represents; the necessity of supporting and sustaining the most important industry in our region. Agriculture has an integral place in the landscape of Southwestern Ontario. Fields to Forks assists in educating the public about the processes involved in agriculture which will ultimately help those publics further understand and appreciate the importance that agriculture plays in their everyday lives. Fields to Forks aims to create more support of agricultural initiatives and ultimately support the economic growth of the communities who depend on their success. It is important to share interesting, informative and entertaining agricultural stories in order to emphasize the role of agriculture at a local level, so its significance is also understood at a national and global level as well.