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Local authors to launch new book about agriculture in Ontario

"Agriculture Today: A Portrait of Family Farms in Ontario" author Bonnie Sitter says that her love for agriculture dates as back to when she was growing up in Exeter helping her father with his spraying business. Sitter will be accompanied by co-authors and photographers Telfer Wegg and Fred Helwig at their book launch on April 23.

EXETER – After five years of hard work and dedication, local authors Bonnie Sitter, Telfer Wegg and Fred Helwig will be launching their new book, “Agriculture Today: A Portrait of Family Farms in Ontario”, at Hay Hall in Zurich from 1-3 p.m. on Sun., April 23.

The threesome put together an informal coffee table style book that highlights families from around rural Ontario and  the farms they run. Not only does the book feature information about the featured families, it also includes detailed facts about farming and hundreds of pictures of farming culture. There are three parts to the book: livestock, crops, barns and silos, selected farms and snapshots of farm life.

Co-author Sitter grew up at the north end of Exeter and says her interest in agriculture comes from her childhood.

“My father was a poultry doctor and he had a commercial spraying business,” said Sitter. She added that growing up, she helped her father with his business and was able to learn some of the ins and outs of the agriculture business. “I spent a lot of my childhood going with my father to these things on farms and learning about farms,” added Sitter.

Prior to their working on the book, Sitter says someone in the Owen Sound area mentioned to Wegg that he should put together a book about agriculture in Ontario. When Wegg told Sitter about this idea, she agreed that something like this needed to be done. While Wegg and Sitter were working together with Helwig, she says the process was prolonged when they started putting together “Beauty and Bounty of Huron County,” another book that Sitter and Wegg collaborated on.

One of the featured families is the Klopp family, who are seventh-generation farmers in Zurich and expected to join the three authors at the Hay Hall as guests.

Books will be available for purchase and signing for a cost of $45. The presentation will get under way at 1:30 p.m.