Write a poem about farming: Ee-I-Ee-I-O!

As part of the annual Farmers Appreciation Week celebrations, September 12 to 18, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) is inviting British Columbians to submit their original poems to honour BC’s local farmers.

Writers of all levels are encouraged to submit their farm-themed poems to the Fourth Annual Ode To a Farmer Poetry Contest by midnight, Sunday, September 18.

A statement from the BCAFM said the grand prize-winner will receive a $150 gift certificate to spend at the BC farmers’ market of their choice. Regional winners from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Kootenay Rockies, Northern British Columbia, Thompson Okanagan, Vancouver, Coast & Mountains, and Vancouver Island will also be chosen and awarded $50 gift certificates. Submissions are being accepted online, by email and by mail.

“It’s such a pleasure reading poetry from across British Columbia that connects to the land and to farmers, and food,” says Renee Sarojini Saklikar, Surrey’s poet laureate and returning judge. “I always learn something new.”

Last year, the contest received a record 120 submissions of farm- and food-inspired poems.

“We encourage everyone to take a few minutes to consider the immense skill, time and dedication that goes into growing that fresh food we all value,” said Georgia Stanley, BCAFM’s communications manager. “It’s challenging work and worth celebrating everyone involved.”

The BCAFM is a not-for-profit association that represents 135 farmers’ markets across the province and works to support, develop and promote farmers’ markets in all regions of BC. For more information on the BCAFM or to find a farmers’ market near you, visit www.bcfarmersmarket.org.

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