Learn more about farming in Timmins: Farm society matches animals with families

TIMMINS – Some children have a natural connection to animals and Elissa Wakeford is one of them.

Each week, she visits the Whissell Farm in Timmins to help feed and groom alpacas, rabbits and chickens. She said she liked all animals in general.

“They are really adorable and some of them save lives,” Wakeford said.

However, there are other children who may take longer to bond with farm animals. And that’s why the Porcupine District Agricultural Society hopes, through its Grower program, to teach local families about agriculture and farming.

“Not having hosted our fair last year and not knowing what we are going to do this year, we are looking for projects to participate in and be active in the community,” said Rock Whissell, member of the agricultural association. and chair of the Timmins Fall Fair.

People who live in a rural area and have adequate housing for animals can apply to raise a chicken, lamb or pig this summer.

“We ask them to participate via social media with photos with the children raising the animals and I have interview questions for them about what they learned during the process,” said Erin Rathborne, coordinator of the Grower program.

So far there has been a lot of interest, as all lambs and pigs have been claimed, but the chicks are still available.

For those who are more interested in plants, the group is in the early stages of setting up a new program. She recently partnered with the Timmins Charitable Gaming Association to acquire funds.

“The ‘Tap and Play Room’ is like a slot machine. People can just come in and sit down and play, and that money goes – a percentage of that money goes – to local charities,” said Marlene. Smith, member of the Timmins Charitable Gaming Association.

A portion of the money raised will be used to purchase supplies for construction students at Timmins High and Vocational School to build planters and Millson Foresty to grow seedlings.

“It’s great for our students to have something to do and to be able to use the skills they learn in school and apply them in the real world,” said Al MacLean, principal of the high school.

“In return, we collect these boxes to give to the community,” said Whissell.

As for summer, he said, while the agricultural society awaits news of what will happen with the Timmins Fall Fair this year, it is gearing up for an even bigger Mountjoy Farmers Market. great from July. He said the number of vendor tents was doubling, to showcase the region’s food and crafts.

Lana T. Arthur