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New farms added for virtual tours


July 29, 2013
By Farm & Food Care Ontario

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Jul. 29, 2013, Guelph, ON – Two new egg farm tours have been added to the popular www.virtualfarmtours.ca website, bringing the total number of Canadian farms available for viewing to 25, including five different egg farm tours.
 
Filming of the two additional tours – an aviary egg farm and an enriched colony egg farm – was sponsored by Burnbrae Farms Ltd. Burnbrae Farms also funded costs associated with upgrading the entire virtual farm tour website to make it compatible for viewers accessing it through their mobile tablets and smart phones.
 
The website, developed and managed by Farm & Food Care Ontario (FFC), is designed to offer a farm experience for people who might never otherwise have the chance to visit a real farm. Visitors to the site can tour the barns and fields of each farm to get a close up view of what’s happening and learn more about where their food comes from.
 
The new tours, available in both English and French, compliment already-existing tours of conventional, free run and free range egg farms. Each focuses on topics that are key to egg farmers – caring for birds, housing options, what the birds eat and drink, reasons behind biosecurity programs, on-farm food safety initiatives and much more.
 
Video clips are an additional feature that helps introduce viewers to the farmers and capture many unique aspects of farm life.
 
Margaret Hudson, President of Burnbrae Farms said, “Burnbrae Farms is proud to support Farm and Food Care in this initiative. We’re often asked about the differences between eggs laid in different various types of barns. There are a lot of options available to consumers when buying eggs and this site helps to answer many of their questions.”
 
She continued, “Consumers want to know where their eggs come from – they want to know that they’re safe and that the hens are being well cared for. We’re proud of how our hens are cared for, regardless of the type of housing system they live in.”
 
Kelly Daynard, Communications Manager for Farm & Food Care Ontario, said that traffic to the site has increased every year since it was first launched in 2006. “We now have about 150,000 visitors annually,” she mentioned.

A packaged teacher’s guide and CD format of the tour is also available for educators to use in their classrooms.
 
The two new tours bring the total number of farms now available for on-line viewing to 25. Other tours show beef and dairy cattle, sheep, deer, elk, pig, veal calves, goat farms, ratites, and chickens. More are planned in the future.

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