Farmers have had more than their usual share of challenges this year, as they work to feed us. While the rest of us chow down during Thanksgiving, many farmers will still be working to get their crops off the field. Unpredictable weather, tricky growing conditions, and plant disease have made production a challenge. Add in the Russian boycott of Canadian agricultural products and the debate over bees and pesticides, and it’s a tumultuous time. Normal conditions just don’t seem to exist anymore.

The unusual heat, then cold, then rain, then drought is prompting new policy-making discussions about climate change. And farmers want to be part of it. They want decisions to be research based. In Ontario, they’ve seen how research advancements from the University of Guelph have helped farmers adapt to new growing conditions and climates. The University of Guelph recently made a pact with the province to make agriculture and food one its top areas of specialization. Together with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, they are major players in Canadian agricultural advancements.

Newly installed U of G President Franco Vaccarino spoke of some of these achievements at his installation address, and the later at Canada’s Good Food Innovation Awards. He noted research at universities can help us get through tough times, and find the upside of uncertainty. He’s right. It’s that way among farmers as well. They never throw up their hands and give in, no matter what the challenge may be. Consider their fortitude as the holiday approaches, and give thanks for their determination.

Read more about Canada’s Good Food Innovation Awards here and watch the President’s address below.