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Media Link: CTV News

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh touring Windsor and Essex on Saturday and talking agriculture.

Singh spent Friday in Windsor’s core and Saturday the focus was more on where our food comes from, visiting a dairy farm and greenhouse.

"My first job ever was actually working in the corn fields,” Singh said.

A little-known fact about Singh is that he used to detassel corn fields like many southern Ontario teens do.

“It builds a lot of character. You learn a lot about yourself you learn a lot about how much work it takes to grow the food that we rely on, that we eat,” he said.

Singh returned to the county as part of his whirlwind tour of the region checking out a dairy farm and the strawberry greenhouses at Mucci Farms near Kingsville.

“To have a nation that's truly free that's truly sovereign, you need to be able to feed your citizens, the people of the country. So for me, an agriculture policy speaks to the sovereignty, the freedom of a nation to be able to not rely on importing food but to be able to grow food ourselves,” Singh said.

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Mucci Farms president Bert Mucci said it was good to have the chance to express their concerns to a federal leader.

“I think that very clearly he sees the agriculture industry and the greenhouse industry in this area to be a very aggressive and huge industry,” he said.

“The thing with the greenhouse industry today is we don't have enough experienced growers so educating maybe with our colleges and having that training session for growers (is necessary)."

Essex County Federation of Agriculture president Lyle Hall is encouraged upon learning of Singh's history of farm work.

“It’s good to have somebody that can understand that (this) is a hands-on business."

Singh said a focus on trade is critical along with supporting innovation by funding new ideas in the ag industry.

“I want people to dream bigger and I'm hoping that that's the inspiration that people have to join us and join the movement and that we build this Canada that we know is possible,” he said.