The agri-food sector is a powerhouse for the economy and has been one of the vital industries helping to keep our province and food chain afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adequate Business Risk Management (BRM) programs for farm businesses need to remain a priority in order for farmers to continue producing food, fibre and fuel for the province and for Canada.
There is no denying that COVID-19 has made 2020 a challenging year for the agri-food sector. This pandemic has put growers, producers and everyone along the supply chain through countless hardships and challenges. Nevertheless, our sector has persevered. Collectively, we rolled up our sleeves to fulfill our responsibility of keeping consumer plates full of fresh, healthy and affordable food.
If someone asks, “how are you doing?” do you want to throw something at them, or do you break down in tears, or both? I’m not one to judge, I’m a ‘both’ kind of person. The pandemic has brought many changes into our everyday lives. It has offered some relief from external expectations related to travel and busy schedules.
As we near the tail end of this harvest season, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) wants to ensure that our farming families have the resources and tools they need to stay safe on increasingly busy country roads. Traffic is heavy throughout the province, especially near urban and suburban areas, as rapid development has led to urban sprawl.
After several months of enduring the effects of COVID-19, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) reached out to our members to gather valuable input on how their farm businesses have fared, both positively and negatively, through the pandemic. Evidence shows a future that appears brighter and more optimistic than the doom and gloom we experienced in the beginning stages of the COVID-19 crisis.
October is Small Business Month in Canada. It is a time dedicated to recognizing the contributions that entrepreneurs and small businesses have to our communities and their passion which drives our economy forward. We know that many small businesses in our rural communities were affected by COVID-19.
Since 2017, Canada has actively worked to legislate a Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) in biofuel production to help lower greenhouse gas emissions. New proposed regulations have been announced in September 2020 that have raised concern for Ontario farmers that these regulations will introduce crop production constraints and does not address compliance verification.
Ontario’s agri-food sector has navigated a challenging year as a result of COVID-19. Nevertheless, our industry continues to prove its resiliency, strength and an unshakeable devotion to provide Ontarians and the world affordable, nutritious, high-quality food.
Agricultural soil health is directly connected to the food production system and economic growth in Ontario. Health soils impact the viability, sustainability and productivity of Ontario’s agriculture and food industry. It is our most valuable resource and its long-term health and conservation remains a key priority for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).
In its second annual survey of farmers in southwestern Ontario, the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative (PRC) set out to gauge awareness of the organization’s efforts to reduce agricultural phosphorus losses and improve water quality in the Great Lakes. The survey was conducted in early 2020 by farmers in the Thames River basin and surrounding areas.