The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is looking forward to the opportunity to engage with municipal leaders across the province at the 2022 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference.
Another Canadian winter is upon us, and with the arrival of fresh white snow, it’s the perfect opportunity for Ontarians to get outdoors and enjoy their favourite winter activities. My family jumped on the bandwagon last year and began snowmobiling, which has been a great sport to get involved in. Spanning more than 30,000 kilometres, Ontario has an extensive trail system across the province which offers the chance to experience the countryside from a different view.
It’s been another challenging year as we continued to navigate the pandemic while simultaneously juggling our daily roles of entrepreneur, farmer, partner, parent, sibling and friend. In true farmer fashion, our agricultural community has continued to showcase kindness, generosity and empathy as our industry battled extreme weather, disrupted revenue streams and volatile markets. Yet, we’ve persevered and we’re now ready to turn the page for a fresh new start in 2022.
Late last week, the Ontario government released the fall economic statement entitled 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Overview: Building Ontario. At a time when we’re beginning to experience positive progress towards a possible end to the pandemic, the government has released their plan for the future with a strong focus on economic recovery. The three pillars of the economic outlook concentrate on protecting our progress, building Ontario and working for workers.
It’s been almost two years since COVID-19 changed the world as we know it. As farmers, we are familiar with volatile markets, unpredictability and vulnerability to extreme weather. The pandemic however, disrupted all facets of farming from labour to supply and for many barred access to traditional market streams.
Strong leadership is the foundation of any government, organization or business. What makes Ontario’s agri-food industry resilient is the abundance of strong and confident farm leaders we have building a bright future for the next generation.
The natural environment supports diverse ecosystems and thrives on biodiversity. As farmers, we must continue to prioritize enhancing our farmland to support prosperous growth of food and commodities for all current and future generations. We depend on ecological goods and services to maintain a healthy environment.
Since 1998, our province has recognized Ontario Agriculture Week as the opportune time to celebrate our dynamic industry and the millions of acres tended to by our farmers, the abundance of food produced by the agri-food sector, the Ontarians our industry employs, the rural communities we support and the economic engine we fuel.
Choosing the right insurance policy for your farm is never an easy task. It’s often a difficult and taxing job finding an insurance policy that best suits the unique needs of your farm business. Understandably, it’s hard to think about investing in insurance when things are going well on the farm. But, when unexpected accidents or events occur, the last place you want to be is left out in the cold facing financial hardships because you didn’t have the proper property and liability insurance.
Labour has been a longstanding critical issue impacting the agriculture and food value chain — including planting, production, quality control, processing, distribution and research. It is not only difficult to attract, but also to retain employees in the various sectors of agriculture. The Feeding Your Future initiative was developed with the primary objective of addressing chronic labour shortages. Funding from both the Ontario government and Canadian government through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) created the opportunity to introduce more than just a labour initiative, but a long-term strategy to live beyond the immediate impacts of COVID-19.