As we continue to work through this busy year, many farmers may find themselves so consumed in the daily demands of their farm business that government work and legislative activity isn’t always top of mind. Currently, the Ontario government is in the midst of determining where investments should be placed as priorities shift towards rebuilding an economy hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.
Ontario and Quebec are currently facing a tremendous challenge that could impact the supply of vital fuels into our provinces. In January, the Lambton Federation of Agriculture brought forth a resolution at their annual meeting that was passed on to the provincial board of directors, asking for support on advocating for the continual operation of Enbridge Line 5.
Since the initial announcement of the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) Regulatory Framework in 2017, the Canadian government has prepared to implement a Clean Fuel Standard to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions and lower the full lifecycle carbon intensity of fuels used in industry, transportation and buildings.
The quote, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” may resonate with farmers who are currently dealing with mental health struggles. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) understands how the pressure of keeping up with everyday responsibilities, along with the stressors of navigating a pandemic can become taxing and overwhelming.
Loss has the power to shake a whole community. Like a pebble in a pond, the waves ripple across the water and the effects can be felt by everyone near. In rural communities, when someone is lost to suicide, a direct impact is felt by many people. From nearby family and friends, to neighbours and acquaintances, to stakeholders across the entire sector, suicide has the power to send shockwaves and cripple a community.
As we persevere through yet another lockdown, the public health crisis of COVID-19 has turned into a marathon with an invisible finish line that continues to test our strength, patience and resilience.
The value of local Ontario food goes beyond the amazing taste of DeBruin’s Greenhouse tomatoes, Thunder Oak cheese and My-Pride Farm veal – a few of my local favourites. It is also about the importance of food security, its economic impact and our regional identity. To have local food, we need farmers and growers to take on the challenge of raising crops and livestock.
2020 has been a whirlwind year for Ontario agriculture. As farm business owners, we had to be flexible and proactive as we adjusted to a new reality. The pandemic first hit our province in March of this year and has continued to keep our sector on its toes with changing regulations, public health restrictions and loss of traditional market streams for our products. Together with many partners, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has accomplished a tremendous amount of good for the sector, laying a strong foundation for a post-pandemic road to recovery.
This year has been a whirlwind of hurdles and challenges, often times with rules and regulations changing by the hour. The holiday season is another reminder that the pandemic continues to change life as we know it. In true farmer fashion, no obstacle can hinder your values of community, kindness and generosity.
Working together and collaborating with other organizations during the pandemic has been vital in keeping the agri-food sector strong and addressing the ongoing issues that our industry continues to face. This year more than ever, our industry has come together as many voices, with one message, to better support Ontario farmers.