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.
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.