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.
From an historical perspective, women have always played a vital role in agriculture, but it was often undocumented, unacknowledged and unquantified. Each woman is strong and influential in their own right. These women encourage us in their leadership, actions and language.
Ontario farmers and rural landowners will be impacted by new amendments made to the Grade Crossing Regulations issued by Transport Canada. These amendments apply to all public and private railway crossings across the country. Farmers and rural landowners with private railway crossings on their property may be required to upgrade or improve their crossings in order to comply with the new grade regulation standards.
Abattoirs and processing plants are essential for livestock and poultry farmers to market locally-grown and processed food to consumers. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed vulnerabilities in the current meat processing supply chain, but has created an opportunity for a more regional approach to food production.
Farm safety should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds while working on the farm every day. However, as we all know, unfortunate events still occur. It’s important to have professionals well-equipped and knowledgeable to handle those situations when they do happen. The Bruce County Federation of Agriculture (BCFA) identified the importance of trained medical workers in rural hospitals and organizes an annual medical students’ tour.
Regional meetings offer Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) members an opportunity to engage in discussions on the key issues and priorities impacting Ontario’s agriculture and food industry. These meetings provide a chance to vote for local leadership and representation, network with local federation directors and fellow members, and support your local agricultural community.