Farmers Forum staff
LONDON — Delegates at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s 2022 annual general meeting passed 19 of 27 resolutions on Nov. 22. The OFA executive will meet starting this month to determine which resolutions it will enact.
The approved resolutions call on the OFA to:
- Lobby the province for an expanded wild turkey hunt in Ontario, in light of the “significant crop damage” caused by the formerly extinct species. The province reintroduced wild turkeys in 1984. (brought forward by Algoma Federation of Agriculture)
- Lobby the province to compensate farmers for wildlife crop damage — or “spot losses.” Sandhill cranes are mentioned as one species contributing to the problem. (Algoma/Cochrane/Manitoulin/North-Shore/Temiskaming/West Nipissing/Sudbury East)
- Adopt a hybrid meeting model — accommodating in-person and virtual attendance simultaneously — for all key meetings. “Travel remains a significant barrier to the engagement,” the motion states. (Arnprior)
- Lobby the province and other stakeholders for the “timely release” of crown land for agricultural production. Some crown land in northern Ontario was at one point “settled, farmed, and patented” but reverted back to the crown. (Cochrane).
- Lobby the province to extend services of the Farmer Wellness Initiative Program to farm employees. (Elgin)
- Lobby the province to carry out an “Agricultural Impact Assessment” process whenever farmland is acquired for conversion into non-agricultual use. (Elgin)
- Work with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture to ensure that farmers who have already adopted sustainable practices are eligible for payments through the newly announced $250 million Environmental Goods and Services Program. The program falls under the Sustainable Agricultural Partnership that comes into effect in April. (Elgin)
- Work with the Grain Farmers of Ontario and other commodity groups on a new public relations campaign “extolling the need and benefits” of fertilizers. (Elgin)
- Lobby the province to eliminate the LCBO’s special markup and levy imposed on non-VQA Ontario wine when sold to a licensee such as a restaurant — the same treatment already afforded VQA-status Ontario wine. (Glengarry)
- Lobby the province for the return of fertilizer production at the Augusta Township industrial park. (Grenville)
- Support keeping Ontario counties intact when electoral districts are redrawn, in light of a recent federal proposal that would fragment many larger counties into three or more ridings. (Middlesex)
- Have the OFA board “communicate to OFA membership why they deserve the membership’s trust” in its handling of the fertilizer tariff issue and the federal government’s proposed 30% fertilizer emissions cut. The OFA’s tactic to date has been to have a “seat at the table,” according to the resolution, which notes that “maintaining a seat at the table is only valuable if you have something significant to say …” (Middlesex)
- Work with OMAFRA and the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association on a policy to allow science-based testing of hives before hives suspected of having European foul brood are ordered destroyed.
- Work with OMAFRA and Infrastructure Ontario to permit use of OMAFRA buildings and offices by agricultural groups.
- Work with various provincial departments to develop a “clear and concise set of rules for disaster assistance.” The resolution was inspired by uneven distribution of provincial assistance offered to farmers after last May’s “derecho” storm. Uxbridge area got it; Ottawa area did not. (Ottawa)
- Lobby the province to review Agricorp’s customer service and ability to service Ontario farmers “effectively and promptly.” (Perth)
- Prepare a board leadership and development policy. (Perth)
- Complain to the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission about cellular connectivity issues. (Perth)
- Lobby the Pest Management Review Agency and Agriculture Canada to expedite the approval of drone-applied pesticides. (Wellington)