From FCC Express, by Owen Roberts
Ontario has passed a new act to recognize the role of professional agrologists in agriculture.
In mid-December, Bill PR 15, An Act Respecting the Ontario Institute of Professional Agrologists, received second and third reading in the Legislature, as well as Royal Assent. It replaces a 1960 bill, the Ontario Professional Agrologists Act.
The Ontario Institute of Agrologists says the bill will enhance the competitiveness of agrology practitioners in Ontario by recognizing the training, expertise and ongoing education required of OIA-designated professionals.
It won’t affect, restrict or interfere with the right of any non-member of the institute to practice in the field of professional agrology, the OIA says. However, it will restrict the designations professional agrologist, technical agrologist and articling agrologist to OIA members, who are required to adhere to clear, well-established standards.
The new act was brought to the legislative process by Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman.
“I’m pleased that this bill has passed and updated the Ontario Institute of Agrologists Act to recognize the training and expertise of Ontario’s professional agrologists,” says Hardeman. “The agriculture industry can now rely on the fact that anyone using the professional agrologist title meets the [OIA’s] high standards for knowledge and ongoing education.”
The institute calls agrology “the practice of bio-resource and economics sciences to provide advice to the agriculture, agri-food and natural resources sector and contribute to the health of society, environment and economy.”
Further, it says agrologists “engage for hire, gain or salary in the development, acquisition, use, application, teaching, demonstration and communication of scientific principles, practices and laws relating to agricultural, agri-food and natural sciences and to agricultural and resource economics.”
Institute president Drew Orosz points out that agriculture has changed since the initial OIA act was passed in Ontario more than 50 years ago.
“The industry is more global, more competitive, and more outwardly responsible to the needs of the general public,” he says. “The new act responds to these changes, providing professionals consulting to the broad scope of agricultural practices with a strong standard that is recognized across all the Canadian provinces.”