This week’s guest commentary comes from Mark Wales, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
An annual membership in the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is a good business decision. For less than $200, OFA members benefit from advocacy on farm issues, regional farm support and extensive resources. Members also actively participate in elections and policy goal setting. Launched in 2013, OFA’s Drive Forward campaign encourages farmers to choose OFA as their general farm organization and become a member.
OFA plays a unique and significant role in the agri-food industry, representing the interests of our farm business members. Lobbying on behalf of our members and engaging politicians to make them aware of what’s important to Ontario’s farmers are OFA’s two most important functions.
We also have a team of seasoned researchers addressing issues that impact Ontario farms, and member relations staff available to answer questions daily. Our Member Service Representative (MSR) network – a service exclusive to OFA and not offered by any other general farm organization – provides members with knowledgeable advice and local service. Membership also includes exclusive discounts and promotions, voting rights for OFA leadership and an OFA card. OFA is an integral part of Ontario’s agri-food industry – speaking with and for farmers on a daily basis.
To officially become an OFA member, farmers are now required to complete two steps. Step one – complete the Farm Business Registration (FBR) form sent from Agricorp. Every farmer making more than $7,000 is required to complete the FBR process to qualify for farm property tax designation and other government programs. The FBR form, also requires farmers to select their general farm organization of choice and send them a registration cheque.
Step two – sign OFA’s membership agreement. Membership agreements are being distributed in Ontario Farmer and Better Farming publications in early February. There are three options for returning the agreement to officially become an OFA member – complete it online at www.ofa.on.ca/driveforward, fax or mail it to the OFA office. For more information on completing your 2014 membership agreement with the OFA, visit www.ofa.on.ca/driveforward.