Ontario Federation of Agriculture Commentary
By Keith Currie, OFA Vice President
Advocacy is the number one job of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). As an organization of farmers working for farmers, OFA works together with members and government to grow Ontario’s agri-food industry.
OFA board members regularly meet with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) and policy advisors in a variety of venues. Our most important venue is, of course, the farm where MPPs can fully experience and learn about farming. On August 9, OFA will hold its third Field Day event, to bring MPPs out to an Ontario farm.
King Cole Ducks of Newmarket will host this year’s event, with a unique opportunity to showcase its vertically integrated farm that is regulated by all three levels of government.
OFA’s Field Day provides the perfect setting for MPPs to learn first-hand about a farming operation and, in this case, the duck industry in Ontario. It is also an excellent backdrop for conversation about our progressive industry, emerging opportunities in agriculture, and the concerns of our members.
OFA representatives will address three key issues with MPPs.
1. Infrastructure – the need for improved infrastructure throughout rural Ontario, including broadband and natural gas, to keep our rural businesses connected and competitive.
2. Climate Change Action Plan – the importance of recognizing and including agriculture’s positive contribution and the opportunities it can open for our industry.
3. Public investment in the agri-food system – what’s needed in the next Agricultural Policy Framework to ensure a healthy and competitive farm and food sector.
There’s big business on the backroads of Ontario. Our annual Field Day helps us show, and not just tell politicians about the significant contributions our industry makes to the provincial economy, and the issues we need addressed to expand and meet the Premier’s growth challenge.
OFA Field Days are a hit with MPPs and their staff. We look forward to hosting MPPs, their staff and policy makers on the farm to show them what we do best – farmers advocating for farmers.