Ontario Federation of Agriculture Commentary
By Brent Boyce, OFA Director
Agriculture is Ontario’s most important industry. We produce food, employ Ontarians, support local businesses and drive our provincial economy.
Since 1998, the week before Thanksgiving has been recognized as Ontario Agriculture Week. The week of October 3-9 marks this year’s celebration. It’s a time to recognize and enjoy the array of local food grown in Ontario, and agriculture’s contribution to our province and economy. And what a great time to give a nod to the people who work every day producing the food, raising awareness of the industry, and shaping the policies and regulations that govern agriculture.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) will be celebrating in the halls of Queen’s Park, meeting with MPPs, political staff and policy advisors to remind them agriculture is Ontario’s most important industry and a potent economic engine. Agriculture contributes $13.7 billion to the Ontario economy every year. Ontario has the most diverse agri-food production, producing more than 200 different commodities for markets right here and worldwide.
OFA will also be talking to MPPs about growth. Ontario’s agricultural industry is growing and new technology, research and innovations are creating opportunities. Many of these opportunities rely on the right policies, like investing in rural infrastructure. Rural Ontario farms and businesses need infrastructure equivalent to urban centres – including roads, bridges, broadband and competitive energy. An investment in the expansion of natural gas infrastructure is the best investment Ontario’s government can make in lowering the cost of doing business on farms and across rural Ontario. The cost savings would be invested back into our communities, growing businesses and creating jobs.
Let’s be sure to take the time to celebrate Ontario Agriculture Week and continue advocating for the amazing industry we are proudly a part of.