Ontario Federation of Agriculture Commentary
By Crispin Colvin, OFA Director
Fall farm shows are important events for Ontario agriculture. Regardless of the weather and the state of the harvest, many producers make the time for a visit to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo. And Mother Nature had some surprises for us this year – with unseasonably warm weather in Woodstock, and relentless rains to start the show in Walton.
Farms shows are also important for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). As a grassroots organization, we depend and rely on regular feedback and input from our members to shape policy and guide our activities. We talk to members all year long, but fall is one of the best times to catch up. Harvest has started, the fall legislature is starting and OFA is mapping out key issues to focus on for the upcoming 2018 provincial election.
Directors and staff were on hand in Woodstock and Walton to hear what OFA members had on their mind. OFA’s new no trespassing signs were a big hit and remind us that trespassing is still an issue across the province. We also heard about a number of other issues that were on our members’ minds. The federal government’s proposed tax changes continue to be a hot topic, and OFA members are encouraged to add their voice through our actnow.ofa.on.ca site. Questions about our membership process, benefit program offers and the impact of the proposed high speed rail line were some of the other issues we heard about from members.
OFA needs to hear from our members on a regular basis and we welcome the feedback and ideas that come from throughout our organization. We appreciate the time our members take to attend events and make a point to stop and talk with OFA staff and directors. We have a stronger voice to advocate for Ontario agriculture when we keep in touch with grassroots members throughout the year.