OFA News Releases
GUELPH, ON – Representatives of Ontario’s largest industry – agriculture and food – presented a plan to boost the provincial economy today at Queen’s Park. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) and Spirits Canada joined together to outline priority areas for the Ontario government to create more jobs, grow our economy and improve the quality of life for Ontarians.
“Ontario’s agri-food sector is already the largest contributor to the provincial economy, bringing in more than $40 billion in GDP annually,” says OFA President Keith Currie. “Today we reminded the government of our strength and suggested a few priority areas to focus on that would generate tremendous fiscal returns and overall growth for the province.”
GUELPH, ON – Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced promising news for Ontario farmers, businesses and rural communities today with proposed new legislation that would expand access to natural gas in rural and northern Ontario. “We have been pushing for the need for more widespread, affordable natural gas energy across rural Ontario, so this is encouraging news for the agricultural community,” says Keith Currie, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).
Ford used opening day of the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo to announce the government’s plans to introduce a new Access to Natural Gas Act that would encourage partnerships between private gas distributors and communities to develop projects that expand access to natural gas. If the new legislation is passed, the Ontario government says it will work with the Ontario Energy Board to develop regulations to enable the program this fall.
GUELPH, ON – On behalf of their combined membership of 60,000 farmers, the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO), Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), are pleased by the changes made to the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (OWDCP) announced today by The Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The three leadership organizations are also encouraged by the Minister’s stated commitment to introduce further program improvements in the coming months, in consultation with industry stakeholders.
The OWDCP is an important program for livestock farmers in Ontario, particularly for those in the beef and sheep sectors where conflicts with wildlife are common, and result in significant economic losses for both farmers and the broader agri-food economy.
GUELPH, ON – With the announcement of Doug Ford’s new provincial cabinet today, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is anxious to get down to work with all new ministers who will interface with and have an impact on Ontario’s agriculture industry.
“We’re pleased with Ford’s choice of Ernie Hardeman for the minister responsible for agriculture, food and rural affairs for Ontario,” says Keith Currie, OFA president. Long-time MPP, agriculture minister under the Harris government and a recent agriculture critic, Hardeman comes to the job with plenty of experience. “And we look forward to working with the all other ministries that affect the agricultural industry including including Environment, Conservation and Parks; Infrastructure; Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade; Municipal Affairs and Housing; Health and Long-Term Care; and Transportation.”
GUELPH, ON – OFA congratulates Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative party on forming the next government in Ontario. “We look forward to getting to know new MPPs across the province, and connecting with returning politicians to continue the conversations we started during the election period about the needs of the agricultural sector and our rural communities,” says Keith Currie, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).
Throughout the election, OFA reinforced that agriculture and rural Ontario hold the key for provincial prosperity and long-term economic growth – already contributing $13.7 billion to the province’s annual GDP and $1.4 billion in provincial tax revenues. OFA gathered support for its Producing Prosperity in Ontario campaign from all parties during the campaign – a platform to support spreading economic development across the province.
MISSISSAUGA, ON – Building on their shared values and a relationship forged over many years, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize their commitment to work together to address key safety issues affecting Ontario farmers, agriculture employees and farm families.
“Safety is a priority and should be everyone’s responsibility on a farm,” says Keith Currie, OFA President. “This MOU strengthens the long-standing relationship OFA shares with WSPS – formerly Farm Safety Association. Together we’ll continue to develop safety materials to raise awareness and help keep our farm communities safe.”
GUELPH, ON – A new provincial soil strategy will preserve soil health and guide conservation activities for more than a decade. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) welcomes the recently released New Horizons: Ontario’s Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy, a comprehensive resource for farmers across the province in soil management, mapping and monitoring.
“The unprecedented level of consultation and collaboration to develop this soil strategy is as much of a success as the strategy itself,” says Keith Currie, OFA President. The provincial soil health and conservation strategy was developed through collaboration with farm groups, agribusiness, government, conservation groups and researchers. “OFA was actively involved in the consultation process and Ontario farmers had the opportunity to share input on the draft strategy through open house meetings and online participation.”
GUELPH, ON – The Ontario government’s announcement of 11 new projects to expand natural gas in Ontario to rural, northern and First Nations communities is welcome news to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). OFA has been advocating for more affordable solutions to soaring energy costs for rural Ontario. The new projects are part of the Natural Gas Grant Program, a $100 million investment the government first announced in January 2017.
“This is a great start to connecting more of Ontario with natural gas,” says OFA President Keith Currie. “The energy savings, boost to farms and local businesses, and overall investment in the 11 communities listed in the announcement, are a step in the right direction.”
GUELPH, ON – Four provincial organizations shared their voices at Queen’s Park today to strengthen the message to all political candidates that investments in rural communities offer benefits to all Ontarians. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), together with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus made a joint announcement on the value of spreading future economic development dollars across the province.
OFA’s election campaign – Producing Prosperity in Ontario – is encouraging greater investment in Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities to deliver economic growth and prosperity for all Ontarians.
GUELPH, ON – Farm Life Financial Planning Group (Farm Life) is the newest Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) benefit partner and offers a new farm management service to members – succession and continuity planning.
Farm Life specializes in empowering farm families to have courageous conversations about the future of their family farm. Farm Life works with families across the province to build continuity of the farm through succession, transition and tax efficient estate plans. The company’s mission is to keep farmers farming and to work with families through the succession process in a way that protects family harmony.