By Nathan Stevens
March 16, 2012
The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario recently fine-tuned its core policy values. In the rapidly changing world of agriculture, it is important to take time periodically to ensure that the organization has the right priorities for its members. The process affirmed that the organization focus on three key themes when dealing with any issue.
First and foremost, the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario is a faith-based organization that acknowledges that our work is done to honour God and live out our lives as Christians. All our policy is an extension of our commitment to living out those values, while we recognize that the manner in which each individual farmer embraces those values may be different.
The second key theme that was affirmed is the importance of family-based farming and the land that serves as the foundation of successful agriculture. The CFFO recognizes that family farms come in large, medium, and small sizes and that we need policy that works for each of them. The CFFO recognizes that farmers value their career choice as producers of safe food, fuel and fibre in an ecologically sustainable manner, and many believe that farming is a vocation, not just a job. This recognition extends outward into valuing entrepreneurship and responsible adoption of new technology.
The third theme that was affirmed is that CFFO values justice, fairness and compassion in all aspects of agriculture. On the business side, this means that the CFFO values marketing systems that produce satisfactory returns for farmers from the marketplace. On the environmental side, this means a strong commitment to stewardship and the adoption of practices that provide long-term ecological care. On the social side, this means that respect and compassion for others in the farming sector and the food chain is essential to good buisness. The CFFO values farm policy from a triple bottom line point of view that properly balances rights and responsibilities.
The Christian Farmers Federation is focused on expressing our values through agriculture policy. We are focused on faith and family-based farming that operates within a fair and compassionate working environment.
Nathan Stevens is the Interim Manager and Director of Policy Development for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and UCB Canada radio stations in Chatham, Belleville, Bancroft, Brockville and Kingston and in Brantford and Woodstock. It is also found on the CFFO website:www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.