Ontario Agriculture

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Finally someone says it out loud in public! Wayne Easter says to the
press at last week's "Farmers Matter" meeting in Stratford Ontario, that
farm leaders need to grow a set of cajones (paraphrased a bit).

It seems like even at last week's "Farmers Matter" gathering in Stratford, we are content to sit around like a bunch of 19th century school girls at a pleasant afternoon tea party, politely discussing the benefits of a woodstove while the house is burning down.

I do not see ONE farm organization that is tackling the income crisis in livestock head on. For all the dues we've paid over the years to the OFA, OCA, CFFO, Corn Producers, we are getting further behind all the time. I sold butcher cattle in the '70s for the same money as we are seeing today.

What have the organizations done for us? And when I asked the OCA why they are not supporting us on our BSE suit mediation request, they duck out for the very reason that Easter gives in the link below - they are scared to ask for real help because they don't want to jeopardize their "working relationship" with the government.

Well guess what - the"help" they are working on is going to be too little too late for many of us. We do not need a RMP nearly as much as we need a big cash infusion NOW and then finds ways to extract more money from the marketplace.
The link is from today's Farm News on CKNX radio. Scroll down and click on the audio link. 

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Hi John:
It's a terrible situation....
Keep working at this....I agree that everyone should try a little harder and show more urgency.

Here is the link to the Audio clip.

Grant Robertson who was there representing the NDP sure ripped into the OCA, although not by name when he repeated 3 times captive supply. The past OCA president you might remember called Robertson a communist from the podim during the OCA convention when he was not there to defend himself for daring to suggest that maybe we don't actally have a free market in Canadain beef when just two players control 90% of the processing industry. Robertson might be a lot of things, but communist ain't one of them. S**t disturber, entrapenuer, hockey nut (talk to him sometime) and hopefully the next MP for Huron-Bruce, but the OCA attacks on him were ridiculous.

Easter is right that we are being failed by our farm organizations, but we are also being failed by the people we send to Ottawa who sit there and do nothing. Personally I think a few more s**t disturbers is exactly what we need so I will be voting for Robertson if we do have an election in the spring. Not NDP, but for Grant personally (and for the first time) to go do some s kicking in Ottawa.

I aslo heard that Ontario Pork and the OCA threatened to walk if Bill Jefferie, former Perth Beef Producer President was allowed to be on the panel. There's another s**t disturber we could do with hearing from more. Seems to me folks like Easter and Robertson are right when they say we should stop being so afraid of standing up for ourselves.
A friend of mine raises certified organic 100% grass fed beef - red poll, a rare breed. She just made over $1200 on one steer when me and three other friends split it four ways. And guess what, me and my friends got a deal because we bought the whole damn cow. That's right, when people just want some steaks or roasts, they pay a lot more (per pound). She sells everything she can produce. So do a lot of other beef producers I know. They sell it direct to the consumer. It is true for the few pastured pork producers I know too - getting about $5/pound when they sell the whole pig. I know direct marketing is not for everyone, but obviously something is wrong with the value chain as it currently exists. It is time for more livestock producers to think outside the box, not give their animals away to Tyson or Cargill or whoever. And dump OCA and OFA. People in Canada love eating beef and pork! Most probably eat some almost every day. Create a new channel to get it to them and maybe beef and pork production will stabilize somewhere profitable. Sure I am oversimplifying but the status quo is not doing anyone much good.

Yes boards are very help to the people they serve, the government love them because they don't pay for them and all they are made up of are gentleman farmers with political or big commercial interests.  We all know the out come, because the agenda is aready set, some words and busness as usual.  If the Industry wants change first thing is to get rid of the whole board, that have political ties with government. Government departments can't run without produce or justify their existance without farmers. If the provence won't talk turkey by pass them, go to fedral legisation deal with them, refuse to pay any and obey their taxes on mass. Get the changes needed to operate a farm, no hinder it and any changes must go through with a majority vote not a back door one. Because if you don't one by one you will fall. Like the meat works.

Good points everyone.

I have been on a couple of boards and it is a real challenge for part time participants to do much more than try to be positive and ask for help from the politicians.  You can play the mad guy and demand assistance for your farmers but in the end, the politicians have all the power.

I like the idea of selling directly to the consumer, but it just won't work for the large percentage of our agriculture production...we need large domestic and export markets.


I also agree with Easter, we all need to grow tougher cajones and get the job done.


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