Ontario Agriculture

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Today's Ontario Farmer had an interesting letter which proposed calculating the funding for farm organizations on a per acre basis. The intent, I suppose, would be to spread the cost according to potential benefit.

The acreage could easily be calculated from the existing Agricorp files.

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Maybe... if all acres were created equal and all farms were dependent on acreage. They aren't. Should an acre under glass in a greenhouse be counted the same as $800 rough pasture? Should 20,000 broilers on a 5 acre lot be counted the same as a 5 acre pick your own?

Haven't seen it yet, probably won't until the weekend so I'm just guessing on the content of the letter.
You are correct Dale - close enough anyway.
Another question would be - what about the farmers who do not own or crop any land at all? The ones who rent barns to feed cattle or milk livestock? There are so many different types of arrangements for a farm operation today it would not make sense to set the fee based solely on acreage or livestock units because of "assumed benefit".
The arguement a few years ago was: If Large Farmer pays $320 per year and little farmer pays $80 per year - does that mean the Large Farmer gets 4 votes for every vote the little farmer gets? The General Farm Organizations are suppose to represent their members. The membership includes all landowners and farmers who have a Gross Revenue from Farming operations in excess of $7,000 per year ("gross" not "net"). Each member is entitled to one vote.
the bigger question is.... do we need the present farm organizations? or are they completely stale-dated in today's environment?

if the present farm organizations were disbanded, will farmers be served better or worse?

if one looks around, i believe one will see that there are some very big farm operations that are more effective and efficient as individual lobbyist. ... farm operations are getting bigger and fewer.

is there a new farm lobby-organization on the horizon that will effectively meet the needs of the next generation of farm operations?

Wayne Black said:
You are correct Dale - close enough anyway.
Another question would be - what about the farmers who do not own or crop any land at all? The ones who rent barns to feed cattle or milk livestock? There are so many different types of arrangements for a farm operation today it would not make sense to set the fee based solely on acreage or livestock units because of "assumed benefit".
The arguement a few years ago was: If Large Farmer pays $320 per year and little farmer pays $80 per year - does that mean the Large Farmer gets 4 votes for every vote the little farmer gets? The General Farm Organizations are suppose to represent their members. The membership includes all landowners and farmers who have a Gross Revenue from Farming operations in excess of $7,000 per year ("gross" not "net"). Each member is entitled to one vote.
I have more of a statement to make, since I haven't read the paper yet--will get to that later. Generally, though as far as farm organizations are concerned, a good question would be how does the Farmer benefit from them. I know the Holland Marsh Farmers are, and continue to fight the peaker plant being built in the Holland Marsh, but I don't know that any OFA representative has stepped in and added their voice to this issue which will affect all the people in Ontario. Not to mention the precedent this is setting for prime agricultural land versus the need for energy. Our own local organization, the Holland Marsh Growers' Association is fighting this, but it seems we're on our own! The only benefit I see, right now, with OFA is cheaper taxes.
This idea has a lot of merit, particularly for the new Grain Farmers of Ontario. Since most of their members grow corn, wheat and soybeans in rotation on approximately the same acreage it would be a stable funding for them independent of yields and specific crops.

The only real breakdown is for those who grow crops for 'own use'. They would end up paying on acres they plan to feed to livestock. It can be said they still benefit from improvements in the crops, but it would be a harder sell.

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