Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

Recent events affecting Ontario agr posted here and elsewhere makes one question just where this industry is headed and what it will look like in a decade. One thing for certain is that despite ad nauseum "consultations" over the past decade, current federal and provincial agr policy is certainly inadequate to deal with the multiple stresses affecting us. Compounding this reality is a complete lack of vision or leadership at the highest decision making levels at both levels of government. Whether tobacco, viniculture, processing vegetable, beef, hog, grains and oilseeds, and now tender fruit the current reality is anything but stable or rosy towards the future. Please forgive my cynicsm but what type of industry do members here envision?

I have witnessed the complete dismantling of our tobacco industry in favour of buying another year or two of peace with our natives. This was an easy fait accompli helped along by a ignorant public buying into the anti smoking rhetoric. I farm in the immediate vicinty of a number of smoke shacks...there is definitely no reduction amongst our teenagers over the years!

A government monopoly over all alcohol sales in the province and still we have 70% foreign juice blends sold in the Canadian section. Makes a mockery of the public dollars spent on Local Food and Foodland Ontario initiatives, no?

Ontario becoming a dumping ground for PQ hogs with narry a peep from our Agr Minister while the Premier gushes about his new trade agreement with Quebec is shameful. Ontario corn farmers can empathize with dumped product.

Etc. etc. But how did we allow ourselves to get here? Have we become that marginalized by society? What will it take to bring us back and restore our pride in this industry? What, and who, will be leading this industry in a decade? I have my ideas, what are yours?

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I think that before we can see agriculture move ahead we have to get every farmer from every organization together with the same message. One of the biggest problems is we do not have ture motivaters at the top of these organizations, no one can get people fired up with the same voice. To add to that I feel we have become to "political correct", no one wants to step on some one elses toes. That said I believe we will see ag prosper in the future with a bigger space between the large commercial operations and the smaller farms that will find the niche markets. We as farmers have to decide to take it upon ourselves to motivate and lead, we can not expect it to come from the top. Until we all rise up & protect our domestic markets and show the government that we mean buisness, nothing will change. The jobs of the top people from farm organizations have come to the point that the real good people would rather be home farming. I think we have to trim the number of organizations their are to spread out eveeryones time better. It makes no sense that as farm # decline we have more boards for people to sit on. My hats of to the GFO for bringing 3 into 1, we need more of this. We are all responsible for our future so until everyone takes control and quits complaining about what is not happening we will not be able to make any changes.
As a producer of carrots and onions in the Holland Marsh, I couldn't agree more. Agriculture, ALL SECTORS, need to unite and present a very strong voice to our government that we will not be silenced, or kept quiet, as we have in the past, by token gestures that really mean nothing in the long run. We are losing Farmers, we are losing farmland, and we are losing money. Farmers lay everything on the line to produce safe, healthy, and nutritious food for the people of this country. It's time EVERYONE realized what we do for THEM, and are expected to do it CHEAPLY to boot. My question is: How do we do it? If we wait for the government to take action on their own, it'll never happen. We have to present them with solutions that they can understand. We understand agriculture, most non-farmers are clueless!

Brent Royce said:
I think that before we can see agriculture move ahead we have to get every farmer from every organization together with the same message. One of the biggest problems is we do not have ture motivaters at the top of these organizations, no one can get people fired up with the same voice. To add to that I feel we have become to "political correct", no one wants to step on some one elses toes. That said I believe we will see ag prosper in the future with a bigger space between the large commercial operations and the smaller farms that will find the niche markets. We as farmers have to decide to take it upon ourselves to motivate and lead, we can not expect it to come from the top. Until we all rise up & protect our domestic markets and show the government that we mean buisness, nothing will change. The jobs of the top people from farm organizations have come to the point that the real good people would rather be home farming. I think we have to trim the number of organizations their are to spread out eveeryones time better. It makes no sense that as farm # decline we have more boards for people to sit on. My hats of to the GFO for bringing 3 into 1, we need more of this. We are all responsible for our future so until everyone takes control and quits complaining about what is not happening we will not be able to make any changes.
Hear hear! Couldn't agree more.
But being a farmer I probably won't agree with your concepts on how we get there ;-)
Wayne


Avia Eek said:
... I couldn't agree more. Agriculture, ALL SECTORS, need to unite and present a very strong voice to our government that we will not be silenced, ... We are losing Farmers, we are losing farmland, and we are losing money. ... It's time EVERYONE realized what we do for THEM, and are expected to do it CHEAPLY to boot. My question is: How do we do it? If we wait for the government to take action on their own, it'll never happen. We have to present them with solutions that they can understand. We understand agriculture, most non-farmers are clueless!

Maybe I'm just getting cynical, but I really feel that we have become so adept at presenting ourselves as victims that we are starting to see ourselves that way. I don't think we can expect gov'ts to provide solutions - they have no clue - the leadership must come from our community. Time and time again, when we deliver a message to gov't, it's not a proactive, long-term solution that they can get behind, it's another victim impact statement.

I agree that we need to work towards common end goals, but is this possible in a community that includes both supply managed and non-supply managed sectors? Mega-farms and boutique farms? Corporate versus single proprietorship? Organic versus conventional. Do we have one leg on either side of the fence? If the issue is trade related, will we all stand together to defend free trade or will it be protected borders that our united voice defends? The single voice idea is a great theory, but can we pull it off? I've been to farm org meetings where we couldn't agree whether the next meeting would feature beef or pork for lunch. Our independance is both our strong suit and our achilles heel.
Avia Eek said " As a producer of carrots and onions in the Holland Marsh, I couldn't agree more. Agriculture, ALL SECTORS, need to unite and present a very strong voice to our government that we will not be silenced, or kept quiet, as we have in the past"

I like your statement but could I please add something? The definition of Agriculture.

When I found the definition of agriculture it really changed the way I looked at farming. It gave me a clearer perspective and a sense of direction.

Agriculture is defined as a class of people that till the soil and/or raise stock. It is about a farmer with skills applied to natural resources. It takes 2 components to have agriculture. The 'person' and natural resources.

Agriculture is not a zoning. Agriculture is not an industry.

"Sectors" of agriculture are in effect really sub-classes of farmers. A "person" is defined as an individual (or other entity) with a bundle of rights. Farmers are persons with a bundle of rights. Those rights can be found in the land grants signed between the farmer and the Crown. So a chicken farmer with special security attached (his quota) is really a sub-class of agriculture as an example.

Those rights are also protected under our constitution.

Our land is a form of security.

Section 7 of our constitution states" Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof.."

The land grants were given under a system called FREE and COMMON SOCAGE. Free means LIBERTY.

The security mentioned under sec. 7 means FINANCIAL security.

Agriculture is about PERSONS with rights found in the land grants under Socage giving them the right and liberty of their security.

Blackstone said as much which formed part basis of the american revolution.
...
Where in what you quoted does it say Financial security. There are alot of ways of looking at security, one is financial, but I would tend to believe 150 years ago security meant a whole diferent thing then it does today. Everyone in society has different ways of spending money and saving it you can not promise anybody financial security not today not back in 1938 and not tomorrow. Yes we need to get our cost of production with a income built into it, but perhaps we need to look at what we are doing first before we ask for financial security. The only security or thing we know for sure is that we will all die some day. Anything else in life is a calculated risk.
Brent

Joann said:
Avia Eek said " As a producer of carrots and onions in the Holland Marsh, I couldn't agree more. Agriculture, ALL SECTORS, need to unite and present a very strong voice to our government that we will not be silenced, or kept quiet, as we have in the past"

I like your statement but could I please add something? The definition of Agriculture.

When I found the definition of agriculture it really changed the way I looked at farming. It gave me a clearer perspective and a sense of direction.

Agriculture is defined as a class of people that till the soil and/or raise stock. It is about a farmer with skills applied to natural resources. It takes 2 components to have agriculture. The 'person' and natural resources.

Agriculture is not a zoning. Agriculture is not an industry.

"Sectors" of agriculture are in effect really sub-classes of farmers. A "person" is defined as an individual (or other entity) with a bundle of rights. Farmers are persons with a bundle of rights. Those rights can be found in the land grants signed between the farmer and the Crown. So a chicken farmer with special security attached (his quota) is really a sub-class of agriculture as an example.

Those rights are also protected under our constitution.

Our land is a form of security.

Section 7 of our constitution states" Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof.."

The land grants were given under a system called FREE and COMMON SOCAGE. Free means LIBERTY.

The security mentioned under sec. 7 means FINANCIAL security.

Agriculture is about PERSONS with rights found in the land grants under Socage giving them the right and liberty of their security.

Blackstone said as much which formed part basis of the american revolution.
Brent wrote" Where in what you quoted does it say Financial security"

Law.:something given or deposited as surety for the fulfillment of a promise or an obligation, A security is essentially a contract that can be assigned a value and traded.

Section 7 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms states" Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof.."

To receive a land grant a series of conditions had to be met first. A person had to clear a portion of the land, build a dwelling no smaller than 16" x 20', clear the frontage of the property 33' and the length of the property, cede that portion as a road allowance, maintain that road allowance min. 6 statute days a year, plant food, pay a fee, swear an oath, sign the contract. If a person fulfilled the requirements within the stipulated time frame he could receive a parcel of land from the Crown agent.

A contract is a promise for a promise, an act for a promise, an act for an act.

The land grants are contracts with rights, duties and obligations. Security. The lands were assigned to farmers.

The farmers were given possession of the soil and climate under English Law.

A contract is a contract. Since the land grants are Sovereign contracts, only the farmer can break the contract.

If you own farmland, find your original land grant and read it. Copies can be found in the Peterborough Land Patent Office.
I find it hilarious that somehow the problems in agriculture are caused by the 15% of farmers who for their own good reaons don't belong to the OFA. Could it be the problem is the other way around? I can't think of a single issue where having more than one farm voice has been the determining factor of why there has been no progress. I can think of plenty of issues where the dominant voice selling out farmers and the positions of the other two organizations has caused lots of problems - can anyone say CAIS.

If a single voice solved anything then the West would be perfect, because there are places there were there is only one voice, and they have been a failure at working for anyone's interests so afraid are they to offend anyone.

Quebec succeeds not because of a one voice organization, but because farmers there are seen as an important part of the national identity. Farmers have influence in society, operate smaller farmers, so there are more of them, and by their 'radicalism' make politicians and agri-business pay a price for ignoring their needs.

That's the key - a willingness to stand up - a one voice organization afraid to offend anyone and with a cozy relationship with government will never succeed- that's been the attempt for decades and look at where that has gotten us. Better to take a page from the 15% of farmers who have left and switch who the dominant voice is in Ontario.
Well Steve,
And what are your ideas, as long as we all stay politically correct we won't get anywhere.
By the way now I am talking the Middlesex Federation of Agriculture has Ernie Hardeman as speaker at their annual meeting
@ Coldtream Nov. the 16th. Come, bring people and lets talk there .
Well Steve,

And what are your ideas???? As long as we all stay politically correct we won't get anywhere.
Nov. the 16th the Middlesex federation of Agriculture has Ernie Hardeman on the agenda for their annual mtg. Hope to see all you guys their.It be at Coldstream........
Rein, a few years ago i never would have thunk it, buuuutttt, production agr has become mostly disconnected and hence highly irrelevant by the majority of Canadian society (domestic and especially imported). Sadly, recent federal (what??) and provinical elected decision makers and their bureaucrats have tended to reinforce this attitude and treat us as a problem (NMA, Greenbelt, Source Water Protection, Species at Risk, OSPCA, etc, etc) and rely on our quiet perseverance without understanding the vulnerability of our sectors. The landscape is/has changed as dramatically as the ON auto sector, except we still have over inflated asset values prolonging the day of reckoning. ON has become the market for products that we traditionally exported. I think its time we pulled off the gloves....every other jurisdiction with a strong agr policy has not been afraid to raise cain to demand results of our elected officials and private decision makers! We need to draw a line in the sand regarding imports that do not have to match our over-regulated regime. Its time to publically and shamelessly call the Minister and senior bureaucrats to task for promulgating laws and behaviour that harm our industry. We need leadership not afraid to rock the boat, leadership prepared to pass on the next plum appointment! I would like to see a tight, strong group not unlike the OLA, show up as foreign pork, fruit, veggie, etc. trucks show up at distribution centres, etc....and make a statement as to how lax the standards are relative to ours. Our GFO's should hire economists to study and benchmark every major sector that competes directly with ours..OMAF doesn't want to touch this for obvious reasons! Gotta run for now.

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