Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Lana Popham, British Columbia’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries held a virtual roundtable with British Columbia’s agricultural sector yesterday to listen to their concerns following the devastating floods and landslides and to discuss both immediate and long-term support for the British Columbia agriculture and agri-food industry. Extreme weather events in British Columbia have caused many agricultural producers and their families to struggle in extremely challenging circumstances as they deal with the loss of businesses, homes, livestock, crops and livelihoods. With over 800 farms in British Columbia currently under evacuation orders, the ministers recognized the producers’ courage and perseverance and indicated they are working together to make sure that producers have the resources they need to maintain their mental health and help rebuild their operations.
This week, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, highlighted an investment of up to $78,338 to Maison Francine Leroux under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund’s second phase. Established in 2020, Maison Francine Leroux is a non-profit organization that promotes intergenerational sharing through textile arts, reading and cooking in the community. The Maison Francine Leroux building contains three large rooms, including a collective kitchen, where community members of all ages can safely meet to socialize, share ideas, enjoy coffee or a meal together, and lessen the feeling of isolation.
Acreage, Planting and Harvest In 2020, Ontario dry bean acres were at their highest since 2007. This year, insured acres of dry beans totalled around 115,000 which is comparable to the 10-year average. Acreage of each market class declined in 2021, although the decrease in kidney bean acres was relatively small.
In 2018, Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Board of Directors took a step to address this issue, through mandating the creation of a ‘Farmer Wellness’ program. “The program’s purpose is to foster awareness and provide access to prevention, support, and training resources while developing strategic partnerships to further our efforts,” explains Sarah Plater Findlay, Grain Farmers of Ontario’s human resources consultant. One of those partnerships (which also involved other farming associations and government) supported the creation of a critical recent study called ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms: Exploring the Connection between Mental Health and Farm Business Management’ by Farm Management Canada (FMC).
Preventing foreign animal diseases, addressing a shortage of agricultural workers and reauthorizing a livestock price reporting law are the primary issues on which pork producers will lobby their congressional lawmakers over the next two days, during the fall Capitol Hill fly-in of the National Pork Producers Council. More than 100 producers from across the country are expected to participate virtually in NPPC’s Legislative Action Conference. “These are critical but by no means the only issues of concern to U.S. pork producers,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Failure to address even one of these matters could make it very difficult for hog farmers to continue producing safe, nutritious pork for consumers around the globe. Our fly-in is an opportunity for producers to urge Congress to take action on important issues.”