By John Clement
April 22, 2011
Public policy development and advocacy is slow and steady work. It can take years for a good idea to move from conception to adoption on a wide scale, if it happens at all. Those who work for groups advocating proactive options realize that public policy development is more like a marathon than a sprint.
There are no shortages of challenges within agriculture. Developing and maintaining an agricultural system that offers optimum amounts of stability, security and room for entrepreneurship remains an ongoing task. Added to this are relatively new challenges related to green energy, endangered species, climate change and other growing societal concerns. And none of the conversations regarding these subjects are done in a short timeframe or with just a few players.
Creating even greater complexity within these challenges is the dynamic nature of farming itself. Weather patterns, new technology, husbandry practices, trading patterns and generational expectations all play a role in creating constant change. It takes strong motivation to keep plugging away at developing and promoting new ideas when it seems like the challenges are too numerous and too complex.
For members of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, Easter weekend gives additional motivation to stick with the long task of developing and advocating new options. Christians confess that God took upon himself the worst the world has to offer and came out of it victorious. And they also confess that God is renewing the world as a result of the Easter event, whispering to people that things can be done in a better way. This renewing also applies to farming.
From my perspective, we need to pay heed to those whispers of motivation that come our way. Easter weekend proclaims that a new era has begun and that we can participate in creating a renewed world that allows us to be a blessing to each other. Whatever your perspective on such matters, I wish all listeners and readers a great Easter weekend and hope that the spirit of renewal motivates you in the coming spring season.
John Clement is the General Manager of 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. It is also archived on the CFFO website: www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.
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