24 per cent of farmers lobby politicians
By Crispin Colvin, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture Regular grassroots input from Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) members guides the direction of many of our organization’s priorities and policies, and most importantly member feedback strengthens OFA’s advocacy work.
A recent survey asked OFA members for input on some key issues our Policy Advisory Council (PAC) is addressing. We asked members for feedback on fuel taxes, the upcoming provincial election and new restrictions on veterinary medicine use. Consulting with members is another way to help PAC focus on issues that are relevant and timely for Ontario farm businesses.
More than 1,100 members took the online survey. The full results will be discussed at the April PAC meetings, and these are some of the highlights.
-- More than 80 per cent of survey respondents use coloured diesel on their farms.
-- More than 50 per cent believe the price of coloured diesel is reasonable when compared to clear diesel after accounting for additional handling costs.
-- 24 per cent of survey respondents attend events to speak to local provincial election candidates to advocate for agriculture.
-- More than 50 per cent of survey respondents have an existing veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
-- More than 10 per cent of survey respondents live at least 50 kilometres from their local veterinarian.
OAC is an elected group that includes representatives from every county and every OFA agricultural organization member in Ontario. The group meets up to four times a year to help guide OFA’s policy and program development. The survey results will be reviewed and discussed as they relate to proposed regulatory changes that could impact Ontario farmers.