24 per cent of farm­ers lobby politi­cians

The Glengarry News - - Sport in the Glens -

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.

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