GFO’S NEXT GOAL IS TO MAKE THIS EXTENSION FULLY FUNDED AND PERMANENT
grain farmers of ontario is very pleased with the recent announcement of the RMP pilot extension made by the province’s Minister of Agriculture, Carol Mitchell on July 30, 2010. The announcement is the result of hard work by both government and the Ontario Grains & Oilseeds group that represents our organization along with Seed Corn, Coloured Beans, White Beans and Canola.
However, the province has only funded the pilot program for one additional year and their commitment is only at the 40 percent level. Ontario Grains & Oilseeds has more work ahead to prove the value of this program to the province and turn the pilot into a permanent option for farmers. We will need every GFO member’s help to do this through enrollment in the program and positive backing of the program design. The government has to see this as a good investment that is supported by the agricultural community.
Along with Quebec, we also have the task of convincing the federal government that our provincial programs are responsible risk management tools used by successful farmers and that regional diversity in agriculture is what sustains this country and makes it great. We need the next generation of agriculture programs in Canada to encourage regional differences and re-build our farming communities through programs like RMP that create the stability that allows farmers to focus on innovation.
This next crop year will be busy and potentially very rewarding. We are preparing for two elections between now and the fall of 2011 – federal and provincial. There will be opportunities for our voices to be heard and our messages to get through. The time is now to be clear in what we are asking for and repeat ourselves often.
Step one was an extension of the pilot, but now our goal for GFO members is a fully funded permanent risk management program for farmers in Ontario. •