EVERY MONTH, I use this column to share with you my thoughts on issues affecting the agriculture industry. Over the past year, I’ve discussed taxes, relationships with our elected officials, trade negotiations, national partnerships, environmental policy, grain quality concerns, and the need for government support to ensure a strong future for agricultural growth. I believe these are important issues.
But these are just my opinions.
In January — it’s your opportunity to share with your director or staff from Grain Farmers of Ontario what your opinion is on the issues that affect your farming operations.
Annual District Grain Committee Meetings are open to all barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers in Ontario. Your local delegates, your district director, and an executive member of the Board of Directors will be there to engage in conversation. Senior staff will also be present at your meeting to explain the work each department has been doing over the past year. I encourage you to use this opportunity to provide your input. As an organization we are only relevant if we represent the needs of our farmer-members and we can’t properly do that unless we get your input.
So what’s your concern? Are you confused about the recent changes to the tax system? Are policy changes related to Business Risk Management on your radar? Are conversations with your non-farming neighbours and your children’s teachers making you think twice about the perception of agriculture? Are you thinking about how you can improve your bottom line while implementing new sustainable agriculture practices? Or are you just worried about keeping the lights on?
I want to hear from you.
I know it isn’t always easy to talk about a problem, to raise a concern, to voice a counter opinion — but it’s important for you to do so. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small acre producer or if your farm is of significant size; the opinion of every farmer-member counts. Your vote in your district election counts.
Included in the GFO Newsletter section of this magazine is a listing of when and where all 15 district meetings will be held in January. Rip it out and put it on your fridge, enter your meeting information into your smartphone, mark the date on your calendar – plan to attend and plan to get involved. •