Recently released government data paint a grim picture of the economic challenges faced by Ontario farmers

Here’s an excerpt from a recent letter to the editor of the Owen Sound Sun Times from Bette Jean Crews, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture:

Bette Jean Crews, OFA president

“Last week the federal government released farm income forecasts by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Ontario farmers, rural residents and all Ontario consumers should be very concerned with what is happening on our farms and to the sustainability of our local food supply.

The data paints a grim picture for Canadian farmers and Ontario family farms in particular. The 2009 total net income for Ontario farms was a loss of 330 million dollars. The forecast for 2010 shows a loss of a further half billion dollars. This will seriously impact our future food supply.

The Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition (OASC) has been telling our governments that Ontario farming is in crisis and at a crossroads. Our governments can no longer ignore this message — they need to act now to sustain Ontario family farms and our local food system.

Our coalition of livestock, horticulture and grain farmers has developed practical and bankable programs to address the short-term needs and long-term sustainability of our farms. These programs need to be implemented now….”

Read the whole letter on the Owen Sound Sun Times.

Picture of Bette Jean Crews from Ontario Federation of Agriculture website.

One wonders… why couldn’t local, farm-scale, raw milk dairies be part of the solution to this pressing problem?

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