Hearing the voice of Ontario farmers

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The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is pleased to work with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to ensure an agricultural voice is part of the province’s Conservation Authorities.

The provincial government is in the process of making appointments to the boards of directors that govern Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities, and the OFA thanks the Ministry for actively seeking representatives and advocates from the farming community.

“Ontario’s farmers are stewards of the land, protecting the most important natural resources we have — arable land with healthy soils, fresh air and clean sources of water,” says Peggy Brekveld, President of the OFA. “The very nature of farming depends on it. That is why we farm with generations in mind. We want our grandchildren to feed your grandchildren. That is why it is important that we care for the land, water and air, and that’s why it’s important that we be at the table with the Conservation Authorities.”

Postings for positions on the Conservation Authority boards are now live on the government’s website. They can be accessed at www.pas.gov.on.ca/Home/Advertised-positions.

Applications will be received until February 18th.

The Ministry is seeking active farmers who are passionate about agriculture and the environment and who are looking to represent and advocate for the agricultural community on their area local conservation authority board.

“Farmers, rural property owners and other members of the agricultural community have an interest in the health and sustainability of the resources that support the agricultural sector, and are the best stewards of our environment,” says David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Their valuable perspectives will provide an important component to the work conservation authorities do to protect Ontario’s land and water.”

The majority of OFA’s 38,000 farm family members live and farm under one or more Conservation Authorities.

As people who work the land, farmers can provide a unique perspective on mandatory core programs and services Conservation Authorities are required to deliver, and non-mandatory programs and services Conservation Authorities deliver for municipalities.

“Nearly every director of the OFA is interested in serving o their local conservation authority board,” says Peggy. “Farmers are well-positioned to support smart watershed management practices and provide a perspective on the important relationship between the province’s natural areas and the land where we grow our food, fuel, fibre and flowers.

“Thank you to the Ministry and Minister David Piccini for working with us and understanding the importance of the voice of the farmer in the conservation and preservation of Ontario’s valuable natural areas.”

Join the conversation on Twitter @OntarioFarms and Facebook /ontariofarms.

For more information, contact:

Tyler Brooks
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883 ext. 218
tyler.brooks@ofa.on.ca