CFFO Commentary

Protecting Farm Viability in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

I remember my surprise when I heard at a conference on food that you can see most of Ontario’s best farmland from the top of the CN Tower. Certainly our valuable farmland extends beyond the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, but much of our productive farmland is within this region, including two provincially significant specialty crop…

Fort McMurray Fire

The out-of-control forest fire around Fort McMurray, Alberta is a natural calamity that reminds us that some things are beyond our control. To see so many homes burned and such a large area of forest destroyed touches the spirit of everyone. The quick response in assisting people from Fort McMurray shows the national goodwill of…

GM Alfalfa

Over the past few decades genetically modified (GM) seeds have become a major part of the farming industry. These seeds have helped to produce higher yields and better plant health. Although the benefits of GM seeds are great, there is still call to use discernment when assessing their value in certain crops. In the past…

The Future of Protein in Agriculture

Last Thursday, May 5th, I attended a symposium hosted by the Ontario Climate Consortium entitled “Climate Resilient Food Systems in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region.” Despite its title, the conference in fact looked more broadly at the food system in Ontario and globally. Policy makers are looking to agriculture to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions…

maple syrup

Maple Syrup season

Our Ontario maple syrup season has come to an end in most regions. We have had an excellent season across Ontario, and maple syrup farmers have had a busy time keeping up with processing all the sap. According to the Ontario Maple Syrup Production Report, “storage has reached capacity at many syrup operations this year.”…

Farm Diversity in Ontario

The diversity in Ontario Agriculture and the different regions of the province can make legislation less beneficial for some of Ontario’s farmers. This became apparent as CFFO staff traveled the province during our 2016 Policy Tour, meeting in each of the federation’s 21 districts. Travelling through the province, one sees the beauty of creation regardless…

National Soil Conservation Week

Today is the final day of National Soil Conservation Week. While soil stewardship is important all year round it is helpful to have a week to put soil in the limelight. Soil health plays a vital role in the quality of our food, but also of our water and air. Soil Conservation Week is promoted…

Protecting Farmland – Ontario Farmland Trust

Land use policy, especially as it relates to farmland, is coming under greater scrutiny as Ontario continues to grow, and our urban areas continue to expand. Two speakers at the CFFO March Provincial Council meeting focused on the issue of farmland policy, each from a different perspective. We had presentations from FarmStart, an organization helping…

FarmStart

New farmers face many challenges as they attempt to get established in the business of farming. This is the second of two commentaries focusing on new farmers. Last week’s commentary examined the issues of farm size and financial risk from the perspective of starting farmers. This week’s commentary looks at land use policy relating to…

Challenges for New Farmers

New farmers face many challenges as they attempt to get established in the business of farming. This is the first of two commentaries focusing on new farmers. Next week’s commentary will discuss FarmStart, an organization helping new farmers. This week’s commentary challenges us to think about farms size and financial risk from the perspective of…