Protecting Ontario's Family Farms
New Risk Management Programs Biggest Policy Change In 30 Years
Ontario's family farms can now count on stable financial support to weather unpredictable times so Ontarians can keep enjoying healthy, locally grown food.
Premier Dalton McGuinty highlighted Ontario's new risk management programs and thanked farmers for their creativity and innovation today at the annual Summit on Agri-Food.
Ontarians are eating more of the healthy food grown by Ontario farmers, processed in the province and sold by local retailers. When the province's family farms thrive, Ontarians taste it at the dinner table.
Risk management programs support farmers when prices for their products fluctuate due to unpredictable factors such as weather and global market changes. The province will introduce new risk management programs for cattle, hog and sheep farmers and will be making the risk management program for grain and oilseed farmers permanent.
A separate Self-Directed Risk Management program for fruit and vegetable famers is also being set up.
The Premier also presented one of the two top awards for Agri-food Innovation Excellence.
- Paul and Rosie Hill of Willowgrove Hill received the Premier's Award for producing DHA Omega-3 enriched pork. They are the first pork producers in North America to do this.
- Arie and Lisa Duizer of Duizer Farms received the Minister's Award for the innovative design of their robotic dairy barn.
Fifty-five other winners will be awarded for their work at regional ceremonies later this spring.
- The Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence has attracted more than 900 applications highlighting on-farm innovations since 2006.
- Since 2003-4, more than $1.9 billion in farm income stabilization programs have helped farmers deal with bad weather, volatile prices and rising costs.
- Ontario's agri-food sector is one of the province's leading industries, contributing more than $33 billion annually to the economy.
“Farmers have always been there for Ontario, so we need to be there for farmers. That's why we've made the single biggest commitment to the family farm in 30 years. The new risk management programs will help our farmers and their families stay strong.”
“Ontarians count on our farmers. They deliver the high-quality food that we've all come to expect, and they should be able to count on us. We're supporting innovation and programs that will give our farmers the predictability, bankability and stability they need to stay on the land and continue to provide us with the good things that grow in Ontario.”