GUELPH, ON (September 20, 2012) – The 50 percent increase to non-business risk management program funding announced by Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz, is good news for Ontario’s grain farmers. Grain Farmers of Ontario has some key opportunities for the next policy framework and the increase to funding will be required to meet our goals.
With innovation, competitiveness and market development as the overarching themes in Growing Forward 2, there are a number of opportunities in Ontario to address them. These include investments in Ontario grain farming through science programs like the Farm Innovation Program (FIP), the Developing Innovative Agri Products (DIAP) program and the Science Clusters and market development programs like the Environmental Farm Plan and the Agri-Tech Commercialization Centre.
“Our board has set the bar high – to drive the Ontario grain industry to become a global leader,” says chair, Henry Van Ankum. “Our members are well positioned for success but we can only achieve our goals through collaboration with government and industry.”
There are three federal programs that will be extremely important to the competitiveness of Grain Farmers of Ontario members in Growing Forward 2 – the FIP, the DIAP program and the Science Clusters.
Grain Farmers of Ontario is also supportive of the work the federal and provincial governments have been doing to encourage market growth domestically and internationally through examples like biofuels mandates and free trade negotiations with strategic countries around the world.
“As the details of the non-BRM programs in Growing Forward 2 are worked through in the next couple of months, this is a critical time for GFO to be working with government to communicate our farmers’ needs,” says Barry Senft, CEO. “Our priority is greater access to programs for Ontario’s grain farmers in order to attain the research and market development priorities that have been set by our members.”
Grain Farmers of Ontario
Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.