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BCAC's AGM was held on April 10, 2013. We had an excellent representation from our members who participated. We said goodbye to board members Ken Vandeburgt and Tony Van Oort, but as BCAC Chair Rhonda Driediger said, "This is not goodbye because as leaders in your industry, our paths will be crossing again." We welcome new board members Lorne Hunter representing dairy, Stan Vander Waal representing floriculture and Fred Wein representing landscape horticulture.
When ministers hear different messages from different representations of the same industry, it not only creates confusion but also undermines the efforts of the entire sector, according to Mr. Corky Evans, a former BC Minister of Agriculture. Mr. Evans says that it is important to have one unified voice representing agriculture, finding common ground on key issues. He encouraged farmers and ranchers in BC to be active during the upcoming election campaigns, challenging the industry to make sure that every candidate remembers the face of at least one farmer. “When political leaders make decisions, often all they have briefing notes, which don’t tell the whole story. They want to hear directly from farmers so that they are aware of any unintended consequences of their decisions.”
Mr. Evans was speaking at a session titled “In your best interest: building effective government relations” organized by the The Centre for Organizational Governance (COGA) in Agriculture. The event was held on March 1, 2013 in Langley BC.
Other presenters included Mary Carlson, Deputy Registrar, BC Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists, Laurie Throness, and former federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Chuck Strahl.
The next set of COGA programs will begin in the Fall 2013. Click here for more information about COGA.
Over the years, and especially in the past few months, we have heard reports in the news and by those outside of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) membership that accuse the CFA of being a supply-managed organization. Others argue we place too much emphasis on trade, while some question if our focus is too central Canada, western grain or remote rural-centric.
To those accusations of who we are - I proudly answer an emphatic 'YES' - to all of the above. CFA is an organization that is supportive and proud of supply management and all orderly marketing tools, and the role they play in securing producer returns. CFA is an organization focused on exports - proud of the high quality products Canada sells internationally through its grains, oilseeds, sugar beets, horticulture and livestock members - at the CFA table directly or within each of our provincial general farm organizations. And yes, CFA is focused on the issues of central Canada, western Canada, eastern Canada and the remote areas in between.
CFA is Canada's largest national general farm organization. As such, we appreciate that not every issue will impact everyone at CFA directly or equally. But in 1935, the CFA was formed to provide a strong, collective voice for farmers - to work for the betterment of all farmers - to improve the socio-economic situation of all farmers. And some 78 years later, that objective has not changed. It is an objective that is obtained through a variety of initiatives - initiatives on a broad spectrum of files that have a direct impact to the bottom line of our members and every Canadian farmer. These include work not just on trade - which is key - but on other areas that impact farmers directly, like the owner use pesticide program, species at risk, business risk management tools, crop insurance, taxation issues, water use, climate change, regulatory reform, food safety and farm safety to name but a few.
Our objective is to ensure the sector as a whole is profitable and viable not just today but for the long-term, and that we at CFA strive to make that happen not on the backs or expense of others in the industry, but collectively and by working in partnership along the entire food supply chain. We do it by working with not only Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, but with Health Canada, Environment Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Industry Canada - and our provincial members help to strengthen that approach by working in collaboration with their respective provincial ministries to bring a common vision and hopefully approach to agriculture in this country.
So, if working for the betterment of the entire agri-food sector is a fault - if understanding the complex inter-relationships between commodities, sectors and regions is wrong - then we are guilty and happily so - but at CFA, we will not be convinced that alone you can be stronger than working collaboratively together.
21 rue Florence St., Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 0W6 · Tel. 613-236-3633 · Fax/Téléc. 613-236-5749 · www.cfa-fca.ca
For more about the CFA, read the report on CFA's 2013 AGM prepared by BCAC Director Dennis Lapierre.
New ways for securing agricultural water are being suggested and you can give your input on what is important to you!
Simon Fraser University – with steering from Denise Neilsen, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Ted Van der Gulik, BC Ministry of Agriculture, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, and many from BC’s agricultural and water community – is currently conducting a study on agricultural water use in British Columbia.
We need your input!
Already many agricultural groups are providing a wide variety of thoughts on agricultural water reserves, investing in new water supplies, and how water could be managed in times of short supply. But we need your help to ensure that results represent the diversity of farming operations in BC.
We encourage you to take part in this important study to share your opinions on ways to secure agricultural water and to help inform future water policies. Now is a good time to give your input before BC considers finalizing its water act modernization process.
You can give your input.
To take part in this short survey and give your input, go to http://www.watersurvey.rem.sfu.ca.
As a small thank you by the research team; everyone who completes the survey is eligible for a private drawing to win 1 of 3 $100 visa gift cards.
Your participation in this survey is voluntary, and your answers will be treated confidentially and anonymously. A summary of results will be made publically available and distributed to BC’s agricultural community.
For more information about the study or survey, please contact the project investigator, Steve Conrad, Simon Fraser University, at (604) 649-6746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canada and B.C. Ministers of Agriculture announce signing of the Growing Forward 2 program details for the agriculture and agrifood sector in British Columbia. Specific program information will be available as details are finalized and legal agreements are signed.
Some agriculture highlights of the 2013 Federal Budget include:
Increase of $50,000 to Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption - will help farmers manage the tax burden associated with the transfer of farm assets.
Increase restricted farm losses from $8,750 to $17,500
Increasing investment in Genome Canada, supporting agriculture innovation and research.
Continued support for Beyond the Border and work to reducing trade barriers between Canada and the US.
Incentives for clean energy generation equipment and technology development