Farm groups laud government fee hike

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Christian Farmers Federa­tion of Ontario appreciate the work of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs in securing the fee in­crease requested through the Farm Business Registration process for the province’s Gen­eral Farm Organizations.

“This will make it possible for the OFA to continue to work effectively on behalf of Ontario farm families,” said OFA presi­dent Bette Jean Crews.

CFFO president Henry Ste­vens said, “It is vitally impor­tant for farmers to have prop­erly funded organizations that work for the betterment of both family farms and the rural com­munity.”

The original fee of $150 was set when the legislation calling for a farm business registration fee to fund Ontario’s three Gen­­eral Farm Organi­zations was approved in 1993. Those have seen signi­ficant operation cost increases since that time and more com­plex issues to be addressed on behalf of Ontario farmers.

Farmers responded when OMAFRA asked for an indication of support for a fee in­crease. About 80% said that they supported the proposed in­crease to $195 a year.

What that increase, OFA and CFFO will be able to work on such things as additional sav­ings on energy costs for farmers, improved safety nets for farmers, more farmer rev­en­ue opportunities with the Green Energy Act, tax savings, and expanded product and service partnerships providing farmer discounts.