Sunday, September 23, 2018

Chicken farmers take donation lead

Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) is taking the lead in donating to the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB).

“We’re pleased to have CFO as our leadership sponsor for Hunger Action Month,” said Carolyn Stewart, executive director for the OAFB. 

“The collaboration between our association and Chicken Farmers of Ontario has proven to be a real success. Together, we have worked to provide over one million chicken meals, and this is also significant because we know that fresh protein is what our food banks need the most.”

The CFO Cares program, begun in 2015, enables chicken farmers to donate fresh chicken to food banks in their local communities and across the province. 

“To me, it’s simple,” said Murray Opsteen, a CFO director and chairman of the CFO Cares Volunteer Working Group. 

“We’re farmers and our livelihood is wrapped-up in growing fresh food for people to eat. All Ontarians should have access to the chicken that we grow, and the CFO Cares program ensures that our chicken lands on plates of the people who need it the most.”

Friday, September 21, 2018

Pork farmers donate to food banks

Ontario’s hog farmers have donated 924 cases of fresh pork to Ontario food banks. 

The program began decades ago when hog prices plunged so low that hog farmers were in desperate straits and Lynn Girty of Blenheim decided to publicize their plight by donating to food banks.

Others joined in and a few years later the Ontario Pork marketing board took over organization of the donations.

Farmers donate their hogs, truckers donate transportation and meat packers donate slaughter and processing.

Tories move to scrap Liberal energy program

The Doug Ford government is introducing legislation to scrap the controversial and expensive Liberal Green Energy program.

The plan promoted wind and solar energy by offering lucrative 20-year contracts to those who installed the equipment. Many farmers installed solar panels, but many rural residents were angered by construction of wind turbines near their homes.

There was also widespread rural anger over the province’s refusal to allow municipalities a say in where wind farms could be located.

The program attracted so many investors that the cost of Ontario electricity rose sharply.

Ford said “the Green Energy Act represents the largest transfer of money from the poor and middle class to the rich in Ontario’s history.

“Well-connected energy insiders made fortunes putting up wind farms and solar farms that gouge hydro consumers in order to generate electricity that Ontario doesn’t need.  

‘Today I am proud to say that the party with the taxpayers’ money is over.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Vantage Foods licence suspended

Vantage Foods Inc. of Belleville has flunked Canadian Food Inspection Agency standards.

Its licence has been suspended until it comes up to snuff.

The CFIA says there are no product recalls involved in this licence suspension.

It did not give details in its online notice abouty what led to the suspension.

Florence toll tallied

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is estimating preliminary livestock losses – from the storm making landfall and subsequent flooding – at 3.4 million poultry and 5,500 hogs. 

Officials at the agency called hurricane Florence “an unprecedented storm” that affected the top six agricultural counties in the state. Florence covered the same areas hit by Matthew in 2016 and has done more damage.

The council also updated the number of swine lagoons affected by Florenceto four suffering structural damage and 13 discharging material as floodwater seeped in. 

A total of 55 of the state’s 3,300 swine lagoons were at three inches or less from overtopping from floodwater as of Sept. 18, the council said.

So much for the Polyanna statement issued earlier by the North Carolina Pork Producers Association.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

RAWF to educate city folk about farming

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is going to put the emphasis on educating the urban public about agriculture this year.

“Get Agricultured hits at the core of our original mandate established almost 100 years ago,” said Charlie Johnstone, chief executive officer of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair since 2015. 

“Everybody has an interest in gaining knowledge on food, agriculture and the richness of our environment, as well as the role these play in our lives,” he said.

“In many ways, The Royal is more relevant today than it’s ever been. Most importantly, it continues to offer education in one of the most memorable and enjoyable ways – through experience,” Johnstone said.

Burnbrae Farms is sponsoring a new culinary academy, there is a new Country Music Culinary Festival and a competition for craft beers and cider.

What remains the same are competitions to judge the best livestock, poultry, fruits and vegetables and the horse shows.

Ford promises natural gas for rural Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford used opening day of the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo to announce the government’s plans to introduce a new Access to Natural Gas Act that would encourage partnerships between private gas distributors and communities to develop projects that expand access to natural gas. 

If the new legislation is passed, the Ontario government says it will work with the Ontario Energy Board to develop regulations to enable the program this fall.

“We have been pushing for the need for more widespread, affordable natural gas energy across rural Ontario, so this is encouraging news for the agricultural community,” said Keith Currie, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

“Energy is one of the largest inputs on farms, and we need access to natural gas to help boost the competitiveness of rural Ontario communities, businesses and farms,” said Currie. 

“And natural gas is the single most important investment that will deliver a competitive edge to continue to drive growth in rural Ontario.”