Buffalo roam on QEW
October 8, 2015 - Three buffalo escaped from a farm and were roaming on the Queen Elizabeth highway near Niagara Falls this week.
One animal died after being hit by two cars; the drivers suffered minor injuries.
Perhaps the buffalo, which had been roaming for several days, were trying to make their way across the river to Buffalo, New York, where there are statues of several buffalo in a highway cloverleaf.
OVC launches mental health survey
October 8, 2015 - Ontario Veterinary College hopes to attract 1,000 farmers to respond to an online survey about their mental health.
Andria Jones-Bitton, one of the researchers on the project, told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's The Morning Edition they're hoping to get a sense of how agricultural producers are dealing with depression and anxiety, because mental health is not something farmers are eager to talk about.
“We know that mental health is stigmatized in much of our population," she said.
"Fortunately, that is getting better. But that might not be the case in some of our agricultural communities. It would appear that some people look upon depression and anxiety as problems associated with having a poor worth ethic."
Jones-Bitton says results from the survey will help researchers develop programs to support farmers.
She says farmers face issues such as significant debt and are “heavily dependent on things that are largely out of their control. So, if you consider things like weather or changing government climates - all of these can add significant stresses as well."
The survey closes in early November.
Chicken farmers more than double entrant program
October 8, 2015 - The Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board has more than doubled its new entrant program to allow up to five producers per year and 50,000 units of quota.
The current program, in place for three years, limits new entrants to two per year and 20,000 units of quota.
“Our goal is to ensure that new farmers are welcomed into the Ontario chicken industry,” said board chairman Henry Zantingh.
“The success of the program in attracting applications from so many qualified men and women in farming convinced us that the program should be expanded even further,” he said.
“The program enhancements being announced today will ensure that the ongoing need for opportunities for young farmers continues to be addressed and that these farmers have a full range of avenues of entry into the Ontario chicken industry,” said Rob Dougans, the board’s president and chief executive officer.
CFA sees positives in trade deal
October 6, 2015 - With the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is carefully reviewing the details of the deal to better understand the varied outcomes for Canadian farmers.
CFA and its members have remained steadfast in their position regarding the importance for Canada to be an active participant in this monumental trade agreement in order to ensure Canadian farmers have the market certainty they need and deserve going into the future.
For a number of export-oriented farmers, such as beef and pork producers, the deal will result in equal access to TPP markets in particular Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia, placing Canadian producers on equal footing with their American and Australian counterparts. For others, such as sugar beet producers, the deal fell short in securing the increased market access necessary into the United States to allow sugar beet growers to move confidently ahead in the future with their domestic production.
"The Japanese market alone offers huge potential for our beef and pork producers," noted Ron Bonnett, CFA President. "With our reputation for producing high products, Canadian farmers should be able to make substantial inroads into the Pacific Rim markets."
The trade agreement will also introduce market access concessions to the Canadian dairy, poultry and egg industries, which will be required to allow an additional 2% to 3.2% of imports into the Canadian market.
"Certainly increased foreign access to our dairy, poultry and egg sectors was not the desired outcome in these negotiations, but we are encouraged to see the Canadian government has taken steps in announcing programs aimed at mitigating the negative repercussions to producers by means of compensation," explained Bonnett.
CFA encourages Canada's new Parliament following the October 19 election to carefully review the deal and its merits along with the commitments to assist those sectors negatively impacted.
Pork Council gives the deal thumbs up
October 6, 2015 - “While we look forward to seeing additional details in texts that become available in coming days, based on what was announced today, the CPC strongly supports Canada participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, Rick Bergmann, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council, said today in a press release.
Bergmann cited several reasons for the CPC to welcome the deal:
• The Trans-Pacific Partnership provides Canada with preferential access to a group of countries accounting for roughly 40% of the world economy.
• It secures Canada’s ability to export pork to Japan, one of our most important markets to which we sell roughly a billion dollars of pork annually, on fully competitive terms with the United States and other TPP pork-exporting countries. “We learned only too well in the case of South Korea how being the only major exporter without a trade agreement results in very rapid loss of market presence”, said Mr. Bergmann, who farms in Steinbach, Manitoba. “We saw our exports to that country fall by close to 75% within just two years following the implementation of the U.S. free trade agreement with South Korea.”
• The deal will provide Canadian pork exporters with important competitive advantages relative to non-TPP countries for selling into Japan.
• The Trans-Pacific Partnership achieves significantly improved terms of access into countries within the TPP other than Japan, such as Vietnam whose population is approaching 90 million inhabitants and whose preferred meat, by far, is pork. Malaysia is another TPP partner offering significant potential for increased Canadian pork sales.
• As a founding member of the TPP, Canada will be in a position to negotiate terms of entry of other countries seeking to join the deal, such as South Korea, Philippines and Thailand.
Bergmann added: “The TPP agreement provides important export growth potential which will encourage Canada’s 7,000 pork farmers to invest in their production facilities and to create new job opportunities for Canadians both on and off the farm”.