OFA glad agriculture has deserved role in election

    GUELPH, ON, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA)
greeted the Liberal federal election announcement today with optimism.
    The proposed agriculture platform makes it possible for federal dollars
to be used to fully fund Ontario's Risk Management Program and provide the
funding base for the Agri-Flex proposal.
    Promising to invest $1.2 billion over the next four years in on-farm
environmental solutions and regionally flexible safety nets would start to
address farmers' needs for reliable and bankable solutions.
    "The liberals have set a promising precedent today and we (OFA) hope to
see more response to agriculture in all party platforms, says Geri Kamenz,
President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
    When competing in a global economy, farmers need support programs that
respond in a predictable and timely manner. The sustainability of the farm
sector and rural Ontario's economy depends on committed resources that meet
regional needs,' says Kamenz.
    As the second largest industry and economic contributor as well as the
third largest employer in Ontario, OFA has been waiting for agriculture to
take its proper place as an important election issue. Strong rural communities
are critical to a healthy Canadian economy.
    Farmers contribute more to society than safe high-quality food.
Governments are starting to recognize the solutions farmers have to offer such
as: environmental stewardship, supplying energy to the grid, habitat
protection and sustainable local food systems.
    "Knowing farmers can: contribute to renewable energy; supply local food;
reduce carbon emissions; and help maintain a strong economy including job
creation, should make agricultural partnerships a top priority for all parties
this election," says Kamenz.

    The Ontario Federation of Agriculture will work collaboratively towards a
    profitable, sustainable future for Ontario farmers.

For further information:

For further information: Geri Kamenz, President, (613) 720-2435; Bette
Jean Crews, Vice President, (613) 921-0597; Don McCabe, Vice President (519)

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