OFA Expresses Concerns About Closures

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is voicing concerns about the University of Guelph’s decision to close two campus’ that have an agricultural base.

Last week, the university announced the closings of Kemptville and Alfred, both near Ottawa, due to declining enrollment.

In her weekly report, OFA Director Eleanor Renaud, says it sets a dangerous precedent.

“The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is deeply disappointed in the University of Guelph’s decision, which we feel is inconsistent with its mission to serve society, and to recognize agriculture and veterinary medicine as areas of special responsibility,” says Renaud.  “But eastern Ontario isn’t the only region troubled by this announcement.  Agricultural colleges such as Kemptville and Alfred have produced knowledgeable managers and skilled farm workers critical to the future success of Ontario’s entire agri-food sector.  Their absence will leave a significant gap for our industry that offers among the highest employability rates in Canada, with three jobs waiting for every agriculture graduate in Ontario alone.”

The OFA says agriculture is a fiercely progressive industry and skills are in demand.