CFFO: 2016 Christmas Reflection

By Paul Bootsma

Ontario agriculture has another year under its belt. A year that may be remembered more for what happened internationally than at home. Trade was a big discussion this year because of the TPP and the US elections. Canada exports a significant amount of agricultural product each year so when there are trade discussions occurring, agriculture has a significant impact on those discussions.

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The crop yields of 2016 will be remembered as a surprise, since this was a very dry growing season for most of the province. Some areas received very little moisture over this period and did see poor results. However many are pleased with the yields that came considering the lack of rain. There were even areas that set record yields, especially for winter wheat.

An ongoing issue in Ontario is the cost of energy. Agriculture as an industry uses a lot of energy from various sources annually, at times during extreme strenuous situations. This cost continually increases the cost of production and has become a major concern for our members. We continually encourage the government to administer this fairly to the food producing industry of the province.

Earlier this year the CFFO sent a lengthy letter to all the MPs in Ontario in response to Bill C 246, a bill that proposed changes to animal protections. Although there were a few issues that we could support, overall we strongly opposed the passing of this bill and strongly encouraged the MPs to vote against it. The bill at its core would change the way we view animals, a view that is against our Christian principles. Thankfully this bill was defeated in parliament.

The CFFO was busy again this past year with each district hosting an annual meeting. Over the summer 12 districts hosted summer picnics and three hosted a Young Farmers Event, which made for a lot of barbequing for us. Thunder Bay and Rainy River picnics were joined by CFFO president Clarence Nywening and his wife Pat, along with CFFO staff Paul Bootsma and his wife Hetty. These picnics are always an enjoyable time to come out for an evening of social visiting with our neighbouring farmers.

As we look back on another year that has gone by, we are thankful for the blessing given to us, as families, farm businesses and individuals. We look forward to another year of opportunity in 2017. At the same time, we extend our Christian sympathies to those who have lost loved ones this past year. We pray for the Lord’s strength and comfort as you adjust to such a change in life.

We are thankful for the love of our Saviour whose birth we celebrate at this time of year.

On behalf of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, a blessed Christmas to all our members and friends.