Support for northern Ontario farmers ripples through the province

Ontario’s farming community is keeping an eye on what is happening in northwestern Ontario.

Ongoing drought conditions have decimated crops in the region that stretches through Thunder Bay and up through Kenora and Rainy River.

The Ontario government is is launching its AgriRecovery program to support producers.

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister, Lisa Thompson, says AgriRecovery support is crucial to help farmers recover. And while action was taken earlier this summer to provide immediate and urgent assistance, the program is now in place to provide more stability.

The AgriRecovery plan is a federal-provincial-territorial relief framework to help agricultural producers with the extraordinary costs associated with recovering from natural disasters.

Eligible costs will be supported on the 60-40 cost-shared federal-provincial basis outlined under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The Province is providing up to $5 million to help farmers with the cost of caring for their animals now and through the winter. This investment builds on the previously announced $2 million in provincial support for the Northwestern Livestock Emergency Assistance Initiative which provided assistance for emergency feed, water and fencing.

In a released statement, Rob Lipsett, president of the Beef Farmers of Ontario, says the organization is also pleased about the launch of the Canada-Ontario Transported Feed AgriRecovery Initiative, in order to support livestock producers in the northwest as they manage through one of the worst droughts in recent memory.

There are also mental health supports for farmers across the province 24/7 through Ontario 211 and the Ontario Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600.