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Farmers Set Priorities To Build Resilient Industry

Published: March 13, 2018 12:36 pm ET

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International trade, transportation, climate change, mental health and government programs emerged as priorities during the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) 2018 Annual General Meeting, held in Ottawa last week.

Standardbred Canada and other CFA members heard keynote speeches and participated in discussions centred on the theme ‘Partnering for Success.’

"Farmers in all parts of Canada recognize that by building on each other's strengths, we can not only meet the challenges we face today, but lay the foundation for an even more resilient sector going forward," said Ron Bonnett, CFA President.

During his opening keynote, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay highlighted the productive relationship between farm organizations and governments, particularly on rapidly evolving issues such as international trade. He also spoke about new programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and current research initiatives. Farm leaders also heard from Agriculture and Agri-Food Deputy Minister Chris Forbes, who gave an update of the Business Risk Management programs review process.

Delegates received an overview of international trade negotiations from Frédéric Seppey, Canada's Chief Agricultural Negotiator, and explored economic opportunities during a panel discussion.

CFA members passed 42 resolutions that will guide its advocacy efforts in the coming year. This year's resolutions cover a range of areas, including: trade, business risk management, tax policy, sustainability, labour, animal health, rural infrastructure and other topics.

Among the other AGM speakers were John Barlow and Luc Berthold, the Conservative party agriculture critics; and Alistair MacGregor, the NDP's agriculture critic.

In a special session prior to the AGM, CFA held a symposium on mental health in agriculture. Attendees heard from farmers, health and safety experts and leaders from several organizations that offer mental health support to agricultural communities.

(With files from the CFA)

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