Growing forward to CAP: Building on success

Ontario producers share their views on the new partnership

By Kaitlynn Anderson
Staff Writer
Better Farming

Farmers and other industry members are familiarizing themselves with the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), which came into effect earlier this month.

To understand how some farmers have reacted to the transition from the Growing Forward 2 framework, Better Farming reached out to two Ontario producers.

Specifically, we spoke with Joe Hill, who runs a feedlot and a crop operation with his family in Centre Wellington. Hill also serves as president of the Beef Farmers of Ontario.

We also interviewed Keith Currie, who is a hay and sweet corn farmer in the Collingwood area. He represents more than 37,000 farming families as president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).

Producers like Hill and Currie look forward to seeing what the new partnership can offer the industry.

Farmers across the province “are eagerly awaiting the details of the strategic initiatives portion of CAP,” Hill says.

hazelnuts
    Singh_Lens/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

Through these programs, beef farmers, for example, will be able to access funding to help lower the cost of food safety and environmental stewardship projects, he explains.

This funding is important for producers because they are unable to recover the associated costs for such initiatives from the marketplace, he adds.

While farmers eagerly anticipate the federally and provincially funded programs, they do have some worries.

“The Business Risk Management (BRM) funding … still needs some adjustments to ensure consistent risk mitigation across sectors,” Hill says. (The BRM suite includes AgriStability, AgiInvest and AgriRecovery.)

Currie, who has advocated for BRM program improvements, echoes Hill’s concern.

“There are many ways that the programming can be tweaked and enhanced to continue to help our industry,” he says. The application, for example, could be more user-friendly.

Beyond the BRM elements, the partnership is promising for the industry, Currie says.

“There is certainly a lot of research and innovation money available that, in the long term, is going to benefit agriculture and its future,” he says. “It will help make … our industry much stronger.”

CAP also aligns with the OFA’s vision of Producing Prosperity.

“The (OFA’s theme) is about economic development, which is not only for the farm,” Currie says. “It goes beyond the farm gates. CAP’s innovation and research part, in particular, is going to help support this.”

And Currie has some final words of advice for policy-makers.

“I’d like to encourage the federal government to continue to see how expanding CAP can help Canadian farmers,” he says. BF

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