New general farm organization proposed

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A former National Farmers Union Ontario branch coordinator says several members are dissatisfied with the organization and want to forge a new one on their own


what will the new organization's position be in regards to wind turbines?

It will take years to get a new organization to get big enough,

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Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

[George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

half truth mixed with pencil shavings is no match in the long run

Democracy is a strange thing. No single party can please everyone so it's logical that you get multiple parties so that as many people as possible feel their views are being represented. But where do you draw the line? Nationally there are a surprising number of parties ranging from Libertarian to Communist with pro marijuana and a host of other small parties in between.

Farmers are independent strong willed people and we get frustrated when things don't go our way and the quickest way to fix things seems to be to start a new organization that expresses our views but when does this idea of many voices work against us?
We have one GFO that is opposed to GMOs and big agriculture and one that isn't. We have a Christian farm group so do we need an atheist's organization for balance? Do we have any Muslims, Buddhists, Jews or Sikhs farming in this province? If not we likely will in future. Once we finish with religion let's move to race so that Irish farmers can get equal exposure to Dutch ones. Grain growers don't always agree with livestock producers. Supply managed commodity's needs are different than free marketers'. Does each need their own GFO? What number of voices will strike the correct balance for Ontario farmers? Which number will adequately express the majority's views but not make farmers look like they need government to call all the shots (or just as bad ignore the issues) because farmers can't agree on anything? One thing is guaranteed-- if there are more than two members in any group you will never have a farm organization that pleases all farmers. I think the best group and the best leader is the one that encourages different views, and puts the focus on building consensus. How about having just one GFO?

"How about having just one GFO?"

The true power in agriculture is the individual farmer that
1. owns land
2. grows crops a/o raise stock

Maybe farmers just need to seriously think about NO GFO.

Every farmer that owns a piece of land has a contract with the Crown.

Maybe its time for the government to deal with each and every contract that is attached to the land.

Each contract is different.

Mr. McGivern appears to be a very capable farmer. We need more serious farmers representing farmers. Let's hope he continues to offer his time to our industry. I would be happier if he would try to work with one of the established GFOs. We need to devote all of our energy to developing a coordinated message.

Farm organization politics is kinda like municipal politics. It's a thankless job and even worse you are going to make enemies no matter what you do but it's a great thing when someone does it because they think they can make things better instead of making just their own situations better by getting a political appointment or other benefits.

There's no reason why a farmer can't be a member of more than one farm organization - McGivern has given me the first, and only, reason I've ever had to even consider joining more than one.

Reforming supply management is absolutely imperative, as all of my under-35 non-supply managed farm tax clients (and their fathers) keep telling me all the time. Even with just that message alone, this new organization could easily be (and should be) by far-and-away, the second-largest farm organization in Ontario.

In addition, McGivern's platform of eliminating direct-payment programs like RMP, and putting the money into community-based programs instead, has economic merit because of the tendency of RMP types of programs to be self-defeating by having the benefits be capitalized back into farm asset values.

Every other farm organization is a wholly-owned subsidiary of supply management, even though supply managed farmers represent only about 10% of all Canadian farmers - and any farm organization dedicated to rational expectations about supply management, and dedicated to proportionality in the way it represents the interests of farmers, would be a welcome, and long-overdue, change.

It wouldn't hurt me at all to see the CFFO, the NFU, and even the OFA, experience a well-deserved transfer of memberships in their organizations to a new organization not afraid to tackle the real issues of concern to the generation of farmers McGivern knows best - his own.

Ah, yes, I can see it all now - the NFU will end up representing the 1950s, the CFFO will be the last bastion for supply management, and the OFA will represent befuddled senior citizens and green energy, while the new organization will represent everyone under 40, as well as everyone over 40 who can think.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

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