Peggy Brekveld, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

New OFA president says ‘one message, many voices’ makes for stronger lobbying

Peggy Brekveld had been an OFA vice-president for five years

Reading Time: 2 minutes Peggy Brekveld’s election as Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s (OFA) 32nd president is a first. Brekveld, along with the rest of the executive committee, is the first in OFA history to be elected by the board of directors and not the membership following the bylaw ratification vote at the annual general meeting Nov. 23. “I am […] Read more

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture changed the way it elects its executive at its recent annual meeting.

Brekveld elected new OFA president

The northern Ontario farmer was elected in a newly approved process

Reading Time: 3 minutes Peggy Brekveld is the new president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), elected by the board of directors in a new process approved earlier in the day at the OFA annual meeting. Brekveld is a dairy farmer near from near Thunder Bay, who has been a vice-president of the organization for six years. Why […] Read more

Apples are one of the Ontario crops that rely on seasonal foreign workers for the harvest.

Return home stalled for some foreign workers

Seasonal foreign workers face uncertain timeline to return home due to pandemic-related border crossing restrictions

Seasonal foreign workers face uncertain timeline to return home due to pandemic-related border crossing restrictions

Reading Time: 3 minutes In the spring Ontario farmers were concerned COVID-19 border closures would stymie efforts to get the much-needed foreign workers into Ontario. Now it appears the pandemic might be hindering efforts to get those same workers back home to their families. Why it matters: Smooth operation of the seasonal foreign worker program is critical to the […] Read more

Equipment operator programs will also teach some maintenance.

Agriculture education evolves to fit modern needs

Colleges are offering shorter courses in regional settings to help fill the need for practical skills

Colleges are offering shorter courses in regional settings to help fill the need for practical skills

Reading Time: 5 minutes Post-secondary agriculture education in Ontario is diversifying to meet the labour and skill needs of the industry. Shorter, concentrated offerings are expected to help fill the need for more employees in agriculture. Why it matters: Agriculture education options for practical training have been limited, especially in the regions where potential farm workers live. Much has […] Read more

Mistrust continues to challenge a reconciliation within the sheep sector.

OSF takes first steps to knit fractured industry back together

Canadian Sheep Federation willing to talk, but on its terms

Reading Time: 4 minutes Miscommunication, misinterpretation and mistrust are festering splinters in the side of Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF) and it’s time to treat the wound. Marc Carere, OSF chair, didn’t mince words during his pre-address to OSF members before the annual general meeting Oct. 23. A group of sheep farmers in Ontario called the Ontario Lamb Producers Caucus […] Read more


A freedom of information request looking for all farm business registrations concerned farmers about the potential to increase the trespassing of activists onto their land.

Request for Ontario farm names withdrawn

Freedom of Information request had drawn significant farmer concern

Reading Time: < 1 minute The agriculture community is celebrating a win after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for all Farm Business Registrants was withdrawn. “Together, our farm organizations strongly opposed the release of this information as it has the potential to greatly impact the health, safety and security of our farm operations,” said Keith Currie, Ontario Federation of […] Read more

Rural internet access has limited economic opportunities on some farms.

Province ups investment in broadband and cellular service

An additional $680 million will be put into rural/northern digital infrastructure

Reading Time: 2 minutes The province is investing $1 billion to remove “Can you hear me now?” from the lexicon of rural and Northern Ontario residents. As part of the Ontario government’s 2020 budget released Nov. 5, an additional $680 million over six yeas was added to the existing $315 million in Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular […] Read more

Barn fires are too common and can hit old and new buildings.

Technology monitors high-risk barn wiring to help stop barn fires

A project by Trillium Mutual Insurance aims to get 100 monitoring devices installed on farms in a year

Reading Time: 5 minutes An Ontario insurance company is trying to stop barn fires before they start by subsidizing the installation of technology that monitors wiring systems for faults. The sensor-based early warning system is part of a unique collaboration between Trillium Mutual Insurance and PrevTech Innovation. Why it matters: Barn fires create more than a financial loss. They […] Read more