Carbon pricing, rural investment, mental health and the federal election were among the top priorities discussed during the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) 2019 Annual General Meeting, held in Ottawa last week. The theme this year was "Producing Prosperity".
"We want to show how investments in rural Canada and the agricultural sector can have benefits for Canada as a whole socially, economically and also environmentally ," said Ron Bonnett, outgoing CFA President.
During his opening keynote, former Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay highlighted the successes of agriculture but also discussed chronic issues and upcoming challenges. He also announced the new FCC Starter Loan program.
CFA held elections for President, First Vice-President and Second Vice-President, with current President, Ron Bonnett, stepping down after nine years in the position.
Elected as CFA President is Mary Robinson, former President of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture.
"I'm really looking forward to continuing on this path," she said. "I've been involved in ag politics for over a decade now and having the opportunity to be a leader at the national level, especially for an organization like the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is very exciting."
Keith Currie, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, was elected as 1st Vice-President. Chris van den Heuvel, former President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, was elected as 2nd Vice-President.
CFA members passed 36 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, transportation, tax policy, sustainability, crop protection, labour, animal health, rural infrastructure, carbon pricing and other topics.
There was also the presentation of the first annual Brigid Rivoire Award for Champions of Agricultural Mental Health, an award that goes to an individual or organization that has been doing work in the field of agricultural mental health. This year's winner was the UPA's Sentinel program.
Two policy workshops prior to the AGM focused on Big Data/ Right to Repair as well as Value Creation Models for grain, followed by a consultation with AAFC and CFIA on those Value Creation Models.