OTTAWA, MARCH 8th, 2022 — This week’s annual meeting of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) brought together farm and food leaders from across Canada under the theme Building a Resilient Future for Canadian Agriculture.
“Throughout the past few years, agriculture has experienced many disruptions that have affected the entire food supply chain. COVID, climate change, transportation disruptions and trade wars are all uncontrollable circumstances that farmers often find themselves affected by. As we enter into this new era, it’s important that Canada pivots to focusing on the resilience of essential industries like agriculture to ensure that we can continue to act as a reliable global food supplier. The value of this meeting is bringing the farm and food community together to develop policy solutions and build partnerships that help move us towards collective success as an industry,” said CFA President Keith Currie.
At the meeting, the CFA membership passed 54 resolutions that will outline much of its advocacy efforts in the coming year. This year’s resolutions cover a range of issues, including: conservation, climate change, labour, rural infrastructure, crop protection, international trade, risk management and much more.
The CFA had a range of high-profile political speaker at the AGM, with party leaders from every major party including:
- Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Conservative Party
- Yves-François Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Québécois
- Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP
- Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party
Recordings of remarks given by all political officials will be available on CFA’s Youtube channel next week.
The CFA AGM featured two panels. The first, entitled Live with Real Agriculture Radio: Innovation & Resilience in Agriculture, sponsored by RBC, examined how Canadian agriculture can build resilience throughout its agriculture sector through innovation and cutting-edge technologies and techniques.
The second panel of the AGM entitled Examining the Current AG Landscape: Challenges & Opportunities was sponsored by Fertilizer Canada. This panel examined many of the disruptions and obstacles facing agriculture, as well as opportunities arising from growing global food demand,agriculture’s potential as a source of climate solutions, and consumer demands.
CFA also announced the winner of the Brigid Rivoire Award for Agricultural Mental Health, The Guardian Network, which was created through a partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario (CMHA-ON) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
The Guardian Network is a volunteer suicide prevention network which supports Ontario’s farming community. Guardians are equipped with strategies and tools to identify the signs of mental distress, react to farmers at-risk, and connect Farmers to appropriate mental health and crisis resources.
“On behalf of the entire team at Agriculture Wellness Ontario and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, I want to say thank you very much for this incredible honour. We are truly humbled to be the recipients of this year’s Brigid Riviore Award for Champions of Mental Health. When we launched The Guardian Network to help support farmers at-risk of suicide, we felt a sense of urgency and this support from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture will help us as we continue to grow the network to save farmers’ lives and livelihoods,” Marnie Wood, Program Manager, The Guardian Network, CMHA Ontario.
This year also included acclamations for the CFA Executive Officers, with Mary Robinson stepping down as President. CFA is happy to announce Keith Currie as the new CFA President, Todd Lewis as CFA 1st Vice-President, and Pierre Lampron as CFA 2nd Vice President.
“Our ability to deal with the problems of tomorrow relies upon how we approach the challenges of today. By building a robust and resilient food production system in Canada we can continue to take advantage of our wealth of natural resources in a sustainable manner that can provide food for the world for generations to come,” said CFA President Keith Currie.
CFA would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mary Robinson for her four years as CFA President. Her contributions have greatly strengthened our organization and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.
Recordings of the panels, political speakers as well as accompanying documentation, including passed resolutions, will be posted on the CFA website, www.cfa-fca.ca, in the coming days.