Ontario general farm organization fee increasing

Ontario farmers will be paying more for their representation by their general farm organizations in 2018 after the government approved a $30 increase.

The annual fee will be $225 plus HST for membership in the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario or National Farmers Union-Ontario.

All registered farmers have to pay the annual fee to one of the organizations, although they can request exemption based on several criteria.

The fee is collected each year by Agricorp and remitted to one of the three accredited organizations.

“OFA thanks Minister Leal for championing this regulation change to support Ontario’s general farm organizations,” said Keith Currie, OFA president. “It’s been eight years since the last adjustment in FBR fees and the cost of doing business, working on behalf of farm members, continues to climb.”

The number of farmers also continues its long-term decline, which also decreases the revenue for farmer organizations which get fees per member, versus those which charge a checkoff per volume of farm production.

Increasing numbers of submissions to the Environmental Bill of Rights, advocacy needed on regulations like the recently proposed federal tax changes and continued need for on-the-ground support for farmers means there continues to be a significant need for the organization, Currie said.

— John Greig is a field editor for Glacier FarmMedia based at Ailsa Craig, Ont. Follow him at @jgreig on Twitter.

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