Markus Haerle, chair of the Grain Farmers of Ontario, says the producer group’s recent social media and radio campaign is aimed at getting the federal government’s attention and at pushing Ottawa to quit stalling on making improvements to business risk management tools, so that these programs can address shortfalls and challenges in the industry.
Reaction to the ad campaign has been divided between those saying it’s about time farmers stood up for themselves and stopped being ignored, to producers asking the producer group to remove the ad, taking issue with the tone and invoking U.S. President Donald Trump’s name.
Haerle says that GFO feels the government is ignoring the grain sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and is just hoping the issues all go away.
Haerle says that the government wants proof of injury to the industry before support is forthcoming. “My balance sheet shows [that injury],” he says, but that message is not being heard in Ottawa.
The producer group is looking for a provincial advocate and champion to raise the issue with the federal government, he says. Provincial commitment is important, however it’s the federal government, he says, that has a responsibility to “show us the money” and then work with provincial governments for meaningful improvements to business risk management.
Listen on for the full interview with Markus Haerle, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario: