Welcome Letter to New Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Thompson

Dear Minister Thompson,

On behalf of the members of the National Farmers Union – Ontario (NFU-O), I would like to extend my congratulations on your appointment as the new Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Your familiarity with rural Ontario life and its relationship with the agricultural industry has proven that you are well-grounded to undertake the responsibilities that you have been tasked with as the new Minister. Your progressively increasing involvement and leadership with the Ontario 4-H Foundation, the Advanced Agricultural leadership Program and the Province’s Agri-Food Education organization clearly reinforce your suitability as an individual qualified for higher levels of engagement in our sector. Your new role as Minister is a natural progression from these responsibilities.

As an accredited General Farm Organization, the NFU-O is the only farm organization that is committed to:

  • Ensuring family farms are the primary unit of food production
  • Promoting environmentally safe farming practices
  • Building healthy, vibrant rural communities
  • Ensuring an adequate supply of safe, nutritious food for Canadians

The recent pandemic has demonstrated the fragility and short-comings of our food sourcing and production system and our ability to feed ourselves as a province and a country, but has galvanized the resolve of our membership and our want-to-be membership to work in ways and with parties that will avoid future food scares. The decline of our food processing industry can be illustrated in this 1951 Dominion Bureau of Statistics Report attachment of manufacturers engaged in food/beverage production by province in Canada (pg. 1-21). I think that you will find the Ontario references of particular interest when compared to the much fewer interests involved presently.

The NFU-O shares your interest in supporting our farmers and growing a sector that we can all be proud of. We look forward to working with you in pursuing these goals and ask that you do not hesitate to contact myself or our Executive Director, Krista Long, if we can be of any assistance.

With best wishes,

Don Ciparis
President, National Farmers Union – Ontario