[ Projects ]
In 2019, the NFU-O facilitated a series of Kitchen Table Meetings (KTMs) across Ontario to promote action on climate change. These small-group meetings included a variety of stakeholders and engaged NFU-O’s extensive connections with sustainable farmers and food system allies.
The Climate Action campaign empowered 87 Ontario farmers to commit to changes on their farms to mitigate climate change.
The NFU was the only farm organization in Ontario to support a moratorium on neonicotinoid use, and our advocacy was important in making Ontario the first jurisdiction in North America to reduce neonicotinoid use. This position has required education and outreach to farmers and eaters.
Funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, in partnership with the Young Agrarians, the NFU-O adapted legal tools and educational materials for farmland access created by Young Agrarians in BC to the Ontario legal context. As part of this project we engaged small-scale, new and young farmers in Ontario to identify additional legal areas of concern where supports are needed. We also collected case studies and testimonials and conducted workshops.
In 2017-2018, with support from the Greenbelt Fund and the National Farmers Foundation, we brought together Local Food Advocates, our “eater” allies in education, health care, and urban communities, at events across Ontario. Our Local Food Advocates network created 20 new resources—from postcards to classroom guides to videos—that put emphasis on the need to support local food and help make our communities healthier, fairer, and more connected.
The NFU-O was responsible for founding and organizing the CRAFT program in Eastern Ontario. Through this program we worked with experienced farmers and new or aspiring farmers to build capacity and train new farmers. We also gathered information about barriers for (and needs of) new farmers.
The NFU Youth led the development of a National New Farmer Coalition in 2015. As part of that project, we have coordinated a national survey and ongoing research into the challenges and opportunities faced by new farmers. In addition, the NFU Youth has engaged new farmer leaders from across the country, rapidly increasing youth membership of NFU. The NFU Youth has also organized a series of engagement events for young farmers.
The NFU mobilized thousands of people in Kingston and across Canada to defend Canada’s six prison farms, which the federal government decided to close in 2010. This campaign brought together people from all parts of society - educators, artists (including Margaret Atwood and Sarah Harmer), and the faith community. This campaign is the subject of a recent documentary, “Til the Cows Come Home.” We are happy to report that as of early 2018, the campaign has won a decisive victory – the two farms in the Kingston area are being reopened, and the herd of award-winning cows preserved by NFU members is being reconstituted on the farm.
The NFU has been a driving force for the protection of the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa and has caused the National Capital Commission to reconsider their decision to develop part of those lands. Key lands are now again protected.