Advocacy Benefits South Colchester Farmers

NSFA--Full ColourWEBFarmers throughout South Colchester will benefit this spring from the advocacy efforts of the Federation of Agriculture

Spring Weight Restriction dates in the past have disadvantaged farmers in the South Colchester area. They have had to watch neighbouring farmers in Hants and Halifax Counties hit the roads with their farm machinery a week before they were able to do so. The change made this spring will now enable South Colchester farmers to be considered in the same area as Hants and Halifax Counties as far as the spring weight restriction dates are concerned.

The next question is usually: What defines the South Colchester area? The easy answer is that any farm located south of Highway 104 from the Pictou County border in the east to the Folly River in the west will be considered to be in South Colchester.

If you look up the Spring Weight Restrictions page on the Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) website you will not be informed of this change, as the TIR site simply lists some general closing and opening dates by county. Regardless of the published dates, TIR has the ability to open roads as soon as they test okay which means that once roads in the Halifax, Hants, and South Colchester area pass their tests, the roads will be opened at the same time.

This change has been requested for several years now but was only achieved after a dedicated group of 3 farmers engaged the assistance and support of the NSFA’s Transportation Committee to establish a meeting with the Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department. This group developed a detailed proposal for implementation of the proposed change and were met with the attitude that, if this helps farmers, then TIR is prepared to change, providing that other industry sectors do not disagree.

This is a definite good news story for the Federation of Agriculture and shows what can happen if farmers are willing to be advocates and are prepared to research and develop a valid proposal and present it to the administrators of the problem program or policy in a timely manner, with the attitude that both sides can benefit by attaining a common goal. Hats off to the farmers and TIR!