The AGM is an avenue where NSFA farm members have the opportunity to present issues and associated solutions. At the 2018 AGM, NSFA passed five standing policies, three of which will be familiar from years past, and five new resolutions. Updates on the standing policies and resolutions can be found in future issues of the News and Views along with our website and Friday eNews.
It shall be the policy of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture to address land issues through a joint committee and collaborative effort. The Federation will lobby for a comprehensive land use strategy that will include an agricultural land bank, 0% taxation on land owned by a registered farm or land actively maintained as farmland by a registered farmer, access to Crown Land for agriculture use, and support for those who bring land into agriculture production. The Federation will also use the appropriate avenues to request at minimum that 5,000 acres of agriculture land be placed under easement within the five-year review of EGSPA.
It shall be the policy of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture to partake in consultations and work with industry stakeholders and organizations to identify changes that need to be made for the foreign worker programs. The Federation will also work with appropriate bodies to ensure training and other translative supports are available for foreign workers. NSFA will also work with stakeholders to ensure that programs to hire local labour are well communicated and accessible to farmers.
It shall be the policy of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture to continue to monitor, participate and communicate changes to regulations at the provincial and federal levels that will impact agriculture. NSFA will also work with industry stakeholders to ensure compliance requirements are well communicated throughout the industry.
It shall be the policy of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture to work with government, industry and stakeholders to ensure that the Agriculture Industry of Nova Scotia has the capacity to manage water resources in light of climate change. The Federation will also lobby government to implement programs to support farms with on farm climate change mitigation strategies.
It shall be a standing policy of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture to be actively engaged in the development of new legislation regarding transportation as it pertains to agriculture. NSFA will also lobby Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to ensure that agriculture is a lens that is applied with considering the reclassification of roads.
Limestone Transportation Program Year Round Accessibility
Whereas Nova Scotian soils are naturally acidic; and
Whereas the application of lime is known to raise pH of soils; and
Whereas lime is available year-round, can be stockpiled and can be applied almost any time of the year (weather permitting); and
Whereas the limestone transportation subsidy through the Business and Risk Management Programs has been in existence for several years so a general pattern has been established for the budgeted amount of funds required to finance the program; and
Whereas the Limestone Transportation Program is fully funded provincially and does not require federal approvals so it can be delivered with more flexibility;
Therefore be it resolved, that the Federation lobby the Department of Agriculture to modify the Limestone Transportation Program so producers can access it at any time of the year without the existing rigid application and claiming deadlines.
Inclusion of Gypsum under Provincial Subsidy Program
Whereas limestone transportation is covered under the Limestone Assistance Provincial Programs; and
Whereas many soils used for growing vegetable and other crops have adequate pH but are low in calcium and sulphur; and
Whereas gypsum is used as an excellent source to build soil calcium and sulphur levels;
Therefore be it resolved, that the NSFA lobby the Minister of Agriculture and NSDA Programs to include assistance for trucking Gypsum under the Provincial subsidy program similar to that of trucking assistance of lime.
Add Wildlife Controls to the CAP Program
Whereas wildlife damage to many crops can have a significantly negative economic impact; and
Whereas there are many good control systems such as netting, fencing, and various deterrent devices that require an initial capital investment; and
Whereas these wildlife controls would increase, yield and quality and profitability across a broad range of crops and commodities;
Therefore be it resolved, that wildlife controls be added to the CAP program.
Cell Phone and High Speed Internet
Whereas, the Ivany Report noted the strong contribution potential for rural based businesses in Nova Scotia; and
Whereas, it is critical to the success of rural businesses in Nova Scotia to have access to reliable cell phone service and high speed internet; and
Whereas, both of these services are not provided in an accessible manner to all Nova Scotia businesses;
Therefore be it resolved that, the NSFA lobby the Minister of Agriculture, the Premier of Nova Scotia and the appropriate federal, provincial, municipal departments involved in business development and communications along with the CRTC to request their involvement in resolving this lack of services that are essential to businesses in this province.
Local Food Procurement
Whereas Nova Scotia grows healthy and safe food; and
Whereas it is getting more difficult to obtain and maintain market share; and
Whereas Nova Scotians deserve to have access to our great food;
Therefore be it resolved, that the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture lobby the provincial government to primarily procure locally available Nova Scotia products and ensure minimum procurement from their third party providers in all government institutions by 2025.