2022-17: Natural Products Marketing Council – Conflict of Interest
Whereas Members of the NPMC are subject to the provinces conflict of interest regulations;
Whereas other provincial jurisdictions do not follow similar regulations;
Whereas traditionally in Nova Scotia NPMC has had a cross section of members with experience in the commodities that Council regulates;
Be it resolved that the NPMC, in consultation with the commodities it regulates develop conflict of interest guidelines for Council Members.
2022-16: Lab Services for Federally Reportable Diseases
Whereas Nova Scotia does not have lab services which are accredited to test for federally reportable diseases, such as African swine fever and avian influenza,
Whereas sending tests out of province further contributes to delays in treatment of livestock and possible spread of disease which could jeopardize animal welfare and have negative impacts on the industry/industries affected,
Whereas all commodity groups representing food animal production in Nova Scotia have formally requested the Minister of Agriculture complete a full review of lab services in the Province and recommended interim measures to improve the availability of laboratory services for federally reportable diseases,
Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia federation of agriculture lobby the government of Nova Scotia to invest in lab services to allow for accreditation for labs in Nova Scotia to test for federally reportable diseases, such as avian influenza and African swine fever.
2022-15: Natural Products Marketing Council – Full Council
Whereas Nova Scotia law vests significant authority in the Natural Products Marking Council to provide oversight and approvals to many agricultural boards and associations who govern the critical production of food in the province;
Whereas NPMC needs a full complement of Council members to be able to convene timely meetings and comply with the provinces conflict of interest guidelines;
Whereas NPMC is currently at the bare minimum number of members, jeopardizes the Council ability to govern effectively;
Be it resolved that, NSFA call on the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture to recognize the vital role the NPMC plays in Nova Scotia’s Agriculture Industry by appointing a full complement of Council members before the end of 2022.
2022-14: Inclusion of Honey Bees in Animal Herd Health Program
Whereas, Government is encouraging the increase in number of honey bee colonies to meet the rising requirement for pollination of blueberries; and
Whereas, the NS Department of Agriculture has provided assistance for Animal Herd Health Management for many years for cattle, sheep, swine, and mink, but not for bees; and
Whereas, the purpose of this program is to utilize the professional services of a veterinarian on a regular basis for the maintenance and improvement of livestock health; and
Whereas, it is now mandatory for honey bee farmers to have a working relationship with a veterinarian in order to access antibiotics necessary for bee health;
Therefore, be it resolved, that NSFA lobby the Department of Agriculture to include honey bees in the Animal Herd Health Program.
2022-13: Agricultural Land Taxation
Whereas, land used for the production of food is a very valuable asset that is zero taxed unlike other types of land, such as wood land, in our system; and
Whereas, acreages of good farmland are being purchased by people from outside, and within, Nova Scotia who have no intention of allowing this land to be further used for Agriculture but still enjoy a zero taxation even though the land is lost to agriculture;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA adopt a policy to encourage the behaviour that any farmland taken out of agricultural production, for whatever reason, be taxed by the governing authority at a rate that might encourage these new owners to allow it to continue to be used in agricultural production.
2022-12: Education on the Risks of Recreational Trespassing
Whereas, farmers/landowners ae having increasing numbers of negative interactions with the public; and
Whereas, public trust is now an area of concern;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA in conjunction with the NSDA help educate the public of the risks involved with recreational trespassing.
2022-11: Community Pasture Funding
Whereas, community pastures play an integral role in supporting beef farmers throughout the province; and
Whereas, the Mira Pasture Cooperative Limited is operated by volunteers and is utilized by both members and non-members and has a capacity for up to 170 head of cattle; and
Whereas, government-owned community pastures throughout the province have access to funding to enhance their community pastures;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Mira Pasture Cooperative have access to the Community Pasture Support Program.
2022-10: Investment in Weather Forecasting and Data Collection
Whereas; Nova Scotia weather patterns are diverse and change frequently from community to community; and
Whereas; current forecasting services often present conflicting information based on centralized data collection points; and
Whereas; more frequent weather events are occurring that severely impact farming practices, costs of production or cause severe losses;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA convey to government and appropriate agencies, the importance of increased and continued investment in more specific and detailed weather forecasting and data collection across Nova Scotia.
2022-09: Farmer owners eligible to collect EI
Whereas; many farming operations income is dependent on seasonal production; and
Whereas; farm expenses continue throughout the year; and
Whereas; in other professions individuals may collect EI when there is a loss of job corresponding to no income; and
Whereas; fishers who own their own businesses have programs to make EI payments that allow them to collect EI when there is no income from fishing activities; and
Whereas; the province needs to keep farming a viable profession; and
Whereas; there is a need for more farmers in the province;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA lobby the Nova Scotia Government and the federal government to create the necessary programming to allow farmers the same opportunities as fishers to make EI payments while farming produces income and collect EI when there are periods of no farming income.
2022-08: Endorse Coalition for Healthy School Food
Whereas; the Annapolis Federation of Agriculture agree to the eight principles outlined by the Coalition for Healthy School Food; and
Whereas; the Annapolis Federation of Agriculture (ACFA) endorses and supports the Coalition for Healthy School Food and the eight principles, and formally express that support through the Coalition’s website: https://airtable.com/shr6ZIcmLpXJdmnpV;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA bring its provincial voice and influence to this coalition and also endorse the Coalition for Healthy School Food and formally express that support through the Coalition’s website.
2022-07: Soil Health KTT
Whereas; the cost of inputs is increasing, particularly the cost of fertilizer and other petroleum products; and
Whereas; there are new technologies and practices being researched and developed to enhance soil health and increase efficiencies; and
Whereas; there is an increased need for soil health education and resources to support the implementation of best practices;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA Soil and Water Committee prioritize province-wide knowledge and technology transfer of soil health research and best practices.
2022-06: Harmonization of Regulations to Allow Regulated use of Drones for Pest Control
Whereas; agricultural drones are fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft; and
Whereas; the PMRA does not recognize drones as aircraft but Transport Canada does recognize and regulate drones as aircraft; and
Whereas; most agricultural exporting countries around the world allow regulated use of drones for pest control application;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA lobby and advocate that the PMRA harmonize its regulations with competing agricultural producing countries to allow regulated use of drones for pest control application.
2022-05: Emergency Preparedness Committee
Whereas, the hurricanes and storms are coming through more often and far more destructive; and
Whereas, there is a need to proactively adopt policies that address the causes and impacts of climate change, such as drought and flooding; and
Whereas, it would be very advisable to do emergency preparedness before the storms arrive – not afterwards;
Therefore, be It resolved, that the NSFA establish an emergency preparedness committee that would support the proactive preparation and planning that needs to take place in each community across Nova Scotia in collaboration with regionally based federations so that if there is severe destruction, farmers are better prepared to deal with the fall out.
2022-04: Multi-Farm Funding Applications
Whereas, tech transfer is important to continued farm efficiency; and
Whereas, specialized equipment can help in achieving positive climate change and sustainability goals through the adoption of some BMPs; and
Whereas, specialized equipment can be cost-prohibitive for individual farmers to purchase, even with Program support;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA lobby the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture to extend eligibility to allow for multi-farm funding applications which would support joint ventures for a specific project; and where applicable, develop the necessary policy and guidelines to reflect joint venture applications.
2022-03: Industry Supported Funding Model for Farm Safety Nova Scotia
Whereas, the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture has a vision of a prosperous and sustainable future for Nova Scotia farms and farmers; and
Whereas, sustainability encompasses safe and healthy farms, farm workers and farm families; and
Whereas, the mental health and wellness of our industry are essential to the long-term viability of the industry; and
Whereas, creating a culture of health and safety is foundational to maintaining public trust and supporting the recruitment and retention of employees;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA support FSNS in establishing an industry-supported funding model to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization and its programming.
2022-02: Review and Increase Animal Herd Health Assistance
Whereas, assistance for Animal Herd Health Management has been in place for many years; and
Whereas, it is now mandatory for large animal farmers to have a working relationship with a veterinarian; and
Whereas, the cost of employing a veterinarian has gone up in the last number of years; and
Whereas, the financial assistance for Animal Herd Health Programs has not increased in many years;
Therefore, be it resolved, that NSFA lobby the Department of Agriculture to review the current rate of Animal Herd Health Assistance and consider increasing rates to reflect inflation and increased cost of veterinarian care for farm animals in Nova Scotia.
2022-01: Used Guardrails for Farm Use
Whereas, the cost for fencing/corral supplies has continued to rise; and
Whereas, used guard-rails removed from the highways make excellent corral panels, and fence supplies; and
Whereas, the used guard-rails have been paid for with tax-payers’ money, so should be considered public property; and
Whereas, re-using these used guard rails for fencing/corral panels would be considered “up-cycling” and environmentally friendly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions needed to process them into new products;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA lobby the Provincial Government to allow farmers access to used guard-rails.
2021-12: Trucking Assistance on all Limestone Products
Whereas, Nova Scotia lands require limestone to bring soil pH levels up to 6.5 to 7; and
Whereas, fertilizer is expensive and the utilization of nitrogen at 5 to 5.5 pH is only 50%; and
Whereas, when soil pH is less than 6.5 to 7, it has a negative effect on farm income;
Therefore, be it resolved that NSFA lobby the provincial government to pay trucking assistance on all pH-building products with a calcium carbonate equivalent component, based on the percentage of calcium carbonate equivalent in the product.
2021-11: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Whereas, Nova Scotia is a province rich in diversity;
Whereas, the Farm and Workforce Development program is actively working to grow in diversity; and
Whereas, the agriculture sector as a whole is seeking to welcome and create a safe space for people of various backgrounds and beliefs;
Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture adopt an actionable diversity, equity and inclusion statement.
2021-10: TFW Employer Supports and Services
Whereas, the Nova Scotia agricultural labour market continues to encounter difficulties finding an adequate supply of local workers; and
Whereas, our agricultural industry’s ability to grow successfully needs a reliable labour force; and
Whereas, our ability to access sufficient Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW’s) and Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW’s) to meet labour requirements is becoming increasingly difficult; and
Whereas, our agricultural industry needs an agency to respond to regional needs as well as to assist with securing efficient and economical transportation options;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA pursue a feasibility study on the development an agency that can respond to regional needs and that can assist our agricultural industries in accessing TFW’s and SAW’s.
2021-09: NS Seats at the Atlantic Veterinary College
Whereas, large animal veterinary services are critical to the health and welfare of farm animals; and
Whereas, large livestock veterinary services are important to the financial viability of farms province wide; and
Whereas, large livestock vet clinics are experiencing labour shortages, resulting in increased demands on current practicing vets, and which can result in delays in on farm service; and
Whereas, there is a shortage of large livestock vets across the province; and
Whereas, completing a DVM designation can require up to 8 years of post secondary studies;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA lobby the Province of Nova Scotia to increase the number of food animal vet seats available to Nova Scotia residents annually at Atlantic Veterinary College to be effective immediately.
2021-08: Nuisance Starlings
Whereas, we put a lot of time and resources into our crops;
Whereas, having our crops consumed by a wild invasive bird is very deflating;
Whereas, starlings are a nuisance and costly to many commodity groups;
Whereas, starlings are not only a problem to agriculture;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture reach out to other Nova Scotia groups (i.e. homeowners) to join efforts to encourage the Nova Scotia government to mitigate the impact of this specific bird species.
2021-07: Cost of Liability Insurance
Whereas, in order to promote agriculture, many farming communities provide tours, u-picks, courses, events, community fairs and exhibitions, and other agricultural activities; and
Whereas, the cost of liability insurance is becoming prohibitive for many organizations; and
Whereas, many organizations may have to decline to provide, limit or cancel any activities they wish to have due to the high cost of liability insurance; and
Whereas, this loss will have a significant negative impact on farm income, personal and farm success, and the social well-being of the community;
Therefore, be it resolved, that NSFA should lobby the appropriate provincial government agencies and relevant organizations, and, ask their national federation to lobby the appropriate federal government agencies for actions to resolve this issue;
And, further be it resolved, that in future, liability insurance will be affordable to the agricultural community, either individually or as a blanket policy.
2021-06: Increased Funding for Maintenance of Marshlands
Whereas, there has been a lot of unknowns surrounding climate change and tidal flow; and
Whereas, the marshlands are being adversely affected by this uncertainty, as well as ongoing dyke deterioration; and
Whereas, the regular maintenance and upgrades of the infrastructure that is the dykes has been undervalued and underfunded; and
Whereas, the marshlands are some of the most fertile and productive land in our county and are vital to food production and security;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture lobby the provincial government for increased funding in relation to maintenance, repairs and upgrades of marshlands and infrastructure related to marshlands.
And, further be it resolved, that the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture lobby the provincial government to utilize the Agricultural Marshlands Conservation Commission in reviewing the provincial budget.
2021-05: Condition 23 Endorsement for New Drivers
Whereas, farms across Nova Scotia have been experiencing a shortage of labor; and
Whereas, many farms may have access to part-time work from students; and
Whereas, the need to drive tractors while hauling a load/implement of a combined weight of over 14000Kg is common on today’s farms, and requires a Condition 23 endorsement; and
Whereas, it is not possible to do the exam for the Condition 23 while you are a “New Driver”; and
Whereas, the graduated license program in Nova Scotia takes 4 years before the “New Driver” status can be removed from license;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA lobbies the Dept. of Transportation to allow new drivers to take the Condition 23 Endorsement exam provided they have already passed a Tractor Handling Safety Course.
2021-04: Access to Resources
Whereas, agricultural businesses exist across the province of Nova Scotia; and
Whereas, the need for specialists, government resources, funding, consulting, lab services, supplies, processing, legal advice, accountants, and much more is required for most agricultural businesses; and
Whereas, most of these resources are only available in Truro or Annapolis Valley; and
Whereas, the geographical location of many farms in Cape Breton impedes the utilization of resources located in Truro or Annapolis Valley;
Therefore, be it resolved, that NSFA lobbies the Nova Scotia Government to promote or improve access to available government resources and programming for remote areas.
2021-03: Avon River System Management
Whereas, the Avon River in Windsor/West Hants has been under a ministerial order for the last 9 months, depleting (draining) the fresh water resources available; and
Whereas, livestock and crop producers are dependent on fresh water for daily ongoing operations as well as long term food security, climate change mitigation measures and future community fire protections; and
Whereas, Hants County farms are the largest land owners of adjacent waterway lands on the Avon River with a wealth of experience on this river system;
Therefore, be it resolved, that Hants County Federation of Agriculture is requesting support from the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture to lobby for inclusion in the ongoing planning and consultation with federal and provincial governments regarding the management of the Avon River System.
2021-02: Nuisance Licenses
Whereas, the nuisance wildlife population has increased substantially in the last few years, especially in the more fertile agricultural areas; and
Whereas, the increased nuisance wildlife makes less forage available for grazing agricultural livestock; and
Whereas, the increased nuisance wildlife negatively impacts agricultural production; and
Whereas, all reasonable efforts to control nuisance wildlife have proven ineffective;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the NSFA lobby the NS Dept of Natural Resources and Renewables and the government of Canada to make standing nuisance licenses more readily available.
2021-01: NS Agriculture First Policy
Whereas, we live in an agriculturally rich province; and
Whereas, food security depends on the success of our local agricultural communities; and
Whereas, economic multiplier of agriculture is $8 to $1;
Therefore, be it resolved, that NSFA lobby Provincial Government to change procurement strategy to a Nova Scotia Agriculture First Policy.
2020-03: Processing of Livestock and Poultry
Whereas COVID-19 has brought to light the lack of sufficient infrastructure in the value chain to get Nova Scotia meat to Nova Scotia consumers; and
Whereas most small and large farms find it difficult to process their livestock and poultry;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture lobby the Nova Scotia Government to close the infrastructure gap by looking at on-farm and/or mobile inspected slaughter, funding for new entrants in processing capacity and funding for existing processors.
2020-02: TFW and Processing
Whereas processing is necessary for many primary agricultural products to be consumed; and
Whereas many farms in Nova Scotia have processing integrated into their farm operations;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture lobby for the inclusion of processing on farm for the TFW and SAWP programs.