Date: November 23, 2017
Staff of the Rural Ontario Institute recently attended the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s annual convention in Toronto. The theme of the event was Producing Prosperity, with a message of distributed economic development. The organization explains that this is a bit of departure from their mission statement, but sees a strong connection between rural economic development and sustainable and prosperous farmlands. The rationale that OFA puts forth is consistent with that of the recent Rural Ontario Foresight Paper: Growth Beyond Cities: Place-Based Rural Development Policy in Ontario, authored by David Freshwater, who also spoke at the convention. Going into a Spring election, the OFA’s advocacy for rural development is something for all rural development stakeholders to be encouraged by. ROI is pleased to see this important sector recognizing the interconnection between rural development broadly and their sectoral interests. We're sharing the opening message from the President of the OFA, Keith Currie, here as a guest blog.