Date: March 2, 2012
OFA wants to hear from its members
By Mark Wales, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
One of the ways the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) looks to sustain its success as an organization is by working hard to continue engaging with our members. As the largest general farm organization in Canada, OFA works on behalf of our members to meet our mission of sustainable farming in Ontario and securing agriculture and agri-food as Ontario’s top industry, enabling prosperous farmers, and a healthy and plentiful food supply.
We are constantly seeking member input, ideas and advice, and accept and learn from member criticism when it is due. OFA wants to continue providing the services and programs that matter to farmers. We need your feedback to better understand the needs of our changing demographic membership base and better serve Ontario’s farmers.
OFA is reaching out to members in a different ways right now. We want your feedback on regulations you would like to see reformed as part of the Open for Business consultations. We’ll be taking your recommendations directly to government to ensure we advocate on your behalf. Please send recommendations and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OFA is also conducting an extensive membership survey. This feedback survey will gather information on key issues affecting your farm, and your opinion on our member benefits program, member communications and social media. With this survey, we want to better understand member satisfaction, identify communication needs of OFA members and provide the best service to our members. We encourage all OFA members to fill out the online survey – we truly value your input and feedback. The survey is available on the OFA website at ofa.on.ca or, you can call OFA at 1-800-668-3276 to receive a printed version to complete and mail back.
Collaboration is a cornerstone at OFA. Engagement of our grassroots members continues to be critical to our successes and asking for member feedback through regulation suggestions and our general membership survey is just one way OFA is listening. Our Policy Advisory Council (PAC) is another way OFA engages in member and industry feedback by presenting them with questions and issues. Much like a democratic system, we ask and listen to their feedback and act on the information to formulate policy. The PAC has analyzed, debated and recommended OFA positions on the National Food Strategy, wildlife damage compensations, the Provincial Policy Statement, election priorities, leadership development, regulatory modernization and many other issues or concerns affecting our membership.
We know we must work together with members, industry and government to create a sustainable farming sector and ensure all Ontarians understand the importance of the agriculture and agri-food industry. A greater understanding of farming issues across Ontario will help build a better business environment and stronger, sustainable markets for our products. OFA is listening. Please share your voice with suggested regulation recommendations and by completing our general membership survey. We really want to hear about the issues that matter to your farm business.